May 12, 2013

On Baseball: Portland wise to beware of former Sea Dogs

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BOSTON - At least three former Sea Dogs are still in the Eastern League and one, Tommy Hottovy, will likely be facing his old team this week.

Hottovy, 31, is relieving for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Hottovy pitched in parts of five seasons for the Sea Dogs, moving from starter to reliever.

In 2011, Hottovy ascended from Portland to Pawtucket to Boston. He was sent back down to Pawtucket that year. After the season he signed with the Kansas City Royals, and pitched in both the majors and Triple-A.

Kansas City traded Hottovy to Texas this past offseason. But when the Rangers took him off the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays claimed him on waivers. Eventually, Toronto also took him off its 40-man roster and Hottovy signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays.

Assigned to New Hampshire, Hottovy has appeared in 12 games through Thursday. He's pitching mostly scoreless outings, along with a few rough ones, giving him a 6.60 ERA early in the season.

CALEB CLAY WAS another pitcher to leave the Red Sox as a minor league free agent. Clay, 25, signed with the Nationals after the 2012 season and is with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.

Clay, once a sandwich-round draft pick out of high school, was eventually moved to the bullpen by the Red Sox. He never advanced past the Sea Dogs.

With the Senators, Clay is again a starter and shining. Through Thursday he was 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA in six starts.

STOLMY PIMENTEL is starting for the Altoona Curve after the Red Sox traded him to Pittsburgh in the offseason in the Joel Hanrahan deal. Pimentel, 23, is 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA, and that's after a tough start Thursday (six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings).

CHRIS BALCOM-MILLER is still with the Red Sox organization but had been stranded in Fort Myers, Fla., until last week. Balcom-Miller, 24, was working his way back to health in extended spring training after being shut down with back problems. He was finally cleared to leave and arrived at advanced Class A Salem.

Balcom-Miller will eventually be in Portland. He came to Hadlock Field in the middle of 2011 as a starter. Last year, after 12 starts, Balcom-Miller and his sinking fastball converted to the bullpen. He had a 3.62 ERA in 14 relief appearances.

KYLE KAMINSKA began the season in the Sea Dogs rotation but had a 9.00 ERA after four starts. He was sent to Salem where he gave up six runs in 12 1/3 innings.

After those two starts in Salem, Kaminska, 25, decided to retire. Drafted out of high school in 2007 by the Marlins, Kaminska was in his seventh pro season. He came to the Red Sox this past offseason from Pittsburgh in a trade for pitcher Zach Stewart.

THE SEA DOGS have been in New England since May 3. They finish their series in New Britain on Sunday. After taking Monday off, they play three games in Manchester, N.H., before starting a seven-game homestand Friday.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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