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Minor Lines 6/30/23: Rafaela Makes Triple-A Debut, Homers In Double-Header

Plus, a whole bunch of wins and continued success for Roman Anthony!

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Miss me yesterday? With Worcester and Portland being rained out Wednesday afternoon, I figured I’d give you a full day of action - plus a double header- today instead! Let’s get into it.

Worcester (Game 1): W, 5-2 (BOX SCORE)

I drove by the Buffalo ballpark 45 minutes before Game 1’s start time against the Bisons (Blue Jays AAA), so I’m kicking myself for not realizing yesterday was the double header. Ceddanne Rafaela’s debut didn’t go as planned for him, as he went hitless in the first of two games in Buffalo, but the bottom of the lineup served them well. Niko Goodrum got his eighth home run of the year, which is a decent number for a guy with some Major League service time and some versatility (hint? maybe?) The WooSox were also backed in this seven-inning game by a solid five-inning performance by Kyle Barroclaugh, who’s looked very promising in Triple-A, but who I still am not sure why they’re playing as a starter.

Worcester (Game 2): W, 4-2 (BOX SCORE)

Wouldn’t you know it, the WooSox swept the double-header in Buffalo! This was a bullpen game for Worcester, which is always good to win, and the guys did their job, only allowing the two runs in the seventh. Rafaela also managed his first Triple-A hit, a home run in the 5th inning, and Bobby Dalbec added his 19th in the 6th. Looking at the organizational depth, I think it’s pretty probable Dalbec gets moved at the deadline... he’s a big fish in a small pond in Triple-A and he’s been given enough time to improve in the Majors, and this team doesn’t really have a spot for him... much like Michael Chavis being moved to Pittsburgh a couple years back, there will be a team doing worse than us (yes there are some, shh!) in need of some experienced Major League help. This was a convincing win that seems closer than it probably really was.

Portland: W, 2-0 (BOX SCORE)

The Sea Dogs allowed six hits but completed a shutout of the Fisher Cats (Blue Jays AA.) The pitching performance outside of the save was bookended by a guy who got called up recently (Isaac Coffey) and a guy who got sent down recently (Taylor Broadway, the other piece of the Reese McGuire acquisition for Jake Diekman.) The bats weren’t all that good Thursday for Portland, as they struck out 14 times and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but they were good enough, thanks in large part to a home run by catcher Nathan Hickey. Portland was also the beneficiary of three fielding errors despite making two themselves. Sometimes good enough is all it takes!

Greenville: W, 6-1 (BOX SCORE)

Seriously... how good is Roman Anthony? Another multi-hit game, two RBIs by way of a two-out double, his monstrous OBP keeps improving... being driven in by a home run by Eddinson Paulino (his 6th) certainly helped matters as the Drive coasted to a 6-1 win against the Tourists (Astros High-A.) Greenville was aided by six strong innings by Bradley Blalock and a hitless final two innings by some low-leverage guys, which is always a great feeling!

Salem: L, 0-2 (BOX SCORE)

Salem couldn’t complete the clean sweep on the farm yesterday, but it wasn’t due to their pitching, who allowed only four hits on the game. Salem managed just three hits on the game - one by a pinch-hitter as they got shut out. This was a pitcher’s duel, and was defined by the Fredericksburg Nationals cashing in on their biggest opportunity of the game and the Red Sox being unable to. Where have I heard that before?

Apologies if anything is blurry or unreadable in this edition of Minor Lines... I’ve been fighting with hotel Wi-Fi most of the morning. Have a good Friday, everyone!