Sunday, March 9, 2014
Xander Bogaerts' debut for Triple-A Pawtucket was rained out Thursday. Back here in Portland, life went on.
While the Sea Dogs will miss their star-in-the-making (see the short story), plenty of prospects are still delivering at Hadlock Field. Anthony Ranauldo proved that Thursday with his finest pro game to date: 7 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 13 K. See today's game story.
Bogaerts became the second player promoted to Pawtucket (following starter Brandon Workman).
Who is next? Three candidates come to mind:
Left-hander Drake Britton (5-5, 3.25) is in his second year on the 40-man roster. It seems the Red Sox have to move him up soon - to Pawtucket, with maybe a taste of the majors later this season (the way Boston is burning through pitchers because of doubleheaders and extra-inning games, Britton could be of use sooner than expected).
Ranaudo (7-1, 2.15) is not on the 40-man roster, but he will be before the end of the year. Ranaudo is eligible for the Rule V draft after the season (a process where non 40-man roster guys can he drafted by other teams). No way the Red Sox risk losing this arm. If Ranaudo keeps dominating in Double-A, Boston may be forced to move him up to Triple-A, even though the Pawtucket rotation is a crowded group.
Michael Almanzar, 22, showed a little extra motivation Thursday, going 3-for-3 with both RBI in a 2-0 win. Almanzar watched his friend Bogaert's move up and wants to follow. Signed as a 16-year-old, Almanzar had been an under-performer until last year. Now he seems to have "turned the switch." He is also eligible for the Rule V draft, so Boston needs to make some decisions concerning his future. Seeing how he does in Triple-A may help the process.
Who might be coming to Portland from advanced Class A Salem? Two names come to mind: third baseman Garin Cecchini (.351/1.001 OPS). He will be Rule V eligible next year. He is expected at Hadlock Field very soon. Left-handed pitcher Henry Owens (5-2, 2.95) will get here eventually.
In the majors, former Sea Dogs right-hander Alex Wilson got the loss for Boston in extra innings, but his performance was very promising. See Tim Britton's story in the Providence Journal.
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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