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Great Opening Act

The Sea Dogs improved to 12-11 All-Time on Opening Day, defeating the Reading Fightin Phils 3-1 on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.

MILB Recap  – written by Alex Kraft

Aaron Wilkerson improved to 5-1 in 8 career Double-A starts. His 11 K’s last night was a career-high and the most ever by a Sea Dogs pitcher on Opening Day.

Big High Five to our neighbors, the Maine Red Claws. Unfortunately their season ended last night, losing to the Canton Charge in Portland. Maine had another great season under head coach Scott Morrison.

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Former Sea Dog Mookie Betts passes a High Five! He homered in Reading on Opening Night two years ago.

 

Monday’s News and Notes

 

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Carlos Febles begins his first year as manager in Portland.

Earlier today, the Sea Dogs announced Hadlock Field improvements for 2016…Portland opens up their 23rd season of Eastern League baseball on Thursday night at Reading. Ironically, Portland’s first game in team history was April 7, 1994 in Reading – Charles Johnson won the game with a 14th inning solo-homer.

Most of the players should make their way into town today and greeted with snow. A few players and coaches flew in last night. The official roster should be announced tomorrow.

Sea Dogs 2016 Promotional Schedule…For tickets, you can order online at seadogs.com

Red Sox Roster features 15 former Sea Dgos

A big thanks to my broadcast partner Mark Perlman-Price on this blog post about Eastern Leaguer’s on the Red Sox Roster:

This season, Mark for his second year as Assistant Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Sea Dogs.  He’ll join Mike Antonellis on the radio broadcasts for all Sea Dogs home games and select road games.  Previously, Mark served as Broadcast Assistant for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2014, and spent three seasons as the Radio Broadcaster for the New Bedford Bay Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League from 2011-13.  A graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in Journalism, Mark originally hails from Newton, Massachusetts.

Not Just Sea Dogs: Three Former Eastern Leaguers Make Red Sox Opening Day Roster

The Red Sox farm system has regularly been highlighted as one of the best in baseball lately – Baseball America has ranked the organization among the top 10 in its talent rankings in each of the past five years – so it’s no surprise that the Red Sox Opening Day roster is flooded with players who were developed within the system.

A whopping 15 members of the Red Sox 25-man roster previously played for the Portland Sea Dogs, whether as a minor leaguer or on rehab assignment. Plus, another three former Sea Dogs are beginning the season on the major league disabled list.

There are, however, three members of the Red Sox Opening Day roster who played in the Eastern League, but not with the Sea Dogs.

Brock Holt

The Red Sox Opening Day left fielder this year, Holt worked his way up through the minor leagues in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system. Over two stints with the Altoona Curve in 2011 and 2012, Holt hit .302 with 54 2B, 15 3B, 3 HR, and 83 RBI in 254 combined games. He was named an Eastern League mid-season All-Star in both 2011 and 2012 and a postseason All-Star in 2012, when he led the league with a .322 average and was the fifth toughest player to strikeout in the league (8.47 PA/SO). In his Eastern League career, Holt played three games at Hadlock Field as a member of the Curve from July 28-30, 2011, and went a combined 3-for-11 with a double, RBI, and run scored. He was traded to the Red Sox in 2012 along with Joel Hanrahan for Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimental, Ivan De Jesus, and Jerry Sands.

Koji Uehara

As a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 2010, Uehara was placed on the disabled list to begin the season with a left hamstring strain. He was assigned to the Bowie Baysox for a rehab assignment in late April of that season and appeared in two games (both against the Erie SeaWolves). Uehara allowed no runs on 1 hit in 2.0 IP, while striking out 1 and walking 1. Uehara signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in October of 2012, and has since been named an American League All-Star in 2014 and most importantly, closed out the World Series-clinching victory for the Red Sox over the Cardinals at Fenway Park in 2013.

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Travis Shaw is the Opening Day 3B, not Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

The Panda came over to the Red Sox from the Giants with a remarkable resume – including three World Series championships in five years. Back in 2008 as a Giants farmhand, Sandoval rocketed through their system. He began the season in High-A San Jose and played 68 games there before being promoted to Double-A Connecticut of the Eastern League, where he played 44 games. Sandoval made his Double-A debut against the Sea Dogs in Norwich, CT.  The Giants then decided to call him up directly to the majors, skipping Triple-A entirely. Sandoval hit .345 (50-for-154) in his first 41 games for the Giants and was also named the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year. In the middle of the 2008 season, it just so happened that Sandoval came through Hadlock Field with Connecticut at the same time a particular Red Sox designated hitter was playing for the Sea Dogs on rehab assignment: David Ortiz. While the Portland fans packed Hadlock Field to watch Big Papi, Sandoval ended up stealing the show, posting a season-high 6 RBI in an 18-6 win on July 22nd, 2008, when he went 3-for-7 with a double and a home run.

 

Welcome Back Sea Dogs on April 5

April 7th is close, the Sea Dogs will open up the 2016 season in Reading against Philadelphia’s Double-A affiliate. On April 5th, the Sea Dogs Welcome Back Dinner takes place at the Portland Expo. The Dinner benefits Opportunity Alliance and is a great way to meet the players and staff up close.

Sea Dogs Headlines
Dion Lewis coming to town
Food Service Hiring
Add Schedule to your calendar

Former Sea Dog David Murphy was released earlier today by the Red Sox…Speaking of release, we’re getting a lot of questions about the 2016 Sea Dogs roster. Expect that to be released next week.

Mother Nature strikes on Monday

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Sign outside of Hadlock Field! #thinkspring

Despite snow this morning in Maine, the Sea Dogs home opener is 24 days away, and their 2016 opener is 17 days from now. Portland begins the season with a 7-game roadtrip at Reading and Trenton. I know the snow gets us baseball fans down, but no worries, we’ll have baseball before you know it.

Red Sox and Cardinals are on ESPN and MLB.TV – warm thoughts on this snowy Monday. Red Sox lineup features many former Sea Dogs: Betts RF; Holt 2B; Bogaerts SS; Ramirez 1B; Shaw 3B; Sandoval DH; Castillo LF; Bradley CF; Vazquez C; Buchholz P

Portland’s offices are open today and wouldn’t this be a great day to buy tickets? Opening series against Hartford is available at seadogs.com. A reminder, the Sea Dogs gained a few extra home games against Hartford, due to their ballpark not being ready for the month of April.

Great Reading Links
Kevin Thomas on who we might see in Portland
Baseball Riches by Brian McPherson
David Price intrasquad game Sunday
Pawtucket extends protective nets
David Ortiz on bat flippers
Rusney Castillo trying to emerge as LF

Photo of the Day
Caseyy  @Caseyy_5
All kinds of @PortlandSeaDogs down in FL for Spring Training! Best boat name in the game

CeAoGOoW8AADxdR-2

 

 

Red Sox make moves, ‘Dogs alumni

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I retweeted Boston’s lineup this morning – all nine in Boston’s lineup today vs. Minnesota played in Portland. The Red Sox are playing a split-squad game on Friday, as a group will travel to Tampa’s complex. Ortiz didn’t come through Portland on his way to the Majors, but did an MLB Rehab Assignment with Portland on July 21-23, 2008. In fact, Pablo Sandoval was catching for the Connecticut Defenders in Big Papi’s Maine debut.  But, that all changed at 11:55 AM as Jackie Bradley Jr. was scratched with forearm stiffness. Andrew Benintendi is making the start in Jackie’s place.

UPDATED 3/18 vs. MIN: Betts RF, Pedroia 2B, Ortiz DH, Bogaerts SS, Ramirez 1B, Shaw 3B, Murphy LF, Benintendi CF, Vazquez C, Porcello RHP.

Red Sox roster moves today: INF Marco Hernandez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket…RHP Kyle Martin reassigned to minor league camp. Hernandez and Martin are both in Portland last year. According to Peter Abraham, Hernandez will get work at third base and centerfield. Red Sox now have 46 players in camp: 34 from 40-man roster and 12 non-roster invitees.

Pawtucket broadcasters Will Flemming and Josh Maurer have the play-by-play of today’s Red Sox game on MLB.com. Here’s there morning report.

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Top Prospect Andrew Benintendi plays in his first MLB Game this afternoon.

Slugger Says Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

CdwzUtdW0AAAmzfThe Red Sox wore green uniforms in their exhibition game against Baltimore and so did Slugger the Sea Dog. In fact, the Sea Dogs front office changed changed their logos to green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

If you’re headed down to Ft. Myers, hopefully you’ll meet Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa. Geoff is there to greet the staff and players and go over and needs they have for 2016. Pawtucket broadcasters Will Flemming and Josh Maurer are broadcasting today and tomorrow’s Red Sox game on MLB.com.

Great Reading Links for Thursday
Jen McCaffrey on Kevin Boles coaching in Australia
Brian MacPherson on Rusney Castillo
Alex Speier on Sox rotation
Kevin Thomas with a feature on Sam Travis

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Is he the future? We’ll find out if he reaches Portland in 2016

Bon Voyage! Pictures from camp

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High Five if you’re ready for the season!

I’m leaving for Maine in a few minutes, but I wanted to check in one more time from Ft. Myers. This year’s Spring Training coverage was a blast. The opportunity to call a big league game was an amazing start to the trip. I normally venture down here during minor league games, but I had a chance to see what the minor leaguers do for their spring training.

The entire Red Sox minor league system opens up their exhibition schedule tomorrow, taking on the Tampa Bay Rays minor league teams.

There’s always a buzz in the air for Sea Dogs baseball. Fans love the opportunity to come out to Hadlock Field to see the boys of summer. This year, I feel even a bigger buzz with the potential of Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada making their way to Maine. The general consensus is the two will start in High-A Salem. I’m always a wait and see guy! You just never know what can happen the final week of camp.

Social Media: You can follow the Portland Sea Dogs on the following platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Snap Chat. There’s more social media platforms that will be arriving in the future.

Daniel Bard worked a perfect ninth in yesterday’s game against the Red Sox. Bard is trying to make the Pirates and overcome a very difficult end to his Red Sox career. The righty lost his control after being converted to a starter. Former Sea Dog T.J. Large works for the Pirates minor league system and encourage Bard to try out. If Daniel makes it back to the Majors, this will be a special moment in baseball. A friend reaching out to a friend. I love that story.

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Beautiful Monday at jetBlue Park for Sox and Pirates

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The voice of the Red Sox Joe Castiglione hosting a Q & A with former Sea Dogs Mookie Betts and Travis Shaw. Manager John Farrell and Torey Lovullo were big hits.

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Andrew Benintendi has 54 games under his professional career, but Red Sox nation knows who he is. 

Monday Report from Fenway South

 

Greetings from sunny Ft.Myers! I thought in honor of Pi Day, David Ortiz should have worn 314. Boston’s lineup for today featured 8 of 9 former Sea Dogs, with Pablo Sandoval a former Eastern Leaguer (Connecticut Defenders): Kevin Boles brought out this lineup card on Monday against the Pirates: Betts 9, Pedroia 4, Ortiz DH, Bogaerts 6, Ramirez 3, Sandoval 5, Castillo 7, Bradley Jr. 8, Vazquez 2, Kelly RHP

Monday’s minor league schedule: On-field drills from 8:30-10:00 AM. Batting practice until 11 and intra-squad games until 1 PM. Minor League Spring Training Games begin on Wednesday, the Sea Dogs and PawSox host Tampa’s AAA and AA clubs. Salem, Greenville and Lowell travel to Tampa’s complex.

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Billy McMillan (left) with new minor league coach Nate Spears

Portland’s 2016 Minor League Spring Training Schedule:
March 16: vs. Montgomery
March 17: @ Bowie
March 18: @ Chattanooga
March 19: vs. Chattanooga
March 20: Camp Day
March 21: vs. Chattanooga
March 22: @ Bowie
March 23: vs. Montgomery
March 24: @ Bowie
March 25: vs. Montgomery
March 26: @ Chattanooga
March 27: Camp Day
March 28: @ Montgomery
March 29: vs. Bowie
March 30: @ Montgomery
March 31: vs. Bowie
April 1: vs. Chattanooga
April 2: @ Chattanooga
April 3: Break Camp

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Wally beat me in a staring contest

The Red Sox should announce the full minor league rosters on April 3 or 4. Make sure to check seadogs.com for the full roster.

Articles to check out
Pete Abraham and Fifa 16
Rob Bradford on Daniel Bard
Brian McPherson comparing Bradley Jr. to Shaw
Alex Speier with interesting piece by Bill James

Great to see Daniel Bard on the mound for the Pirates. Bard got the save in the Pirates win over Boston, working a perfect ninth. Here’s the full boxscore for today.

Greetings from the Top of the Monster

Hope you’re enjoying the blogs back in Maine! I see temps were near 60s today. The weather has been absolutely beautiful in Ft. Myers. The Red Sox were at Tampa today and the Red Sox minor leaguers had meetings. jetBlue Park at Fenway South was a bit quiet.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Ft. Myers. I will attend minor league workouts in the morning and take in the Red Sox/Pirates game at 1 PM. I’m hoping to get more interviews and video for the blog.

Great tweet by the Portland Sea Dogs

Portland Sea Dogs
  @PortlandSeaDogs
Congrats to the @maineredclaws for clinching a second straight playoff appearance. #ourfriendlyneighbors.
-The Red Claws are the D-League affiliate of the Boston Celtics and play in the Portland Expo, next door to Hadlock Field.

Work from the Beat Writers
Tim Britton – Article 1 , Article 2
Sea Dogs Beat Writer Kevin Thomas on Mike McCarthy
Nick Cafardo – Sunday Baseball Notes
Rick Porcello struggles against Rays

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Backfields at jetBlue Park

 

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Pressbox has the scorecard from Buchholz’s no-hitter. Look at the starting outfield: Kielty, Crisp and Moss

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Tim Neverett (pictured left) with Joe Castiglione 

 

Report from Fenway South (Day 4)

Greeting from Ft. Myers! Hope you enjoy my video intros. Every year I’m down here, I think to experiment with different ideas to bring better coverage. The Portland Sea Dogs and the entire Red Sox minor leaguers, worked out on the backfields at jetBlue Park at Fenway South.

Had a great time sitting down with new Red Sox Radio Broadcaster Tim Everett before today’s game. Tim is a New Hampshire native is was previous one of the voices of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Today was filled in the broadcast booths as NESN carried the game – Tom Caron and Jerry Remy had the call. It’s always great seeing TC.

 

One of the highlights of my day was seeing former Sea Dog Mike Brenly. Mike is entering his first full season with the Red Sox. He left Portland last year to assume the bullpen catcher’s job. As we were talking, Marlins Manager Don Mattingly walked by us. Very cool moment. My full interview with Mike is below.

There were plenty of hugs pre-game, as Craig Breslow made the trip for the Marlins. Breslow was a great teammate and loved by so many members of the Red Sox Organization.  A few years back, he did a MLB Rehab stint with the Sea Dogs.

Some good reading from Boston Beat Writers
Hanley at first base
Rob Bradford – David Price and youth of the game

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Bonds and Mattingly during Marlins Batting Practice

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