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Red Sox Minor Lines: Tanner Houck is struggling

A rough pitching performance at High-A but a great one at Double-A.

Portland W 5-0

Cole Sturgeon, RF: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Danny Mars, LF: 0-3, 2 K

Esteban Quiroz, DH: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R, 1 CS

Tate Matheny, CF: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 CS

Bobby Poyner: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Teddy Stankiewicz: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K

Welcome back to the positive parts of these write-ups, Mr. Ockimey. The SeaDogs first baseman is unanimously among the top ten prospects in the Red Sox system and he has a similar profile to Sam Travis in that there is power potential here that hasn’t shown up enough. It showed up on Thursday with a big grand slam that broke the game open for Portland. One home run does not a power hitter make, but it’s nice to see. The pitching was obviously phenomenal as well. Poyner was making a rehab appearance and looked fine by all accounts. We’ll see if he makes another before they decide whether or not they’ll call him back to the bigs. Stankiewicz is someone I’ve mostly given up on as a starter, but he was tremendous in this game, at one point retiring 15 straight. A good day all-around for Portland.

Salem L 5-9

Tyler Hill, RF: 1-2, 3 BB, 1 PO

Brett Netzer, 2B: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K

Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 E

Jhon Nunez, C: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Tanner Houck: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K (61 pitches)

Well, this has not been the start to the year that Houck was hoping for, as the 2017 first round pick had yet another rough outing in his third start of 2018. It’s clear that his defense didn’t help matters, but walking four batters without being able to get through two innings is certainly not a great look. The righty now has a 7.59 ERA with 13 walks and eight strikeouts to start the year.

Greenville L 3-8

Cole Brannen, DH: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Michael Osinski, 3B: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 E

Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 1-4, 1 R

Frankie Rios, SS: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 K, 1 E

There’s, uh, not a ton interesting happening down in Greenville these days. Brannen continues to go through some ups and downs at the plate as he is expected to take the long road on his development, and Osinski has somewhat quietly been very good to start his season.

Player of the Day: There were a couple options from Portland here and I could see the argument for going with Ockimey, but I’m going with Teddy Stankiewicz. Until Ockimey hit his grand slam it was a 1-0 game for most of the afternoon, and STANK kept it close. As mentioned above, he retired 15 in a row at one point and he didn’t walk a batter all day. I’m still not sold that he can do much of anything as a starter, but he poked a hole in that theory on Thursday.