Pawtucket L 3-4 (F/12)
Rusney Castillo: 0-6, 1 R
Aneury Tavarez: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI
Ivan De Jesus Jr.: 0-6, 2 K
Jeremy Barfield: 0-4, 1 RBI, 3 K
Chad De La Guerra: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB
Jalen Beeks: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K
Ty Buttrey: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Robby Scott: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Beeks is going to make some sort of impact at the major-league level this year. That is my prediction. I’m among the highest on the lefty, but the stuff is clearly there if he can work out some of the kinks around the edges. This certainly wasn’t a perfect start, as he threw 92 pitches in just four innings, so the efficiency could use some work. Still, for a first start of the year, striking out eight in four innings with just one run scoring is certainly a win. Buttrey, meanwhile, had a similar type of outing with big strikeout numbers but he threw 49 pitches in two innings and also gave up a pair of solo homers. On the other side, it’s been a brutal start for Barfield with eight strikeouts in twelve plate appearances.
Portland L 5-6
Danny Mars: 3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Esteban Quiroz: 1-3, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB
Austin Rei: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E
Trey Ball: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Trevor Kelley: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
This Portland roster is rough, but there are at least some mildly interesting relievers that come in most games. Ball now has two appearances in his new role out of the bullpen, and he’s holding his own. It’s obviously way too early to call this conversion a success, but he’s at least showing signs that this may actually work. Also, nice game for Mars, who I don’t think will turn into much at the major-league level but was my favorite player to watch in Portland last year.
Salem W 6-2
Brett Netzer: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Bobby Dalbec: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Kyri Washington: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
Tyler Hill: 1-3
Tanner Houck: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 K
Joan Martinez: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K
Monday was a big day on the farm for the Red Sox with Houck, the team’s 2017 first round pick, making his 2018 debut. He was....meh. The stuff seemed to be working alright with a strikeout per inning, but he seemed to hit a wall of sorts in that last inning of work. There’s obviously no reason to panic after just one start, but one of the questions with Houck is if he will be able to last deep enough into games to remain a starter. I’m still confident he can, particularly with delivery changes from last year, but the question is still out there. On the other side, Dalbec hit his second homer of the year in a start to the year that continues to be all or nothing.
Greenville L 4-8
Kervin Suarez: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 E
Cole Brannen: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K
C.J. Chatham: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K
Pedro Castellanos: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Everlouis Lozada: 1-4, 1 CS
Alex Scherff: 5 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
While Houck was making his debut in High-A, Low-A featured the professional debut for Scherff, who received the team’s third-highest signing bonus in last summer’s draft. The righty is a little old for a high school pitcher, but he is still a high school arm who will need some work to reach his potential. There were flashes of the kind of stuff he’s capable of in this start, but ultimately the inconsistency of the command won out. Not the best debut, but there’s plenty of time to turn it around. On offense, Chatham has had an encouraging start to the year as he tries to come back from a lost season and shoot through the system as a 23-year-old.
Player of the Day: It was not a super impressive day on the farm for the Red Sox, both in terms of game results and individual performances. I’m going to give the nod to Jalen Beeks for his eight strikeouts despite only making it through four innings, though Danny Mars was not far behind. Beeks is going to stay in Pawtucket for a little while at least, but if injuries start to pile up in the rotation or bullpen he’ll be able to help at the highest level in a couple months.