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Minor Lines 6/11/23: Enmanuel Valdez Shows Up

In a sea of losses on the farm comes a big win for Worcester, with help via a big home run from a familiar face.

Enmanuel Valdez during Sunday afternoon’s game; picture by Dean Roussel.
Dean Roussel

Worcester: W, 5-2 (BOX SCORE)

Worcester, being the last line of defense before the big leagues, got a bunch of new and reunited faces the last couple of days, and one is paying dividends. Enmanuel Valdez, after being sent down, has home runs on two consecutive days. This one was a tape-measure shot estimated at 469 feet. Each home run this weekend put the WooSox ahead, and they never looked back. Nick Sogard also looks to be finding his footing in the leadoff spot. I know you all are sick of hearing that the Red Sox fumbled the Jorge Alfaro situation, so let me present to you: a Ronaldo Hernandez home run yesterday, three hits today, and some solid defensive play. Shane Drohan had his best AAA start yesterday, Brandon Walter finally got his first win of the season today in a solid performance... Hell, even Kaleb Ort pitched well in relief in this series! In fact, the bullpen today only allowed one hit in the final three innings, and Chris Murphy continued having success out of the pen (something to keep in mind, as he was strictly a starter before being called up and pitching well on Wednesday night...) Meanwhile Tyler Danish was on Rochester’s mound when Worcester added two more insurance runs in the ninth. The WooSox dropped the first contest in this series against the Red Wings (Nationals AAA) a team that, by the way, features Bill Mueller as player development staff, but won the next four and are all of a sudden within one game of .500.

A note on Valdez: while the organization is hoping for a Trevor Story return, there’s chatter that Pablo Reyes may not have much time left in Boston. How about Valdez as a short-term solution... even if he wasn’t all that great in the Majors? When he’s on, his swing is fearsome. True, he just may not be ready yet and facing Triple-A pitching may be more beneficial right now, but I’d rather have Valdez up than Reyes, so say what you will.

Bad news: Bobby Dalbec, 0-4, 3 K’s. Can’t be all positive!

Portland: W, 3-2 (BOX SCORE)

Portland’s bullpen (Ryan Fernandez, Luis Guerrero) was also masterful against the Rubber Ducks (Guardians AA) even after by Brian Van Belle got hit around but didn’t let much materialize. New arrival Tyler Dearden hit a home run for the Sea Dogs, and Nathan Hickey added a 2-run home run of his own to score Nico Kavadas. The scoring ended there, but Portland did not have to score anything else against the Sea Dogs. If you’re here for Marcelo Mayer’s stat line, he went 0-for-4 and is now hitting .154 with a .540 OPS in double-A. I still say, give it some time. Christian Koss may be on his way back down soon, but even so, Mayer will likely get most of the playing time.

Greenville: L, 4-5 (BOX SCORE)

Greenville did not get so lucky, as they blew a 4-1 lead to lose 5-4 to the Cyclones (Mets High-A.) Outfielder Miguel Ugueto recorded three hits, but the team as a whole struck out twelve times, and more importantly, couldn’t wake up after the sixth inning, when Angel Bastardo left after giving up one run and four hits, fanning seven and walking two. It’s gotta hurt him to not get the decision after playing pretty well, and it may hurt more that this isn’t the first instance of this on the season for him, but he keeps putting together solid starts after initially stumbling, and that’s all that matters... for now!

Salem: L, 2-4 (BOX SCORE)

Salem managed a game without committing a defensive error, which is pretty rare for them, but they also only managed four hits on the night. Meanwhile, Jedixson Paez (and the other pitchers) let Jean Ramirez the leadoff hitter for the Fireflies (Mets A) finish a home run shy of the cycle. As per usual, not much to say about this matchup besides a profound lack of bats.

Bad news: Miguel Bleis is out for the season. This is detrimentally unfortunate for a guy who was finding his stride and getting on base, especially a guy with as much upside as Bleis.

Florida Complex League: DAY OFF (L 5-10 SAT.)

Just a reminder that the FCL is underway, and rookies.... and Alek Manoah... are starting their journey towards the Majors! Not a great start to the season, but expect more updates from this league as the season goes on.