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Minor Lines 4/23/23: Sikes, You Thought!

Worcester dropped both games of a double-header and Greenville looked dull, but Portland and Salem had some promising performances.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Worcester: L, 4-5 (Game 1)

A day Worcester would like to forget actually started with a memorable inning, even if it was no match for Boston’s mammoth top of the eighth yesterday. Four runs is still nothing to sneeze at, especially with a David Hamilton lead-off homer. Goodrum drove Dalbec in. Palka’s double play yielded a Wilyer Abreu run, and Greg Allen’s single made it 4-0. A great start to back up Brandon Walter!

Too bad they’d get one hit for the remainder of the game, (courtesy of Abreu), and Walter would give up five runs (though only two earned.) As a result, the seven-inning contest ended 5-4.

Worcester: L, 3-9 (Game 2)

This game was also never in too much doubt, and saw the WooSox drop to 8-12. Bryan Mata had a tumultuous start, allowing 4 runs in just 2 1/3, and I’m questioning exactly what his ceiling is. Abreu erased his earlier multiple-hit performance by striking out twice in this one (though he did draw a walk and score.) Ryan Fitzgerald went 2-for-3 to bring his average over the .300 line, and he’s looking like a pretty viable option for a fringe 26-man roster spot, as is Jorge Alfaro. The WooSox trotted out the low-leverage options for this one; Mata, Norwith Gudino, Joe Jacques, and Chase Shugart all put up statlines that looked less than sharp (okay, Jacques’ wasn’t that bad...) The pitching staff allowed a hit from every single hitter in the IronPigs (Phillies AAA) lineup today, and I’m left wondering who exactly would be called up in the event of too many injuries to the Major League squad. Let’s not jinx it.

Portland: W, 6-1

After an impressive start to the season, Sterling Sharp finally had the bullpen come through on Halloween at Hadlock Day for him to preserve a win! His stat line was underwhelming on the surface; in six innings he only struck out three and walked four batters, but he only allowed the one run and four hits in total. On the batting side, Edwin Diaz hit a home run with two outs in the third to open up the scoring, and Philip Sikes had another good game, going 3-for-4 with a walk in that lead-off spot. Either this guy is really good on Sundays and Wednesdays specifically, or the Red Sox organization may really have something here.

Greenville: L, 1-4

The Drive may have had the worst performance of any affiliate Sunday. They mustered just one run on two hits (a home run from Max Ferguson and a single from Blaze Jordan), and committed two defensive errors. Any time you can’t get anything going to your own detriment as an entire team, it doesn’t matter how good your pitching is. And, in Isaac Coffey’s defense, six innings of work allowing two runs could have been a lot worse. Just blame those atrocious bats.

Salem: W, 10-1

To round the minor lines out today on a good note, man, Salem looked good! Miguel Bleis, an outfielder of note in the minor-league system, went 2-for-5 (though he did strike out twice) and Juan Chacon, another player making a good impression early, went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz had a passable performance on the mound to secure his first win of the year. Thanks to a 5-inning, 1 run, 4 strikeout, 2 walk outing, his ERA sits at a 1.08... which I’d say is a pretty good thing for the 19-year-old. Again, it’s worth stating we won’t see any of these guys (save for maybe Bleis) until 2026 at the earliest, but it’s still fun to dream!

Have a happy Monday, everyone!