Mark Wagner worked his way up the minor league ladder to AAA Pawtucket by the end of 2009. However, injuries limited Wagner to just 36 games with the PawSox in 2010. He was added to the 40-man roster after the 2008 season, but was outrighted to Pawtucket last month. Now he’s trying to work his way back. The 26 year old from California recently sat down with Salem broadcaster Evan Lepler.
RHP Alex Wilson was born in Saudi Arabia, played high school ball in West Virginia and then played in College at Winthrop and Texas A&M. Wilson also spent two summers with Falmouth in the Cape Cod League. The Red Sox grabbed him in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. Wilson is now in his third professional season and through 6 starts with Portland he’s 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA. Recently he sat down with Sea Dogs broadcaster Mike Antonellis.
Kolbrin Vitek was selected by the Red Sox in the 1st round of the 2010 draft. (20th overall) After his junior season at Ball State Vitek began his professional career with the Lowell Spinners before finishing the season with Greenville after a late August promotion. This year the third baseman is off to very good start with A+ Salem. Through 26 games Vitek is hitting .327/.402/.480/.881 with 5 doubles and 5 triples. Salem broadcaster Evan Lepler recently sat down with Vitek.
Third Baseman Ryan Middlebrooks is now in his fourth season with the Red Sox organization. Middlebrooks was a 5th round draft pick out of high school in Texas back in 2007. Middlebrooks hit 12 HR for single A Salem in 2010 and he’s off to a very good start for the Sea Dogs this season: 19 games; .347/.390/.653/1.042 & 4 HR. Also, his best friend is Patriots draft pick Ryan Mallett. Middlebrooks recently sat down with Sea Dogs broadcaster Mike Antonellis.
Ryan Kalish is out with a left shoulder injury which he suffered diving for a ball last week. There have been conflicting reports about the possible treatment. Tonight he sat down with Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster Dan Hoard and spoke candidly about the shoulder.
Lefthander Tommy Hottovy was a 4th round pick of the Red Sox out of Wichita State in 2004. He started earlier in his minor league career. Then injuries slowed him down – he pitched in only two games in 2008. When Hottovy returned in 2009 he worked exclusively out of the bullpen. Sea Dogs radio voice Mike Antonellis tells us that this year he’s changed his arm angle and that by dropping down some he’s developed a good sweeping breaking ball. In 3 games so far this season Hottovy has allowed just a single run on five hits over eight innings while striking out eleven and walking only one. Mike recently sat down with the 29 year old lefty.
Red Sox fans may remember Dan Butler from his 9th inning home run in Houston in this year’s final exhibition game. He’s a 24 year old catcher from Arizona who signed with Boston as a non-drafted free agent in 2009. Butler played at the University of Arizona. After his senior year there he played in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2009. In 2010 he played in 61 games at A Greenville, 35 games at A+ Salem and 2 games for AAA Pawtucket. Combined he slashed .301/.411/.482/.893 with 7 HR and 30 doubles. Butler is back in Salem to start 2011, and he sat down with broadcaster Evan Lepler.
The Salem Red Sox are off to a 3-1 start in the Southern Division of the high A Carolina League. Bruce Crabbe is just beginning his first year as manager of Salem. He also managed the Lowell Spinners in the 2006 and 2010 seasons. Crabbe is now into his seventh season overall in the Red Sox organization. Thanks to Salem broadcaster Evan Lepler we have this conversation with the skipper.
The minor league season began last week. Red Sox AA affiliate Portland is off to a 2-3 start. (Better than 2-8 right!) This year’s roster features many interesting prospects for Sox fans to follow. Among them: 21 year old RHP Stolmy Pimentel, 21 year old 2B Oscar Tejeda as well as catching prospects Ryan Lavarnway and Tim Federowicz. For the latest from Portland we turn to broadcaster Mike Antonellis who sat down with Manager Kevin Boles.
Daniel Bard threw 32 pitches in a tough outing Friday. Four of the pitches came with the count full and the one that sticks out was the 3-2 slider to Mike Napoli for ball four. Conventional wisdom suggests that a guy with a fastball as good as Bard’s should stick with it in that spot. It should be noted that his slider is pretty good too.
In 2010 Bard threw 814 fastballs with a .606 OPS against. He threw 197 sliders with a .215 OPS against. A good case can be made that hitters struggle with the slider more because it’s setup by the plus fastball.
In the Napoli at bat Bard went fastball, slider, fastball, fastball, fastball and then the slider for ball four. For me the biggest problem wasn’t that Bard decided to go with the slider it was simply the execution, or lack there of. The pitch was no where near the strike zone, which made it way to easy for Napoli to lay off.
The other three 3-2 pitches were to Josh Hamilton, who was Bard’s final batter. Bard went change-up for ball three. Hamilton then fouled off two straight 3-2 fastballs before knocking Bard out of the game with an rbi double off an inside slider at the belt.