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Red Sox Minor Lines: Tate Matheny continues his unexpected power surge

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And Chris Murphy has a solid day on the mound.

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Worcester L 3-5

Jarren Duran, CF: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS

Marcus Wilson, RF: 3-4, 1 BB

Franchy Cordero, LF: 1-5, 3 K

Michael Chavis, 1B: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K

Jeter Downs, SS: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB

Yairo Muñoz, 3B: 2-4

Jonathan Araúz, 2B: 1-4, 1 RBI

Tanner Houck (SP): 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K (58 pitches)

John Schreiber: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K (35 pitches)

Austin Brice: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K (19 pitches)

Kaleb Ort (L): 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K (28 pitches)

There’s really not much left to say about Duran that hasn’t already been said, but he did hit yet another homer, his 13th on the season already. More interesting here, though, is the pitching. Houck isn’t pitching very deep into games right now, just two outings back from his injury, but it seems like the stuff is there at the very least. That could be good news for the Red Sox, who seemingly are staring down a major Garrett Richards problem. I don’t expect a move to come immediately, but it’s worth noting the two are lined up on the same day. As for Ort, this was a rare bad outing for him, and doesn’t really change the fact that he is an intriguing option for the Red Sox.

Portland G1 W 5-3

Jeisson Rosario, CF: 0-4, 1 K

Tate Matheny, RF: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB

Devlin Granberg, LF: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 SB

Hudson Potts, 3B: 1-2, 1 BB, 1 K

Ronaldo Hernández, C: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K

Grant Williams, 2B: 1-3, 1 R, 3 SB

Josh Winckowski (SP; W): 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 9 K (86 pitches)

Durbin Feltman (SV): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (21 pitches)

Portland G2 L 3-11

Jeisson Rosario, CF: 0-3, 1 BB, 3 K

Pedro Castellanos, LF: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Triston Casas, 1B: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 K

Hudson Potts, 3B: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 E

Tate Matheny, RF: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 1-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Enmanuel De Jesus (SP;L): 2.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 1 K (55 pitches)

Joan Martinez: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (33 pitches)

My best theory for what is happening with Matheny is something akin to Space Jam where he found a baseball containing the power of other baseball stars. That’s really the only way to explain this recent power surge. The typically light-hitting outfielder hit two more dingers in this doubleheader, giving him five of his six homers over the last five games in which he’s played, with five coming since June 8. He’s now already up to the third-highest total of his career, and is just two away from tying his previous career-high. We should also mention the start from Winckowski, who continues to put together a strong year on the mound.

Greenville L 5-6 (F/10)

Nick Sogard, 2B: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Christian Koss, SS: 0-4, 1 K

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 1-5, 1 R, 2 K, 1 E

Tyler Dearden, LF: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI

Kole Cottam, C: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Chris Murphy (L): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (81 pitches)

Brendan Cellucci: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

He took a loss here in this one, but Wednesday was a positive outing all in all for Murphy. The southpaw has been on a hot streak of late, and in his last two starts in particular he has put things together. If we go back to May 30, he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts, and over his last two he’s tossed a total of 11 23 innings with just two earned runs, five hits, no walks and 14 strikeouts. The improved control of late — he has one or zero walks in four straight starts — is particularly encouraging. He’s a name to keep an eye on for a potential promotion later this summer.

Salem L 4-5 (F/10)

Nick Yorke, 2B: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Gilberto Jimenez, CF: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

Matthew Lugo, SS: 0-5, 3 K, 2 E

Joe Davis, DH: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB

Nick Northcut, PH: 0-0, 1 BB

Jaxx Groshans, C: 2-3, 2 BB

Eduardo Lopez, RF: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 2 K

Ceddanne Rafaela, 3B: 0-5, 3 K

Bradley Blalock (SP): 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K (58 pitches)

Jorge Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (41 pitches)

Devon Roedahl: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (26 pitches)

There’s not a whole lot to dig in on with this game, but a few notes to make. One, this season is still a struggle for Lugo, to the point where it wouldn’t be totally surprising if he gets sent down to the complex once the GCL gets going just to try and get some positive momentum. He now has a .554 OPS to go with 12 errors in the field. Lopez hasn’t been up long enough to be talking like that, but his first handful of games in full-season ball have not gone well, with a .444 OPS. More positively, Groshans continues to excel, and it may be approaching time to think about giving him a chance against High-A pitching. On the mound, Roedahl doesn’t really stand out with his stuff but he’s been pounding the zone (21 of his 26 pitches were strikes in this outing) to the tune of a 1.57 ERA.


Player of the Day: Tate Matheny

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