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Red Sox Minor Lines: Bryan Mata’s 2019 starts well

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But not a ton else stands out.

Pawtucket G1 L 3-6

Rusney Castillo, RF: 1-3

Gorkys Hernández, CF: 0-3, 1 R

Michael Chavis, 3B: 0-3, 1 K

Sam Travis, LF: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB

Josh Ockimey, 1B; 0-3, 1 K

Bryce Brentz, DH: 0-3, 2 K

Tony Renda, 2B: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Sandy León, C: 0-3

Chandler Shepherd: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K (86 pitches)

Travis Lakins: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (20 pitches)

Pawtucket G2 L 3-4

Rusney Castillo, DH: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Gorkys Hernández, CF: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K

Michael Chavis, 3B: 0-4, 3 K, 1 E

Sam Travis, 1B: 0-3

Bryce Brentz, LF: 0-3, 2 K

Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (19 pitches)

It was a rough doubleheader for Pawtucket on Saturday after they failed to get their game on Friday in. Michael Chavis was a combined 0-7 in the two games with four strikeouts overall and he made an error at the hot corner to boot. Gorkys Hernández did come through with a home run in the second game. On the pitching side, Travis Lakins is one of the most intriguing young arms in the upper minors and Jenrry Mejia emerged as a legitimately exciting arm in spring. Both struggled in relief on Saturday.

Portland L 1-8

C.J. Chatham, DH: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 K

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

Tanner Houck: 4 IP, 11 H, 7 H, 3 BB, 3 K (87 pitches)

Zach Schellenger: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K (27 pitches)

Yeesh. Rough day at the plate for the two legitimate prospects up in Portland, though that’ll happen and they did at least draw three walks between them. The pitching was the highlight, or lowlight if you prefer. Houck was hit all over the field on Saturday in his Double-A debut, failing to pick up where he left off to finish out 2018. One start is obviously no reason to get overly upset, but his confidence was likely shaken a bit. Schellenger, meanwhile, was a potential sleeper to make a major-league impact this year but his first two appearances out of Portland’s bullpen have been brutal.

Salem G1 W 2-1

Jarren Duran, CF: 1-3, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 2-3, 1 2B

Pedro Castellanos, DH: 0-3, 1 RBI

Bryan Mata: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K (76 pitches)

Salem G2 L 1-2

Jarren Duran, CF: 1-3

Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 0-3, 2 K

Michael Osinski, 3B: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Jhonathan Diaz: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K (45 pitches)

Joan Martinez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (17 pitches)

It was a day highlighted by pitching for this doubleheader down in Wilmington for both sides in a pair of 2-1 games. Bryan Mata got off to a good start as he repeats High-A, and most encouraging by far about his game was that he didn’t issue any walks. The righty issued over seven free passes per nine innings in 2018, so this is a huge step even in a single-game sample. He’s going to be one of the top players to watch in the entire system this year and could see a bounce back in his ranking status as soon as midyear.

Greenville L 5-6

Cole Brannen, CF: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB

Triston Casas, DH: 0-3, 1 BB, 3 K

It’s been a tough start to the year for both of the guys listed here, both of whom are at different points of their career. Combined they are 1-23 (Casas has the one hit) with three walks. Brannen was someone I was starting to come around on in terms of potential for a bounce-back year, but I will likely lost patience rather quickly given how poorly he’s done ever since joining the organization. Casas, meanwhile, will obviously have a ton of leash as last year’s first round pick. Contact has been his big issue thus far with six strikeouts in half of his plate appearances. Of course, it’s only a 12-PA sample size.

Player of the Day: This was a pretty rough day on the farm for the Red Sox, with a few players having solid first or second ends of doubleheaders but not both. So, I’ll give this one to Bryan Mata getting off on the right foot as he tries to make quick work of High-A this time around and make his way up to Portland.