Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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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The Red Sox were swept by the Brewers and are now 2-4, compared to the 4-2 mark that the 2013 club began with.
Is it that big a deal? Boston is still hoping to use its depth – and pitching – to get through. The column.
Will Middlebrooks has a Grade 1 strain in his right calf muscle that has landed him on the disabled list.
The DL stint could end in 15 days, although John Farrell allowed that it could be longer. (Shane Victorino is also on the DL with a Grade 1 hamstring strain).
Jonathan Herrera will start at third base today, like he did Saturday when Middlebrooks was pulled from the lineup.
To replace Middlebrooks on the roster, Boston recalled utility infielder Brock Holt from Pawtucket. Holt, 25, was acquired from Pittsburgh last year. He has 50 games of major league experience.
Of course, when I write a column before Saturday's Red Sox game, about the solid Red Sox starters, Clay Buchholz goes out and gives up six runs.
Also mentioned Will Middlebrook's steady start ... and he goes out with a calf strain (MRI results pending).
Still, the Red Sox look in good shape, despite a 2-3 record.
Pawtucket won on a fine start by Ruddy De La Rosa (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K). If De La Rosa commands consistently, he will be valuable to Boston ... Garin Cecchini went 3-for-3 and is off to a .556 start (something to think about if Boston needs a third baseman).
When we write about baseball prospects, sometimes the hype gets a little heavy. Afterall, they are still minor league players.
But can you say enough about Henry Owens. We wrote about Owens last year, comparing him to previous Sea Dogs lefthanders, Jon Lester and Felix Doubront.
Owens looked strong when he ended last year in Portland. To start 2014, all he did was throw a no-hitter Thursday night in Reading, Penn., in a game abbreviated to six sinnings by rain. The Sea Dogs won 5-0.
He wrote about Mookie Betts last month. All he did was lead off the game with a home run and go 4-for-4.
The Portland Sea dogs open their season tonight - weather pending - in Reading, PA. Several players on the Sea Dogs played last year for Salem - the OTHER team in the Red Sox organization to win a championship. We have a look at the 2014 Dogs.
The Red Sox won with home runs from David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. In another at-bat, Napoli came to bat after Ortiz was intentionally walked to load the bases. Napoli singled in two runs. Jason Mastrodonato looks at Boston's 1-2 punch in the 3-4 spots in the lineup.
Ortiz is so much more effective when there is another power bat in the lineup (see the Manny Ramirez years).
The Red Sox have been staying away from long-term contracts that they deem unwise. There is a reason why Boston did not re-sign Jonathan Papelbon. And the Phillies may discover that this season. In his first appearance Papelbon blew a 2-run lead in a Philadelphia loss to Texas.