As with most of Red Sox Nation, I spent yesterday celebrating “Buchholz Day” for hopefully the last time. The time has come for the ten year MLB vet to move on. The good news is the Red Sox minor leagues are not all bats, as has been widely assumed. This week’s farm report is a preview of what is coming from some of the arms we should expect to one day see in Fenway.
Triple A Pawtucket Eduardo Rodriguez looks ready to return to the majors after his rehab start on Wednesday. He allowed just four hits in seven innings of work which included seven strike outs.
PawSox’s Roenis Elias had another stellar outing with eight strikeouts. He only allowed three hits in 7.1 innings. He has now had 21 strikeouts and two wins in his last two outings. Manager Kevin Boles said:
“His mound presence has improved these past two outings. He has more confidence in his fastball and his arm slot has been consistent.”
William Cuevas had another solid outing this week while allowing just one run on four hits in six innings. It is his ninth quality start in his last 11 Triple-A outings. He lowered his ERA to 1.97 over his last five starts. For all the concern over his one poor major league appearance, it really is too bad he hasn’t been given a second chance yet, as he is out-performing some of the higher ranked pitching prospects in the system (i.e. Owens and Johnson)
Double A Portland So far this year, Aaron Wilkerson has been the ace for the Sea Dogs with the team’s best ERA and leading the staff with 48 strikeouts. His 21 scoreless inning streak came to end this week. He actually looked human this week. giving up three runs but was still respectable, allowing just six hits and two walks in his five innings of work. He now has a 2-1 record with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in nine games between both Pawtucket and Portland this season.
22 year old Teddy Stankiewicz had his seven quality start despite taking the loss. He went six innings allowing just five hits and four walks. He is now 1-3 this season with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
High A Salem 21-year-old right-hander Travis Lakins had a good start this week, getting the win. He went six innings, giving up one run on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. After a solid April he had struggled earlier in May so it was good to see him getting a better outing this week.
Trey Ball had a late start to the season, but is showing off his 2013 first round pick status. He went six innings this week with two hits, three walks and four strikeouts in a no decision. He is now 2-0 this season in five games with a 1.86 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP.
Low A Greenville This season Anderson Espinoza has become the closest thing to a must watch minor league pitcher in the Red Sox System. After a few tough starts for Espinoza giving up too many pitches, he showed some growth this week. He made it to the sixth inning for the first time in his career giving up just two hits with no walks. With only 67 pitches this outing , he was working mostly inside to the batters. After the game, pitching coach Walter Miranda said
The way he was pitching inside and away, it was all very efficient…Today was special. With that low pitch count, he earned the opportunity to pitch those six innings. It was something he told me after the game. ‘Wow, I was able to go six.’ .
Fellow 18 year old, Roniel Raudes also worked six scoreless innings this week. The Nicaraguan right hander struck out eight hitters while allowing only three hits with no walks. He now has a 5-1 record this season and a 2.61 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He is quietly becoming just as must watch as Espinoza. Manager Darren Fenster said
“He just throws strikes. He’s not a stuff guy, so to speak, like Anderson is. Anderson’s going to stick out because of his arm. Roniel has some pitchability that’s beyond his years right now. His fastball is an upper-80s fastball, but he can locate it very, very well. Throws three pitches for strikes and works at a good pace, keeps his defense engaged and doesn’t walk people.”
Dont overlook Raudes.
There are also some other arms in system that will be making their first game appearances next month as the Lowell Spinners in the NY-Penn League and the Red Sox Gulf Coast league team begin play.
The “Call to Arms” has been sounded, and may we never celebrate “Buchholz Day” again.