The Red Sox travelled to Tim Tebow country and lived to fight another day, beating the Mets and something close to their A-Team 9-3. It wasn’t quite as convincing as the final score may suggest, as Boston’s pitchers did work around 13 hits from New York, but it was still a strong overall game. There were a few strong performances on the mound from guys who could pitch in the majors this year, as well as some good showings at the plate highlighted by Gorkys Hernández and his three-run home run.
A solid, but imperfect, day for the pitching
As I mentioned above, the Red Sox pitching wasn’t perfect on Monday, but not all of the hits they allowed were all that hard hit, and the stuff from the pitching staff was impressive enough. Eduardo Rodriguez got the start for Boston, his second outing of the spring. The southpaw did allow three hits in his two innings of work, but all three were singles hit on the ground. Rodriguez also struck out two batters without allowing a walk. He is a potential breakout for the Red Sox this year, though we’ve obviously been saying that for a few years now. We’ve seen the talent from Rodriguez before and know he can succeed in the majors, but consistency, efficiency and health have all been legitimate concerns. Right now, the key is just getting his work in and staying healthy. After the game, Alex Cora was critical of Rodriguez’ efficiency.
Alex Cora was displeased that Eduardo Rodriguez wasn't more pitch efficient today. "He’s old enough. He’s been in the league for a long time. It’s time for him to step up.”— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) March 4, 2019
After Rodriguez, Brandon Workman came in as he looks to solidify a spot in the Opening Day bullpen. He did allow one of the Mets’ three runs to cross the plate in this game, though it’s hard to pin that on him. The righty allowed three baserunners. One was on an infield single that was just hit to the right spot on the left side, another was on a hit-by-pitch that wasn’t too far out of the zone, and the third was on a weak-ish ground ball that made it through the infield. That’ll happen. Workman did have two strikeouts in the game as well.
The other standout performance here was from Mike Shawaryn, who appeared out of the bullpen for the first time this spring. Some see the righty shifting to this role at some point in 2019, though he’ll begin the year in Pawtucket’s rotation. On Monday, he tossed 2 1⁄3 innings, getting lifted after issuing a walk in his third inning of work. All told, Shawaryn didn’t allow a run and allowed a walk and two singles while striking out five.
Gorkys Hernández leads the offense
The Red Sox offense tallied 14 hits and nine runs on the day, though there weren’t a ton of huge performances. They did get a big swing early in the game from Gorkys Hernández, who was signed to a minor-league deal this winter to shore up the team’s outfield depth. The former Giant got a ball right down the heart of the plate in the top of the second and hit a laser over the wall in left field for a three-run shot. It was Hernández’s first homer of the spring. It’s unclear from what I can tell whether or not the outfielder has an opt-out at the end of camp, but the Red Sox should hope not as he’s a solid depth piece who can hit a bit and play all three outfield spots.
Hernández had the only home run for the Red Sox, but with 14 hits clearly some other guys had big games. Rafael Devers continued his red-hot spring training with a two-hit game. He is now hitting .571 this spring with a 1.428 OPS. Tate Matheny also continued to impress with a two-hit game of his own as well as some flashy defense in center field. Matheny was a late addition to the lineup after Bryce Brentz was scratched. Chad De La Guerra and Danny Mars contributed the other multi-hit games on Monday.
- Denyi Reyes is having a rough spring after being added to the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 Draft this past winter. The organization’s minor-league pitcher of the year in 2018 allowed two runs on a pair of doubles and a single in two innings on Monday and has now allowed five runs in five innings of work this spring with only one strikeout. There is some concern over how his lack of stuff will play against more advanced hitting, and this spring hasn’t been a great indication.
- J.D. Martinez went hitless on Monday and is still looking for his first hit of the spring. Everybody panic.
- Bobby Dalbec came in for the second half of the game and went 1-2 with a double, upping his spring OPS to .973.
- In his fifth game of the spring, Christian Vázquez got his first hit of 2019. He was 1-3 with a single and a strikeout.