Monday, May 20, 2013
PORTLAND - Tthe arrival of Jackie Bradley to the Portland Sea Dogs brings to mind some of the previous outfield prospects the Red Sox have sent to Hadlock Field.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick and David Murphy come quickly to mind.
But don't forget about Brandon Moss.
Yeah, he's still around.
Three years after Moss floundered in his big chance in the majors, he is back and whacking the ball.
Moss, 28, was promoted to the Oakland A's on June 6, and won American League Player of the Week honors the following week -- batting .348 (8 for 23) with three doubles, five home runs and 10 RBI.
Through 14 games, Moss is batting .283 with seven home runs.
Moss, who was with the Sea Dogs in 2005-06, reached Boston in 2007. He was traded to Pittsburgh in 2008 and handed a starting job in 2009. But he batted .236 with seven home runs in 133 games.
He spent most of 2010 and 2011 in Triple-A, last year in the Phillies' organization. He signed a minor-league deal with Oakland before this season and began the year in Triple-A.
An outfielder nearly his whole pro career, Moss has been playing first base for the A's.
JOSH REDDICK, one of Moss' teammates, continues to shine with 17 home runs, tied for eighth in the American League. Reddick, who played for the Sea Dogs in 2008-09, has an outside chance to be named to the All-Star Game.
MARQUEZ SMTH hit .314 in Triple-A for the Cubs in 2010, and .278 last year with seven home runs in 78 games. But the Cubs let him go.
After stints in the Mexican League and independent Atlantic League, the Red Sox signed him last week and sent him to Portland. He already is flashing an impressive glove at third base.
Smith, 27, was drafted four times -- out of high school, junior college, and after his junior and senior seasons at Clemson University. The Cubs picked him in the eighth round in 2007 and signed him.
A year later, the Cubs drafted Ryan Flaherty of Portland.
"Great player and an all-around good guy," Smith said of Flaherty, who is now in the majors with Baltimore. "I'm proud of him. He definitely deserves it."
KOLBRIN VITEK'S INJURY is why Smith is here. Vitek has been on the disabled list since May 23 with what's called an "intercostal strain," or a pain in the back rib muscles. He has not begun to swing a bat.
"It's going to take a little bit of time," Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said.
IT ALWAYS FIGURED that Chris Balcom-Miller would end up in the bullpen. As a starter, he was not pitching deep into games, but he was effective in spurts with a sinking fastball that gets strikeouts and ground balls.
Balcom-Miller made the move to relieving on Tuesday, pitching the ninth inning against Harrisburg (allowing one hit and striking out two).
"There was a plan early on (to relieve) and I wanted to get a jump-start on it," Balcom-Miller said. "With my mentality, it might be better. I like to get after people."
Balcom-Miller, 23, has not relieved since 2008, his freshman year at West Valley Junior College in California.
"Played third base for eight innings, then went in there in the ninth and shut it out," he said.
THE NEW STARTER to replace Balcom-Miller is the flexible Chris Martin, who began the year in the rotation, moved back to the pen, and lately has been used for spot starts.
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