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Red Sox Minor Lines: Big days in the lower levels

Worcester, well, not so much.

Worcester L 5-18

Michael Chavis, 1B: 1-5, 2 K

Connor Wong, C: 0-3, 1 K

Franchy Cordero, LF: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K

Marcus Wilson, RF: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 K

Yairo Muñoz, 3B: 1-4, 1 K

Jonathan Araúz, 2B: 0-4, 2 K, 1 E

Michael Gettys, CF: 3-4, 2 R, 1 K, 1 SB

Jack López, SS: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

Josh Ockimey, DH: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Ryan Weber (SP; L): 3.2 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 2 BB, 2 K (70 pitches)

John Schreiber: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (39 pitches)

Kevin McCarthy: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (19 pitches)

Kaleb Ort: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches)

Well, yikes. This was just one of those downs out in Worcester, I suppose, with the pitching just wearing it for a day. I didn’t include Bobby Poyner’s line, but, uh, it wasn’t great. There really wasn’t too much of note happening on offense with the bottom of the lineup carrying the load. We should, however, note that Connor Wong returned from injury, playing in his first game since May 11. He had been dealing with a hamstring issue, and while he certainly didn’t have a great game it’s still nice to see him getting back on the field.

Portland L 5-6

Jeisson Rosario, CF: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 3 K

Pedro Castellanos, LF: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 K

Ronaldo Hernández, C: 0-4, 1 K

Tanner Nishioka, DH: 3-4, 1 K

Jeremy Rivera, 3B: 2-4, 1 R, 2 K

Andrew Politi (SP; L): 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 7 K (84 pitches)

This was one of those games where it’s a little tough to know just how rough of a night it was for Politi, who had really good strikeout and walk numbers but still got hit around. By the box score, it doesn’t appear it was simply weak contact hurting him either, as he allowed two homers plus a double in his time on the mound. Overall, it seems like it was just an uneven performance, which has been a norm for him this year. He’s up to a 6.15 ERA after this latest outing. On a more positive note, this was the second straight game with a homer for Castellanos, who is indeed starting to show some of that breakout in-game power from a couple of years ago can be real. He has four homers on the year after Wednesday’s three-run blast.

Greenville W 13-3

Cameron Cannon, DH: 0-6, 2 K

Christian Koss, SS: 2-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Tyler Esplin, CF: 1-3, 3 BB, 3 R, 1 K, 1 E

Tyreque Reed, 1B: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 K, 1 SB

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 2-2, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 4 R, 1 SB

Kole Cottam, C: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K

Tyler Dearden, LF: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 5 RBI, 1 K

Chase Shugart (SP; W): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K (83 pitches)

Alex Scherff: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (21 pitches)

We haven’t talked a whole lot about Howlett this season, but he was an on-base machine in this game and he’s somewhat quietly had a big year for Greenville. The third baseman was taken in the 2018 draft out of high school, and the team quickly discovered an issue with his vision that they fixed, and it helped lead to a big breakout that summer. The 2019 campaign was a bit rougher as they pushed him to full-season ball despite having just been drafted out of high school. That led to him being pushed back in the memory banks a bit, especially after last year’s lost season, but he’s back this year hitting .282 with an .810 OPS. Howlett doesn’t turn 22 until the end of the season and is holding his own in High-A, showing those who wrote him off after 2019 might have been a bit too hasty on that front.

Salem W 3-2 (F/11)

Gilberto Jimenez, RF/CF: 2-6, 1 R, 1 K, 1 CS

Matthew Lugo, SS: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K

Jaxx Groshans, DH: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K

Joe Davis, 1B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K

Nick Northcut, 3B: 0-5, 1 R, 3 K

Nick Yorke, 2B: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS

Ceddanne Rafaela, CF: 0-2, 1 K

Aldo Ramirez (SP): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (58 pitches)

Casey Cobb: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (40 pitches)

Devon Roedahl (S): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (10 pitches)

This Salem rotation entered the year as arguably the most interesting rotation in the system, and it was Ramirez leading the group. He had a bit of a tough first inning in a game that then got washed away by rain, but he’s recovered from that less-than-ideal start and is having a really impressive season. This was the best start of the year, but he’s really been getting it done every time out of late. The one thing missing is still length, but it’s understandable to keep innings down after a lost season, particularly in the lower levels. This five-inning start was his longest of the year. But in total, Ramirez has pitched to a 2.86 ERA over 22 innings, striking out 21 while walking five. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling in the system, and he’s still a few years away, but there’s a real chance Ramirez can develop into a major-league starter.

Player of the Day: Brandon Howlett

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