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Red Sox Minor Lines: The system is heating up

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It’s been the best stretch of the year for the minors

Pawtucket W 4-2

Tzu-Wei Lin, SS: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Cole Sturgeon, RF: 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Rusney Castillo, CF: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K

Adam Lind, 1B: 0-4, 1 K, 1 E

Justin Haley: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (92 pitches)

Robby Scott: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (4 pitches)

Williams Jerez: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K (22 pitches)

Well, hello there Cole. After tearing it up to start the year in Portland, Sturgeon struggled initially after being promoted to Pawtucket last month. It wasn’t terribly surprising, but there was some reason to believe he wouldn’t totally bounce back given how out-of-nowhere his Portland breakout was. Well, he’s been hitting much better of late and this two-homer game is an exclamation point on that. On the mound, Haley wasn’t overpowering on Sunday and it seems he was pretty hittable, but he somehow limited the damage. Seeing a pitcher be able to do that sometimes can actually be encouraging.

Portland W 6-2

Jeremy Rivera, SS: 0-5

Chad De La Guerra, DH: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Jantzen Witte, 3B: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Tate Matheny, CF: 4-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Austin Rei, C: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Teddy Stankiewicz: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 K (99 pitches)

Travis Lakins: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (19 pitches)

Have a day, Tate Matheny. The SeaDogs outfielder has quietly been pretty good all year, but he generally shines in terms of getting on base more than hitting for power. Having multiple extra-base hits in a game is not the norm. Given his athleticism, makeup and defense, along with the on-base ability, he already looks like a potential bench player for at least a few years. If he can ever hit for power, well, he could be even more than that. Meanwhile, it seems as if Lakins is going to be throwing out of the bullpen. It’s a really interesting decision by the Red Sox, who have shown more willingness to quickly convert pitchers to relief in recent seasons.

Salem L 4-5

Santiago Espinal, 3B: 3-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 K

Brett Netzer, 2B: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 CS

C.J. Chatham, SS: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K

Bobby Dalbec, DH: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Tyler Hill, LF: 1-4, 1 2B

Jordan Procyshen, C: 2-3, 1 R, 1 K

Roldani Baldwin, PH/C: 0-1

Roniel Raudes: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K (83 pitches)

Jake Cosart: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K (33 pitches)

Coming into the year, I really wasn’t expecting a ton from Chatham. After a disappointing first professional season and an entire year of missed development last year, I thought the infielder was a bit overrated. Well, he hasn’t been totally consistent all year but he’s been impressive given all the time he missed. At 23 years old they needed him to show quickly that he could handle the low minors, and that’s what he’s doing. He won’t be rushed out of Salem too quickly, but I expect him to get to Portland at some point this summer. On the mound, Cosart made his first appearance back in Salem after a demotion, and he didn’t look much better.

Greenville W 7-6

Lorenzo Cedrola, CF: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB

Frankie Rios, DH: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Michael Osinski, 1B: 2-5, 1 R, 2 K

Victor Acosta, RF: 2-5, 2 RBI

Tanner Nishioka, 3B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Kervin Suarez, 2B: 2-4, 1 R, 1 SB

Denyi Reyes: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (79 pitches)

Speaking of players that should be promoted this summer, one has to imagine Cedrola is going to get his chance in High-A at some point relatively soon. With this three-hit game, the outfielder is now hitting .324/.364/.432 on the year after having put forth a solid effort in Greenville last year as well. At 20 years old there’s no major rush, but there’s no point in having him repeat another full season at Low-A.

Player of the Day: This exercise has been much more fun of late as the minor-league system is on a bit of a hot streak, and I think I’m going to go with Cole Sturgeon today. The outfielder hit two dingers, and that’s usually good enough to be the player of the day. Given the lack of outfield depth in the upper minors for this team, having Sturgeon get hot is a good thing. The Red Sox have enough versatile utility players that they don’t have a glaring need for a backup outfielder, but in case of emergency it seems Sturgeon has emerged as the top minor-league depth option.