Sunday, April 20, 2014
Geez, a guy spends 8 days in a tent and look what they do to the team he covers.
Three gone by trade and two others officially promoted/demoted today.
Pitcher Junichi Tazawa was promoted to Triple-A. If he continues his improvement, there is a chance the Red Sox could call him up in September.
Infielder Heiker Meneses, 20, who was called up from low Class A Greenville and played pretty good in Double-A (.265) has been sent to advanced Class A Salem.
Back on Portland's roster is knuckleball veteran Charlie Haeger, who gets the start tonight when the Sea Dogs begin their homestand at 7 p.m.
Also added to the roster is outfielder Ronald Bermudez, 23, who was bumped from Salem to Pawtucket early in the season and held his own (.261 avg).
As you already know, the three traded players are outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang, 23; catcher Tim Federowicz, 23; and pitcher Stephen Fife, 24; - in a deal that netted major league lefty Erik Bedard and minor league prospect right-hander Josh Field.
All three former Sea Dogs were having solid-to-superb years and their trade value may never be higher. They also may not have ever gotten a chance in the Red Sox system.
Chiang is in the midst of a breakout year (.340/1.050 OPS). But his average defensive ability would have limited him to left field at Fenway - a position already occupied through 2017 (Carl Crawford).
Federowicz's defense is considered major league ready now, and he is batting .275/.734, his best numbers since being in low Class A in 2009. But Boston has Jarrod Saltalamacchia looking like the everyday catcher for some time, with Jason Varitek as the back-up (year-to-year), and Ryan Lavarnway appearing ready for a September call-up.
Fife (11-4, 3.66) is a smart pitcher with a good combination of fastball, change and curve. But he is not a pitcher with so-called "stuff," like Kyle Weiland and Alex Wison, who project to be in Boston's bullpen someday. Fife could certainly develop into a major league starter, but it would be tough to crack the Red Sox rotation.
Fields, 25, has been added to the Sea Dogs roster. Considered "one of the better arms in the minors" by Baseball America, Fields is said to have "stuff" in the form of a plus fastball and curveball. He was Seattle's first-round pick in 2008, but has had control problems (74 BB's in 105 minor league innings).
With this blog, my vacation is official. The twitter (@ClearTheBases) is also back. I'll be checking in during the Sea Dogs game, while keeping an eye on the Red Sox (Bedard vs. Francisco Liriano, 7-9, 5.03).
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court
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