Sam Travis and Ivan De Jesus highlight a slow night at the plate
After the lineup failed to do much of anything in this afternoon’s game against the Cardinals, the night lineup didn’t fare much better. They managed to smack five hits in the afternoon, and followed that up with five more at night across town against Minnesota. Half of those hits came from one player in Ivan De Jesus Jr., who contributed a double and a single while also knocking in a run. He also made a hell of a leaping catch at second base. De Jesus was brought in on a minor-league contract right before spring, and while he’s not likely to play much of a role in 2018 he is solid break-in-case-of-emergency depth. The biggest hit of the game came in the ninth when Sam Travis, the greatest Grapefruit League player of all time, smashed an RBI double to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Hanley Ramirez also got a double as he tries to prove he deserves the bulk of the playing time at first base while Rusney Castillo led the game off with a single. Despite only tallying five hits and one walk (Kyri Washington in the ninth), the Red Sox did score three runs in this game thanks largely to some bad defense on Minnesota’s part. The Twins committed three errors on Tuesday and only one of the three runs Boston scored was charged to a Twins pitcher.
Chandler Shepherd led the pitchers
I’m still not entirely clear what the plan will be for Shepherd once the season gets started, as the career reliever is supposedly being stretched out to start. If that’s what he wants to do, he’s making a case for himself with his early spring performance. Granted, his first outing was against college hitters, but he came out and looked good against the Twins here, too, tossing a couple of scoreless innings with two strikeouts while allowing just a single. Roenis Elias was up after him, and while he’s a long shot the lefty is fighting to start the year as the fifth starter. He didn’t make a great case for himself, allowing a run in his inning of work on a hit, a walk and two (2!) balks. Ty Buttrey came on next as he tries to fight his way up the depth chart, and like Elias it did not go well. He gave up a double and a triple over his inning of work to allow one run. Next up was minor-league starter Teddy Stankiewicz, and he bridged to the late innings with three scoreless frames in which he allowed two doubles and a single to go with two strikeouts. Dedgar Jimenez finished things out with a couple of scoreless innings to lock up the win, though he made things difficult on himself loading the bases in the ninth. Jimenez doesn’t have overwhelming stuff and won’t inspire great scouting reports, but keep an eye on him this year as he’s one of the most intriguing pitchers in the upper minors this year.