Sunday, December 8, 2013
Remember in spring training when the big question concerned the starting shortstop. Mike Aviles or Jose Iglesias?
Iglesias, the better fielder, did not get the job. He went 0-for-4 Tuesday night and is batting .219 for Pawtucket.
Aviles is working out for the Red Sox. After going 4-for-5 Tuesday with his third home run, he is batting .333. Since assuming the lead-off spot, in place of injured Jacoby Ellsbury, Aviles is batting .395 with a .425 on-base percentage.
Will Middlebrooks, by the way, did not hit a home run. He did manage a triple, going 1-for-2 to up his average to .375.
Pawtucket featured four relievers Tuesday who could be in Boston, some sooner than others.
Clayton Mortensen (2 IP, 3 K) was obtained from Colorado in the Marco Scutaro trade.
Alex Wilson (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 K) was just moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation; a move that has been speculated since Wilson pinched in Portland the previous two seasons.
Rich Hill (1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K) is finishing up his rehab assignment.
Mark Melancon (1 IP, 1 H, 3 K) is starting to figure out after his recent demotion.
The Sea Dogs could have used some good relief after taking a 6-1 lead for starter Billy Buckner (6 IP, 11 K). But Jeremy Kerht, who has put is some solid outings, gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning ... Oscar Tejeda (.286) went 3-for4 with his first HR this year.
A great pitching match-up was featured Tuesday in low Class A between two first-round picks from last June.
The Orioles' Dylan Bundy (pitching for Delmarva) came out of high school in Oklahoma and signed a major league contract with Baltimore, which included a $4-million signing bonus.
The Red Sox' Matt Barnes (pitching for Greenville) hails from the University of Connecticut and signed a minor league contract which included a $1.5-million bonus.
Neither pitcher has allowed a run this year. Bundy hasn't allowed a hit and has only walked 1. Barnes has 34 strikeouts in 21 innings. Bundy has 21 strikeouts in 13 innings.
Not surprisingly, neither pitcher figured in the decision Tuesday. Bundy threw four perfect innings, striking out six. Barnes allowed 3 hits, 0 runs and 2 walks over five innings, striking out nine.
Should be fun to watch these future AL East rivals move through the minors.Tweet
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
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