The unofficial first spring training game is in the books with the Red Sox coming out on top in their annual contest against Northeastern University with a final score of a 3-0. It was actually a little dicey for a while as the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. (It was a seven-inning game.) Of course, it has to be noted that the Red Sox didn’t send any regulars out there, and in fact only two players who appeared in the game are even on the 40-man roster. There’s not a whole lot to cover in this one, but a few notes!
Jeter Downs replaces C.J. Chatham
The biggest story of the game was probably at the shortstop position. Originally, C.J. Chatham had been slated to start but he ended up being a late scratch with right shoulder soreness. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but of course we’ll wait for more news on that one. Chatham likely isn’t a factor either way for the Opening Day roster, but any sort of significant time missed could potentially result in a delay to his eventual major-league debut.
Taking his spot in the lineup is Jeter Downs. He, of course, was one of the players coming from L.A. and is now arguably the top prospect in the system. At the very least, he is in the top two. Downs did get a hit in his first at bat, though it was of the infield variety with a ball to the left side. He made an error himself in the field as well.
That’s really it as far as anything to expand upon. A few other notes from the day:
- Connor Wong, the other prospect to come over from the Dodgers, got the start behind the plate. He struck out in his only plate appearance. He also caught two Northeastern players stealing.
- The Red Sox used seven pitchers over the seven innings, with each throwing one frame apiece. Eduardo Bazardo, who many (myself included) thought could be selected in the Rule 5 Draft this winter but was not, was the only one to throw a perfect frame. Also appearing were, in order: Daniel McGrath, Austin Brice, Robinson Leyer, Trevor Hildenberger, Denyi Reyes, and Adam Lau.
- Like I said, the Red Sox were held scoreless until the sixth. They used wildness from a college pitcher to their advantage, drawing three walks in that inning and getting a couple of RBI hits from Ryan Fitzgerald and Jantzen Witte to take the lead and eventually get the win.
- All six hits from the Red Sox in this game were single. I mentioned the infield single from Downs and the two hits in the sixth. Also getting hits were Marco Hernández, Jarren Duran, and John Andreoli.
The Red Sox are back in action tomorrow with their first Grapefruit League game against the Rays at 1:05 PM ET. It will be broadcast live on NESN.