Greetings from Binghamton, New York! The Sea Dogs wrap-up a 7-game road swing tonight at 6:35 PM. Portland is looking to end a 6-game losing streak and a 7-game road losing streak. RHP Ty Buttrey seeks his first Double-A win.
In Sea Dogs land, there’s so much talk about the great team of 2005 and the record-setting 2014 club, featuring Mookie Betts. I’ve been following the 2012 Sea Dogs alum – there’s some late bloomers that makes that team a sleeper, as one of the better clubs in team history.
A look back at some of the players from ’12 (BOLD – in the Majors)
Xander Bogaerts – starting SS with Boston
Jackie Bradley Jr – starting CF with Boston
Bryce Brentz – currently with Portland and on Boston’s 40-man roster
Dan Butler – catching in Triple-A Pawtucket
Derrik Gibson – playing everyday in Binghamton
Jeremy Hazelbaker – hitting .321, 5 HR, 21 RBI in 20 games with the Cardinals
Heiker Meneses – Triple-A Rochester
Reynaldo Rodriguez – Triple-A Rochester
Marquez Smith – Mexican League
Christian Vazquez – starting C with Boston
Shannon Wilkerson – Double-A Chattanooga
Drake Britton – Triple-A Toledo
Josh Fields – bullpen with Houston
Jeremy Kehrt – Triple-A Oklahoma City
Aaron Kurcz – Double-A Midland
Chris Martin – Japan
Stormy Pimentel – Triple-A Las Vegas
Ryan Pressly – bullpen Minnesota Twins
Anthony Ranaudo – Triple-A Round Rock
Jason Urquidez – Mexico
Allen Webster – Korea
Brandon Workman – Boston’s Disabled List
Steven Wright – Boston’s Rotation
The Hartford Yard Goats (7-3) used strong pitching to take game three of their series with the Sea Dogs (4-6), winning by a final score of 6-2 at Hadlock Field.
For the second straight game, the Yard Goats starting pitcher worked seven innings. Harrison Musgrave (W, 1-0) allowed just 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2.
Hartford took the early lead on a bases loaded walk by Raimel Tapia in the 2nd inning off from Ty Buttrey (L, 0-2). The Yard Goats added another run in the 4th, and later Pat Valaika made it a 3-0 lead with a solo home run in the 5th over the Maine Monster. Buttrey allowed 3 earned runs on 4 hits in 5.1 innings, walking 2 and striking out 5.
Tzui-Wei Lin (1-4, RBI) drove in the first Sea Dogs run in the 6th inning on a fielder’s choice and Jose Vinicio (0-3, RBI) followed on an RBI groundout to cut the deficit to 3-2. Hartford padded their lead in the 8th inning when Zach Osborne hit an RBI single off of Williams Jerez (2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), and scored two more times in the 9th off of Rob Wort (1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER) to insure the victory.
The teams conclude their four-game series tomorrow afternoon at Hadlock Field, first pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM. RHP Aaron Wilkerson (1-0, 0.84) makes his 2016 home debut for Portland against LHP Kyle Freeland (1-1, 2.45) for Hartford. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the Sea Dogs ticket office, by calling 879-9500, or online at seadogs.com.
UPCOMING OPPONENT PREVIEW: HARTFORD YARD GOATS by Mark Perlman Price
When the Sea Dogs open their home season this Thursday, it won’t just be their first game at Hadlock Field in 2016, it’ll also be their first ever game against the Hartford Yard Goats.
Formerly the New Britain Rock Cats, the Yard Goats are still the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, but are moving into a brand new stadium in Connecticut’s capital for 2016. The only problem is that the new stadium, Dunkin’ Donuts Park, is yet to be completed, which will force the Yard Goats to play the first 52 games in their franchise’s history on the road.
Outside of the new digs and hoopla around the new team name, the Yard Goats somewhat surprisingly carry a roster with some serious Rockies prospects. There were some doubts among baseball writers on whether the Rockies would be reluctant to assign some of their higher prospects to Hartford as a result of their formidable road schedule to begin the year, but to the organization’s credit, they assigned players where they were appropriately fitted for 2016.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
David Dahl, OF
The #2 prospect in the Rockies system according to Baseball America, Dahl made headlines during the 2015 season for reasons he had not hoped for. Dahl was involved in a serious on-field collision on May 28th at New Britain Stadium and suffered a Grade 4 laceration of his spleen (Grade 5 is the worst). Dahl was given the choice of letting the spleen heal and risking further injury to it in the future, or having a splenectomy to remove the spleen, which would allow him to heal quicker but could result in health complications throughout his life. He chose the latter.
Amazingly, Dahl was back on the field by July 6th playing rehab games in Short-Season Boise before returning to New Britain on July 17th for the remainder of the season and hitting .292 over that span.
Last year in a game at Hadlock Field on May 8th, Dahl set a career-high with 3 stolen bases. Among all Rockies farmhands, Baseball America considers Dahl the Best Hitter for Average, Best Athlete, and Best Defensive Outfielder. In four minor league seasons, Dahl has hit .309/.345/.497 with 29 HR and 144 RBI in 275 G, with 84 2B, 22 3B, and 57 SB.
Fun Fact: Dahl was the 10th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Other notable players selected in the 1st round in 2012: Carlos Correa (1st), Byron Buxton (2nd), Addison Russell (11th), Gavin Cecchini (12th), Lucas Giolito (16th), Michael Wacha (19th), Marcos Stroman (22nd), Deven Marrero (24th), and Brian Johnson (31st).
A 2nd round pick in the 2013 Draft, Ryan McMahon is rated by Baseball America as the #5 prospect in the Rockies system and was a non-roster invitee to Rockies spring training this season. A two-sport star in high school, McMahon signed with the Rockies for $1,327,600 over accepting a football scholarship at USC. He was a mid and postseason All-Star in the South Atlantic League in 2014 and again in the California League in 2015, when he led the league with 43 doubles. In his minor league career, he’s hit .297/372/.524 with 47 HR and 229 RBI in 317 games.
Fun Fact: McMahon attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, alma mater to several other professional athletes including: Matt Barkley (former USC QB), Colt Brennan (former NFL QB), Matt Leinart (2004 Heisman Trophy winner at USC and NFL QB), Danny Espinosa (Washington Nationals 2nd baseman), Mike Hessman (all-time Minor League Baseball home run king), Bobby Meachem (former Trenton Thunder manager), Sergio Santos (Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher), and Matt Treanor (former LA Dodgers catcher).
Despite being listed as just 6-foot-2, 160 pounds, Tapia has been a fixture among Rockies prospects for the past three seasons, being ranked by Baseball America as the Rockies’ #10 prospect in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The 22-year-old Dominican started in right field for the World Team in the 2015 Futures Game and went 2-for-3, and has been a postseason All-Star and MiLB.com Organization All-Star in each of the past three seasons, as well as Pioneer League MVP in 2013. He was signed as an international free agent at the age of 16 for $175,000 in 2010, and made his US debut at age 19 in 2013 after spending two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. In three seasons since his US debut, Tapia has hit .314/.363/.443 with 101 2B, 20 3B, 29 HR, 260 RBI, and 97 SB in 449 career games.
Fun Fact: In August 2013, Tapia set a club-record 29-game hitting streak for rookie-level Grand Junction, falling just three games short of the Pioneer League record of 32 set back in 2006 by Chris Valaika, whose brother Pat is a teammate of Tapia’s on the Yard Goats.
AND ABOUT THAT NAME…A Yard Goat comes from old railroad slang as a term for an engine that switches a train to get it ready for another locomotive. Hartford selected the name after holding a “Name the Team” contest that drew close to 6,000 submissions. Team officials picked Yard Goats over Hedgehogs, Praying Mantis, River Hogs, and Whirlybirds.
RHP Aaron Wilkerson is coming off a career-high 11 K’s on Opening Night (April 7) at Reading…Tonight, Wilkerson makes his first career start against the Trenton Thunder. I’ll be with you all night starting at 6:40 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the tunein app. Tonight’s game is available on MILB.TV.
Notes for today:
SOX AND YANKS IN DOUBLE-A: Portland and Trenton continue their 3-game series on Tuesday night at Arm & Hammer Park in the state’s capital city…The Sea Dogs need back-to-back wins in this series to clinch a winning roadtrip – they split the first 4 games of the trip in Reading, PA…RHP Aaron Wilkerson beat the Fightins on Opening Night, recording a career-high 11 K’s in Portland’s 3-1 win…Wilkerson has not allowed a homer in his last 128.2 IP.
NICE RALLY BACK: The Sea Dogs scored three times in the eighth inning to cut the Trenton lead to 4-3, but the Thunder added a two-out run in the eighth, and held on for a 5-3 win in the series opener…Henry Ramos and Cole Sturgeon each tripled in Portland’s eighth inning off Matt Tracy…Ty Buttrey took the loss in his Double-A debut, surrendering three runs and four hits over 4.1 IP…Matt Wotherspoon earned the win in relief for Trenton and Mark Montgomery worked around a lead-off walk in the ninth for his second save.
AGAINST THE OPPONENT: Portland and Trenton play 6 series this year, totaling 19 games (9 in New Jersey and 10 in Maine)…Last season; the Thunder won 13 of 20 from the Sea Dogs, including eight of 10 at Arm & Hammer Park.
WITTE CONTINUES TO ROCK: INF Jantzen Witte was hitless last night, but reached base with a walk in the first inning…Witte knocked in Portland’s first run with a ground out in the eighth…The former standout at TCU has reached base safely in all five games, with an RBI in 4 of 5.
MCCARTHY DEBUTS: RHP Mike McCarthy was received from the Lowell roster prior to last night’s game and worked 3.2 innings on five hits and two runs…To make room for McCarthy, RHP Heri Quevedo was assigned to Lowell.
NOW IN PORTLAND: The Sea Dogs home opener is Thursday night against the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies affiliate)…Portland was scheduled to play in Hartford on April 21-24, but those games have been moved to Maine, due to Dunkin Donuts Park not finished construction.
INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Portland has six of the Top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system as ranked by Baseball America: Wendell Rijo (#15), Ty Buttrey (#18), Williams Jerez (#19), Teddy Stankiewicz (#20), Kevin McAvoy (#21) and Luis Ysla (#25). SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION: Follow the Sea Dogs on Twitter: @PortlandSeaDogs or @seadogsradio…Connect on Facebook, Instagram Snapchat and Vine…Media requests to Chris Cameron at 207-874-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PART 3: The Sea Dogs and Reading Fightin Phils play game three of their opening series of the season on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium…RHP Kevin McAvoy, the #21 rated prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America, makes his Double-A debut…McAvoy spent all of the last season with High-A Salem.
HE DID IT AGAIN, BUT ‘DOGS FALL: 3B Jantzen Witte homered for the second straight night and finished 3-for-4, 2 RBI, but Reading captured an 8-3 win…CF Angelo Mora went 3-for-4, HR, 3 runs scored and reached base four times…C Jorge Alfaro had 4 hits and 2 RBI…Ben Lively tossed six innings for the win and Justin Haley took the loss, yielding 2 runs over 2 IP.
AGAINST THE OPPONENT: Portland and Reading play 6 series this year, totaling 20 games (11 in Pennsylvania and 9 in Maine)…Last season, the Fightins won 13 of 21 from the Sea Dogs, hitting .268 against Portland…The first series at Hadlock Field is April 29-May 1st.
IT’S MILLER TIME: SS Mike Miller went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 runs scored on Friday night…Miller has back-to-back multi-hit games to start the season.
INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Portland has six of the Top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system as ranked by Baseball America: Wendell Rijo (#15), Ty Buttrey (#18), Williams Jerez (#19), Teddy Stankiewicz (#20), Kevin McAvoy (#21) and Luis Ysla (#25). · The roster features 14 players originally drafted by the Red Sox, 12 players who were signed as free agents (international or minor league free agent) and one acquired by trade.· 23 of the 27 players spent the 2015 season playing in the Red Sox system…Mitch Atkins (Lamigo Monkeys – Chinese Professional League) and Rainel Rosario (Hiroshima – Japan) played overseas…Rob Wort pitched for the Sioux City Explorers (Independent League) and Ali Solis split between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.· 17 of 28 players appeared in at least one game with Portland in 2015…8 players are set to make their Double-A debut…Ysla was acquired from San Francisco in exchange for Alejandro De Aza…The first trade my Dave Dombrowski.· Portland’s roster features two players with Major Leaguer experience: Atkins and Solis. SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION: Follow the Sea Dogs on Twitter: @PortlandSeaDogs or @seadogsradio…Connect on Facebook, Instagram Snapchat and Vine…Media requests to Chris Cameron at 207-874-9300 or email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
All kinds of @ down in FL for Spring Training! Best boat name in the game
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.