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Red Sox Minor Lines: Chris Sale’s rehab begins

While Kutter Crawford and Tyreque Reed continue their surprisingly hot runs.

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Worcester L 3-11

Marcus Wilson, RF: 1-4, 1 R, 3 K

Yairo Muñoz, 3B: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K

Franchy Cordero, LF: 0-4, 3 K

Connor Wong, C: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K

Jeter Downs, SS: 0-4, 1 R, 3 K

Jonathan Araúz, 2B: 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 K

Kevin McCarthy (SP; L): 2.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 3 K (60 pitches)

Seth Blair: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (39 pitches)

This was just a terrible game all-around for Worcester, who fell behind 7-0 after three innings and the game was just about over from there. Presumably, it would have been Tanner Houck’s turn to start and they went with a bullpen game instead. But I really want to focus on Jeter Downs, whose season has been a major disappointment. He’s been able to hide in the Jarren Duran shadow for most of the year, but with Duran up in the majors now there is nowhere to hide. After this latest 0-fer, Downs is now sitting with a .649 OPS and a strikeout rate over 30 percent. With Connor Wong also struggling — he has a .459 OPS, though he also missed a bunch of time with injury — and Alex Verdugo hitting a major slump, it is not a great stretch for the players in the Mookie deal.

Portland W 3-2

Jeisson Rosario, CF: 0-2, 3 BB, 1 R

Pedro Castellanos, LF: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 K

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

Devlin Granberg, RF: 0-4, 2 K

Hudson Potts, DH: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K

Kutter Crawford (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K (87 pitches)

Durbin Feltman (W): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K (18 pitches)

Crawford is on one right now, as I believe is the scientifically-accepted terminology. The righty was our most recent Pitcher of the Week in the system, and he followed it up with a performance that could be worthy again next week. It’s been a huge bounce-back season for him after missing half of 2019 with Tommy John, and he’s not only proving he deserves more chances in the rotation, but perhaps more chances in Worcester’s rotation. With Houck now up in the majors, there is a spot open. Crawford missed a big chunk of June on the COVID list, but since coming back he’s made four starts, pitching to a 3.15 ERA with 30 strikeouts and only one (1!) walk over 20 innings of work. On offense, it’s also nice to see Potts leave the yard. He’s had trouble getting on base since coming back from the injured list, but every now and again he’s showing the power is still in there somewhere.

Kutter Crawford
Kelly O’Connor

Greenville W 13-0

Christian Koss, SS: 3-6, 3 R, 1 K

Cameron Cannon, 2B: 2-5, 2 2B, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Tyreque Reed, 1B: 3-3, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 R, 5 RBI, 1 CS

Tyler Dearden, LF: 2-6, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Kole Cottam, DH: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K

Jaxx Groshans, C: 3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI

Brian Van Belle (SP; W): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (80 pitches)

This was a total blowout for Greenville, with the Drive really only pulling away in those last few innings. And on offense, we obviously have to start with Reed. The first baseman has been having a huge year after getting plucked out of the Rangers system in the minor-league Rule 5 Draft. The slugger smashed his 14th homer of the year as well as doubles number seven and eight. He also continued to show massive patience, with his walk rate now up to 14 percent on the season. I’ve said it a few times already at this point, but it just makes sense to me to give him a chance up in Portland once Casas leaves for the Olympics with Team USA. As for Van Belle, it’s been a bit of an uneven year for him, but he’s started off July with two straight scoreless outings over 11 innings, striking out 12 and walking only one.

Salem L 4-10

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

Gilberto Jimenez, CF: 1-4, 1 CS

Matthew Lugo, SS: 0-3, 1 BB

Joe Davis, 1B: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI

Nick Decker, RF: 2-4, 1 R

Stephen Scott, LF: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 R

Ceddanne Rafaela, 3B: 1-4, 1 R

Shane Drohan (SP): 3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 3 K (62 pitches)

It was a tough game all around for Salem here, with Drohan in particular having an underwhelming night on the mound. The fifth rounder from the 2020 draft got off to a solid start this season, showing real flashes of a guy to be excited about in the lower levels of this system. He’s hit a slump of late, however, with his ERA climbing from 2.70 back on June 6 all the way up to 4.67 after this latest start. The biggest issue in this one was clearly control, though he only had one walk in his two previous July starts. Really, it’s just a matter of consistency, which isn’t too surprising for a guy who just recently started concentrating on baseball full-time. More positively, it was yet another day with a Joe Davis homer.

FCL W 12-3

Brainer Bonaci, SS: 0-4, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 K

Antoni Flores, 2B: 2-3, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 RBI

Eddinson Paulino, 2B: 2-2, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI

Blaze Jordan, 3B: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 3 RBI

Darel Belen, DH: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB

Danny Diaz, 1B: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 1 E

Eduardo Vaughan, CF: 1-3, 3 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB

Freddy Valdez, RF: 1-5, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 1 K

Jose Garcia, C: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1.RBI, 1 K

Chris Sale (SP): 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Seems like we should keep an eye on this Sale guy. The Red Sox ace made his first rehab appearance on Thursday, and it seems things went pretty well. There were a few hits scattered around, but he reportedly had his fastball sitting in the 93-94 range and was seemingly hitting the zone at a decent enough rate to go without a walk. Next stop is most likely going to be in Portland on Tuesday night, and yours truly happens to have some tickets. Should be neat. Offensively, it was a big day all around, but in particular it was nice to see multi-hit efforts from both Bonaci and Flores, who have each gotten off to rocky starts.

DSL Red W 7-3

Ahbram Liendo, 2B: 2-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 3 SB

Enderso Lira, C: 2-3, 2 BB, 1 K

Luis Ravelo, SS: 1-4, 2 R, 1 K, 1 E

Frank Astacio, 3B: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI

Francis Hernandez (SP): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

DSL Blue L 0-3 (F/7)

Juan Chacon, CF: 0-3

Jedixson Paez (SP): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K

Liendo was the clear offensive standout here, and was part of the newest signing class from this past winter. (Remember, the J2 period was pushed back to January from last July.) He received $450,000, tying him for the fourth-largest bonus in the class. Meanwhile, Paez was dominant on the mound in what ended up being a loss for his team due to a lack of offense. He was actually the other guy who received a $450,000 bonus in this year’s signing class, making it a strong day for those two, plus Lira, who received the second-highest bonus in the class.

Player of the Day: Tyreque Reed

Player of the Day Chart