“I’ve been in baseball over 30 years and I’ve never seen a play like that.” said Sea Dogs pitching coach Bob Kipper after a freak double play that sealed Portland’s 2-1 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats Wednesday afternoon. A hard hit ground ball deflected off 3B Kolbrin Vitek’s glove directly to SS Nick Natoli, who made the quick flip to 2B Heiker Meneses and his throw to first base was a strike to end the game.
Portland’s offense came from one swing. Catcher Christian Vazquez launched a two-run homer in the second inning to straight-away left field.
The story of the contest was Anthony Ranaudo. The New Jersey native lit up the radar gun, touching 98 on his fastball. Ranaudo retired all 13 batters faced, fanning the side in first and third innings. “It wasn’t necessarily the stuff – it was execution.” said Kipper. “The stuff was there, but he (Ranaudo) consistently kept his fastball down in the zone, which helped his curveball and change-up.”
Miguel Celestino, Manny Rivera and Nefi Ogando all pitched in relief for Portland. The Sea Dogs break camp on Sunday afternoon, so the rosters could possibly be announced on Monday.
Sea Dogs Box Score with a special guest
Wilkerson CF 1-for-3 (Bunt-single)
Bogaerts SS 0-for-3
Shaw DH 0-for-3
Almanzar 1B 1-for-2, BB, SB, RS
Vitek 3B 1-for-3
Vazquez C 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, BB
Meneses 2B 1-for-3
Bermudez RF 0-for-2
Natoli SS 0-for-2
Johnson LF 0-for-2
Jarrod Saltalamacchia wanted to get some extra at-bats in and hit four times for Portland. He batted second during innings 1, 3, 4 and 5 – going 0-for-4 and called out on strikes twice…I’m not just saying this but the pitches he was called out on were out of the strike zone.
Earlier today Daniel Bard was assigned to Portland…Sox Pitching Coach Juan Nieves: “This is not a (simple) demotion. We want him to understand that this is a process.” quote courtesy of Brian McPherson.
Today is my last day in Ft. Myers, and just the way the schedule works, I’ll be able to watch the Sea Dogs at 1 PM and the Red Sox at 7:05. I’m hoping to have video footage of John Farrell announcing the final roster.
Thanks to Robert Ford, the voice of the Houston Astros for passing this information to me earlier. Former Sea Dog Josh Fields has made the Astros. Fields was not protected by the Red Sox last season and claimed by Houston in the MLB Phase of the Rule 5 draft. If Fields did not make the Opening Day roster, he would have returned to Boston. Also, Houston could have kept him longer if he was placed on the disabled list – something similar to what Boston did with OF Adam Stern a few years ago.
With final roster cuts expected to be announced later today – Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Pressly could join Fields in the Major Leagues…All three played in Portland last season.
I’ll have updates throughout the afternoon as the Sea Dogs battle the Rock Cats in exhibition action…Anthony Ranaudo is expected to start for Portland.
- Tickets are available for Opening Day (April 4) vs. Trenton on seadogs.com
- Former Sea Dog Stolmy Pimentel had a great camp with the Pirates and will start the season in Double-A Altoona.
- Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich will make a guest appearance at Hadlock Field on May 8th.
- Former Sox lefty Erik Bedard has won a rotation spot with the Houston Astros…Bedard was traded to Boston in a 3-team trade that involved former Sea Dogs Chih-Hsien Chiang, Tim Federowicz and Stephen Fife…Former Harrisburg Senator Brad Peacock is also in the Astros’ rotation – he was recently traded for former Sea Dog Jed Lowrie.
I’ll have more later!
Check out all the photos from Spring Training 2013 on our Facebook Page
The Sea Dogs made the 10-minute trip to Lee County in Ft. Myers to play the New Britain Rock Cats on Wednesday afternoon. The style of exhibition games in the minors are far different than the regular season, as today’s contest finished in a 1-1 tie. Portland scored the tying-run in the seventh inning on an RBI ground out by Matty Johnson.
Terry Doyle, who was optioned to Pawtucket earlier this morning, made the start for the Sea Dogs. Doyle was just getting work in the Double-A game, he’ll be part of Pawtucket’s staff. His line was: 4 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 3 SO.
Keith Couch worked five scoreless innings of relief on two hits and two strikeouts. Couch could be part of Portland’s rotation.
Bogaerts SS 1-for-4…roped a double off the chain-link fence in right-center field
Almanzar DH 2-for-3…double to right field
Shaw 1B 1-for-4…infield single
Bermudez RF 1-fo-3…pulled a double to left
Sanchez 0-for-2, 2 K
Hissey CF 1-for-3…BB, infield single
Gibson 2B 2-for-4…2 singles
Natoli 3B 0-for-2…walk and a sac-bunt
Escobar C 0-for-2
Johnson 0-for-3…BB, RBI groundout
Former Sea Dogs update
- I had a chance to chat with Brock Huntzinger today…pitched two innings in Pawtucket’s game.
- Ryan Lavarnway was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this morning and blasted a monster homer in the exhibition tilt.
- Jon Hee says Keoni DeRenne has the best name in franchise history.
- Jon Lester will start Opening Day for the third straight year.
- I will be dining with former Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler tonight…not sure if this matters to anyone…ha ha.
The Sea Dogs and Rock Cats meet at JetBlue Park on Thursday afternoon at 1 PM…I’ll be covering that game and Boston’s night contest against the Twins.
Good morning from Ft. Myers where the temps are back in the 70’s. You’ll hear no complaining from me, but yesterday the locals were very upsets with 62 as the high for the day.
This afternoon the Sea Dogs and Pawtucket Red Sox make the 10-minute commute to Lee County to battle the Twins affiliates. Righty Keith Couch is expected to start for Portland, and could crack the ‘Dogs 5-man rotation. Last year, Couch went 11-9, 3.46 ERA in 28 games/22 starts with High-A Salem.
Possible Opening Day lineup for Portland: C – Christian Vazquez, 1B – Travis Shaw, 2B – Heiker Meneses, 3B – Kolbrin Vitek, SS – Xander Bogaerts, LF – Peter Hissey, CF – Ronald Bermudez, RF – Shannon Wilkerson, DH – Michael Almanzar.
Yesterday – Brandon Jacobs and Keury De La Cruz played in the Salem games…That still doesn’t mean they can’t start the year somewhere else.
Player to keep an eye on…Shannon Wilkerson, OF. Last year he was called up to Portland due to injuries in Portland’s outfield. Despite both being from Georgia, Wilkerson reminds me a lot of former Sea Dog Josh Reddick…Both have that rugged style of play – throwback as one would say. In addition to having great speed and an above average arm, Wilkerson can play all three outfield spots. I like how he handles himself on and off the field. He’s a great teammate. Keep your eye on him this season.
- Article on former Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler
- Former Sea Dog Ryan Lavarnway optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket earlier today
- Manager John Farrell expects to have his 25-man roster set by the end of Thursday’s game – the Sox are at home versus the Twins at 7:05 PM.
- Former Sea Dog Jon Lester was named the Opening Day starter…4 of the 5 in the Sox rotation are former Sea Dogs – Lester, Buchholz, Dempster and Doubront.
- We should know the fate of Jackie Bradley Jr. by 11:00 PM tomorrow night.
Sea Dogs Itinerary upcoming
Sunday, March 31
Players & coaches flying from Fort Myers scheduled to arrive.
Monday, April 1
Players & coaches driving from Fort Myers scheduled to arrive.
No Media Availability
Tuesday, April 2
9:00-11:00 AM: Team Workout at USM (Media is welcome to shoot the workout but players are unavailable for interviews)
Wednesday, April 3
Time TBA- Team Workout at Hadlock Field (field conditions permitting)
3:00-4:00 PM: Media Day Sea Dogs Clubhouse
Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles, coaches, players, and front office staff will be available for interviews and photos in the Sea Dogs clubhouse. Media is asked to enter the clubhouse through the doors facing Fitzpatrick Stadium. Media may pick-up full season credentials at this time.
4:00 PM: Team Meeting- Clubhouse closed to Media
5:30 PM: Welcome Dinner
Thursday, April 4
4:00 PM Gates top Hadlock Field Open
6:00 PM Trenton Thunder (Yankees) @ Portland Sea Dogs
The Portland Sea Dogs scored three runs in the seventh inning to secure a 5-3 win over the Montgomery Biscuits Tuesday afternoon in Ft. Myers, Florida. Matt Barnes hurled five scoreless innings on 2 hits and 4 K’s. Barnes could head north to Portland when the teams are finalized later this week.
With John Lackey starting the Triple-A game, Chris Hernandez got his work in with Portland. The former Sea Dog pitched four innings, yielding one run. The Sea Dogs could have a speedy outfield in 2013 if today’s lineup is any indication of this season. “We have three centerfielders out here.” said Shannon Wilkerson. Early in the game, Ronald Bermudez made an outstanding catch in CF.John Lackey vs
#Rays AAA: 5.1 IP, 26 BF, 7 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 7 K, 101 pitches, 54 strikes per
Portland’s BoxscoreWilkerson RF 3-for-3 (3B, bunt 1B) Johnson RF 1-for-1, RBIVitek DH 0-for-4Bogaerts SS 0-for-4, RBI Gibson SS 0-for-1Shaw DH 2-for-4, 2BAlmanzar 1B 1-for-4Vazquez C 1-for-2 Escobar C 0-for-2Meneses 2B 2-for-4Hissey LF 1-for-3, RBIBermudez CF 2-for-4, RBINatoli 3B 1-for-4