Saturday night is alright for Baseball

Mickey Pena begins his first full se

Mickey Pena waasn’t in Greenville that long ago, he starts tonight for Portland.

LHP Mickey Pena and LHP Hoby Milner are both from Texas, both once drafted by the Washington Nationals, and face-off in Game 3 of the series on Saturday night.

Pre-Game begins at 5:45 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Portland Manager Billy McMillon

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Wilkerson 8, Shaw DH, Ramos 9, Swihart 2, Coyle 5, Welch 3, Gibson 6, Pena LHP

Reading lineup: Cartwright 4, Collier 8, Perkins 3, Dugan 9, Joesph 2, Valle DH, Alonso 5, Hewitt 7, Duran 6, Milner LHP

Game Notes

Notes for today…Full Game Notes

2-0, IT’S BEEN A WHILE:The Sea Dogs are 2-0 for the first time since 2008 when they started the season 4-0…Tonight is game three of a four game series in Reading, which concludes tomorrow afternoon, as RHP Mike Augliera makes his Double-A debut…Portland has now won six of their last eight games at First Energy Stadium…Tonight’s starter LHP Mikey Pena is making his first career start against Reading…LHP Hoby Milner will make his Double-A debut for Reading.

3-RUN SIXTH, COUCH SOLID: Portland snapped a 1-1 tie, scoring three times in the sixth inning to beat Reading 4-1 on Saturday…RHP Keith Couch tossed 5.2 innings on six hits and one unearned run to earn the win…RHP Noe Ramirez, RHP Miguel Celestino and RHP Jose Valdez closed out the game in relief…3B Sean Coyle finished 2-for-4 with a homer and 2 RBI…C Blake Swihart went 1-for-4 with a run-scoring single and 2B Mookie Betts had three hits and is 7-for-9 in the first 2 games.

MORE ON THE NO-NO: LHP Henry Owens’ no-hitter on Opening Night was the first as a Red Sox affiliate and the first complete-game no-hitter in franchise history…Owens pitched six innings, as the game was called after a two-hour rain delay…Marlins affiliated no-hitters: Brad Penny and Luis Arroyo combined for the first no-hitter in franchise history on August 8, 1999 against Trenton…Josh Beckett (7 IP), Aaron Scheffer (1) and Brandon Bowe (1) combined to no-hit the Binghamton Mets.

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Portland has six of the Top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system as ranked by Baseball America: Owens (#2), Swihart (#5), Betts (#7), Deven Marrero (#15), Travis Shaw (#26), and Coyle (#30). ·       The active roster includes 12 players who have previously played for the Sea Dogs and 17 players with previous Double-A experience. ·       15 players originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox.·       Portland’s roster features three players that are sons of former Major Leaguers: Mike Brenly (Bob), Bo Greenwell (Mike) and Shaw (Jeff). GREENWELL DEBUT: OF Bo Greenwell made his debut in the Red Sox system last night, going 1-for-4, making the start in left field…Ramirez and Celestino each earned holds…Valdez notched the save in his first game in the organization.

Sea Dogs and Fightins on a first Friday in Reading

This was made by a fan and sent to me...The background is my scorebook.

This was made by a fan and sent to me…The background is my scorebook.

Unreal start to the season – NO HITTER by Henry Owens…Here’s the complete game story

Great ring ceremony today at Fenway, former Sea Dogs Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Workman were on Portland’s Opening Day roster last season.

Pre-Game begins at 6:45 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Henry Owens

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Rivero DH, Ramos 9, Swihart 2, Coyle 5, Greenwell 7, Wilkerson 8, Couch RHP

Reading lineup: Cartwright 4, Collier 8, Perkins 7, Dugan 9, Joesph 2, Stassi 3, Tolbert 5, Serritella DH, Duran 6, Gonzalez LHP

Game Notes

Notes for today…Full Game Notes

OH HENRY, WHAT A NIGHT!LHP Henry Owens tossed a six-inning, rain-shortened no-hitter, leading the Sea Dogs to a 5-0 win at Reading on Opening Night…Owens retired the final 16 batters faced, fanned nine and issued both walks in the first inning…Reading had one man in scoring position and no balls were hit out of the infield…2B Mookie Betts led off the game with a solo-homer off losing pitcher LHP Jesse Biddle on a 3-2 pitch…Betts finished 4-for-4 with 3 runs scored…SS Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with 2 run-scoring doubles and C Blake Swihart had two hits, including an RBI triple on his 22nd birthday.

GRAND OPENING: The Sea Dogs are now 10-11 All-Time in season openers and have won six of their last eight games at First Energy Stadium…Ironically, Ryan Kalish led off the 2010 season in Reading with a solo-homer on a 3-2 pitch – same count as Betts’ homer last night.

MORE ON THE NO-NO: Owens’ no-hitter was the first as a Red Sox affiliate and the first complete-game no-hitter in franchise history…Marlins affiliated no-hitters: Brad Penny and Luis Arroyo combined for the first no-hitter in franchise history on August 8, 1999 against Trenton…Josh Beckett (7 IP), Aaron Scheffer (1) and Brandon Bowe (1) combined to no-hit the Binghamton Mets.

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Portland has six of the Top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system as ranked by Baseball America: Owens (#2), Swihart (#5), Betts (#7),Marrero (#15), Travis Shaw (#26), and Sean Coyle (#30).   The active roster includes 12 players who have previously played for the Sea Dogs and 17 players with previous Double-A experience. ·       15 players originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox.·       Portland’s roster features three players that are sons of former Major Leaguers: Brenly (Bob Brenly), Greenwell (Mike) and Travis Shaw (Jeff). WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER HENRY: RF Henry Ramos went 2-for-3 in his Double-A debut, picking up an RBI single in the first inning to plate LF Carlos Rivero (1-for-3, double)…3B Sean Coyle went 0-for-2 with a walk in his Sea Dogs debut. COACHING STAFF: Billy McMillon (1995) earned his 300th win as a minor league manager in his first game with the Sea Dogs…McMillon made history last night, becoming the first former Sea Dog to manage.

Congrats to Billy McMillon on his first win as Sea Dogs Manager and the 300th of his minor league career.

Congrats to Billy McMillon on his first win as Sea Dogs Manager and the 300th of his minor league career.

Opening Night from Baseball Town

The Sea Dogs open up their 21st season in the Eastern League, battling the Reading Fightin Phils from First Energy Stadium in Reading, Pa.

Pre-Game begins at 6:45 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Keith Couch

Look inside the Antonellis Broadcast Center.

Look inside the Antonellis Broadcast Center.

Welcome Back…My broadcast partner from 2012 Dan Acheson returns this season. Dan will join me for every home game.

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Rivero 7, Ramos 9, Swihart 2, Coyle 5, Welch DH, Wilkerson 8, Owens LHP

Reading lineup: Cartwright 4, Collier 8, Perkins 9, Dugan 9, Joesph 2, Hewitt DH, Alonso 5, Stassi 3, Duran 6, Biddle LHP

Game Notes

Notes for today…Full Game Notes

HEAVYWEIGHT MATCH-UP TO START: Boston and Philadelphia’s top pitching prospects faceoff in the 2014 opener at First Energy Stadium…LHP Henry Owens is making his seventh Double-A start and the 50th appearance of his professional career…Owens was named the 2013 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year, leading all minor league qualifiers in ERA (2.67) and batting average against (.177)…LHP Jesse Biddle, a native of Philly, went 5-14, 3.64 ERA in 27 starts with Reading last season…Biddle finished third in the Eastern League with 154 strikeouts and fanned Maikel Franco in the Future’s Game.

GRAND OPENING: The Sea Dogs are 9-11 All-Time in season openers…Last year they suffered a 13-5 loss to the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) on Opening Day at Hadlock Field…Reading swept the Sea Dogs in an Opening Day doubleheader in 2012 at First Energy Stadium…LHP Drake Britton and RHP Brandon Workman were Portland’s first 2 starters in 2013. INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Portland has six of the Top 30 prospects in the Red Sox system as ranked by Baseball America: Owens (#2), Blake Swihart (#5), Mookie Betts (#7), Deven Marrero (#15), Travis Shaw (#26), and Sean Coyle (#30).  ·       The active roster includes 12 players who have previously played for the Sea Dogs and 17 players with previous Double-A experience. ·       15 players originally drafted by the Red Sox and eight will be making their Double-A debut.·       Seven players will be making their Red Sox organizational debut: Michael Brenly, Bo Greenwell, Nate Reed, Carlos Rivero, Jose Valdez and Stefan Welch. ·       Portland’s roster features three players that are sons of former Major Leaguers: Brenly (Bob Brenly), Greenwell (Mike) and Travis Shaw (Jeff).

COACHING STAFF: Former Sea Dog Billy McMillon (1995) begins his first season as the team’s manager…McMillon is the first former player to manage the Sea Dogs and the 11th Manager in team history…Pitching coach Bob Kipper returns for his seventh season and former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman returns for his second season as the Hitting coach…Trainer Brandon Henry returns for his third season…he’ll be joined by Assistant Trainer Nicholas Kuchwara and Strength Coach Andrew Rasbury.

Long line around 4 to get in the park...and yes that's an ostrich

Long line around 4 to get in the park…and yes that’s an ostrich

Instant Replay and the Sea Dogs?

Thanks to Sea Dogs Assistant General Manager/Media Relations Director Chris Cameron for finding out this unique tie-in between Major League Baseball’s first 2 instant replay and the Portland Sea Dogs.

  • The first regular-season instant replay challenge in Major League Baseball history was upheld this past Monday in the Cubs-Pirates game. Former Sea Dogs Manager Rick Renteria challenged the call.
  • Braves manager and former Sea Dogs skipper Fredi Gonzalez was the first to win a challenge, getting a safe call on Ryan Braun reversed.

Instant Replay Story courtesy of USA Today

Renteria managed Portland in 2000-01, going a combined 148-135…Gonzalez led the ‘Dogs to a 79-63 mark in 1997.

I think this is why people will like Instant Replay.

I think this is why people will like Instant Replay.

 

Sea Dogs announce 2014 roster

Official Release from Portland Sea Dogs

2014 Portland Sea Dogs Roster

Portland, Maine- The Boston Red Sox have announced the 2014 Opening Day roster for the Double-A affiliate Portland Sea Dogs. The roster is highlighted by three of the Red Sox Top 10 prospects as ranked by Baseball AmericaHenry Owens (#2), Blake Swihart (#5) and Mookie Betts (#7). The Sea Dogs open their 21st season on Thursday, April 3rd at 7:05 PM against the Reading Fightin Phils in Reading, Pa. The home opener is set for Thursday, April 10th at 6:00 PM against the New Britain Rock Cats.

Henry Owens starts the season with Portland. He's ranked the Top Pitching Prospect in the system.

Henry Owens starts the season with Portland. He’s ranked the Top Pitching Prospect in the system.

In addition to the three top 10 prospects, the roster features six of Boston’s top 30 prospects according to Baseball America; with Deven Marrero (#15), Travis Shaw (# 26), and Sean Coyle (#30) rounding out the list.

The active roster includes 12 players who have previously played for the Sea Dogs and 17 players with previous Double-A experience.

The pitching staff is highlighted by the Red Sox top ranked pitching prospect; left-hander Henry Owens. Owens was the Red Sox 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year after producing an 11-6 record with a 2.67 ERA and 169 strikeouts between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. In six games with the Sea Dogs last season, Owens notched a 3-1 record with a 1.78 ERA. He tossed 19 1/3 consecutive no-hit innings with Salem in 2013. He held opponents to a .177 average last season, tops among all full-season minor league qualifiers and ranked second in the minors with 169 strikeouts.

Keith Couch (11-3, 3.47), who led the Sea Dogs in wins last season, returns to the Portland pitching staff in 2014. Three-time Carolina League Pitcher of the Week in 2013, Mike Augliera (9-6, 4.23) will make his Double-A debut with the Sea Dogs. Other notables on the pitching staff include fourth round pick Noe Ramirez and sixth round pick Mickey Pena.  Michael Olmsted returns to the Red Sox organization, signing as a minor league free agent in March. In 14 games with the Sea Dogs in 2012, Olmstead did not allow an earned run. Other free agent signings on the pitching staff include lefty Nate Reed and righty Jose Valdez. Valdez has 24 games of Major League experience with the Houston Astros.

The infield features four of the Red Sox top 30 prospects including first baseman Travis Shaw, second baseman Mookie Betts, shortstop Deven Marrero, and infielder Sean Coyle. Shaw tied for the Sea Dogs team high in home runs last season with 16. Betts was the Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 after hitting a combined .314 with 36 doubles, 15 home runs, and 65 RBI between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem.  Baseball America rates him as the “Best Athlete” in the Red Sox farm system. Marrero returns to Portland after appearing in 19 games for the Sea Dogs to conclude the 2013 season. The 2012 first round draft pick is rated by Baseball America as being the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Red Sox farm system and as having the “Best Infield Arm”. Coyle was named the MVP of the Carolina League Championship, hitting.417 in three games leading Salem to the Carolina League Championship. Rounding out the infield will be Derrik Gibson, who returns to Portland for his third season and free agent signings Carlos Rivero and Stefan Welch.

Behind the plate will be Blake SwihartMatt Spring, and Michael Brenly. Swihart enters the 2014 season as Boston’s fifth ranked prospect by Baseball America and the sixth ranked catching prospect in Minor League Baseball. He was honored as the Red Sox 2013 Minor League Defensive Player of the Year and the best defensive catcher in the Carolina League. In 103 games with High-A Salem in 2013 he hit .298 with 29 doubles and 42 RBI. Spring, an Eastern League All-Star in 2013, returns for a fourth season with the Sea Dogs. Brenly, the son of former Major League player and manager Bob Brenly, signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in January.

The outfield will consist of Bo GreenwellHenry Ramos, and Shannon Wilkerson. Wilkerson returns for his third season with Portland. Last season he led the club in stolen bases with 23. Greenwell is the son of former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell. He was signed as a minor league free agent in March, after spending the previous eight seasons in the Indians organization. Ramos will make his Double-A debut after spending the 2013 season at High-A Salem.

Three players will start the season on the disabled list; pitchers Aaron KurczPete Ruiz, and outfielderKeury De La Cruz.

The 2014 roster features 15 players originally drafted by the Red Sox.

Seven players will be making their Red Sox organization debuts; Bo Greenwell, Nate Reed, Jose Valdez, Michael Brenly, Carlos Rivero, and Stefan Welch.

Former Sea Dogs’ player Billy McMillon (1995) will begin his first season as Sea Dogs manager. He will be joined by pitching coach Bob Kipper who is back for his seventh season and Rich Gedman, the former Red Sox catcher, returns for his second season as the Sea Dogs hitting coach.

Tickets are available for Opening Day and all 2014 home games. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or online at http://www.seadogs.com. Book your nine inning vacation today!

JetBlue Park was busy today

Red Sox Pre-Game stretch.

Red Sox Pre-Game stretch.

One of the biggest stories the past two days was the moving truck department from JetBlue Park. I happened to see it leave as the minor league games finished up.

Speaking of the games, the Sea Dogs had a tough day, falling to New Britain 8-1 at JetBlue Park. Portland’s lone run was courtesy of a Henry Ramos – delivering an RBI single in the seventh, scoring Blake Swihart (1-for-4). Sean Coyle and Stefan Welch each doubled. Mickey Pena, Miguel Celestino, Noe Ramirez and Nate Reed all pitched for Portland.  Reed was signed as a minor league free-agent this off-season after spending last year with Lancaster of the Atlantic League.

Interesting on the New Britain side, as they featured three former Sea Dogs. Tony Thomas went 1-for-3, playing third base. Reynaldo Rodriguez added an RBI double and Daniel Turpen pitched an inning. Daniel Ortiz had three hits and 2 RBI for the Rock Cats, but prospect Kennys Vargas launched a two-run homer to centerfield.  Vargas hit 19 homer for High-A Ft. Myers in 2013.

Triple-A Game: Rochester 4, PawSox 2. Carlos Rivero (Sac fly in 1st) and Brock Holt (groundout in 7th) with the RBI. Chris Hernandez takes the loss. Courtesy of the @pawsox…Shane Victorino went 3-for-6 and Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless frame.

IMG_2189

What a cool day for me personally. Two friends from my hometown of Ashland, Massachusetts own a restaurant in Ft. Myers. I spent the morning having breakfast and catching up on old times. This trip has been amazing, I’m very lucky the Sea Dogs send me down here every year – never gets old.

 

 

Exhibition action for Sea Dogs

Shannon Wilkerson went 1-for-2 with a double and 2 walks today.

Shannon Wilkerson went 1-for-2 with a double and 2 walks today.

After two days without getting a full game in, the Sea Dogs traveled to Minnesota’s complex on Wednesday afternoon to play New Britain.  The Rock Cats used a two-run seventh to beat Portland 5-4. Former Sea Dog Reynaldo Rodriguez had the game-winning hit, delivering a run-scoring infield single.

Portland had nine hits in the contest, but most of the starters in today’s game could be somewhere else once the dust finally settles. Shannon Wilkerson had a sensational day, going 1-for-2 with a double and two walks.  Wilkerson made a great diving catcher in centerfield in the first inning.  Keury De La Cruz, Bo Greenwell, Jonathan Roof and Aneury Taverez had run-scoring hits.

Wilfredo Boscan started for Portland and featured a sharp curveball. Robby Scott and Matty Ott closed out the game in relief.

Nice to see former Sea Dog Tony Thomas play for New Britain. He went 0-for-2 and struck out to end the game. During minor league exhibition games, the home team will still bat in the ninth if they’re leading.

David Ortiz holding court at JetBlue Park

David Ortiz holding court at JetBlue Park

Daniel Nava played in the Triple-A game on Wednesday.

Daniel Nava played in the Triple-A game on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faces in the Crowd

  1. Had a long conversation with former Sea Dog Ryan Pressly. He was a MLB Rule 5 pick by the Twins in 2013. He was just sent to Triple-A Rochester, but he’ll be back in the Majors. Great perspective and a great person.
  2. Daniel Nava played in the Triple-A game and batted almost every inning…Alex Hassan and Bryce Brentz homered in Pawtucket’s 10-1 win over Rochester.
  3. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo was at the minor league games.
  4. Spent the day watching the games with new PawSox broadcaster Josh Mauer and Rochester’s voice Josh Whetzel.
  5. Weird to see Miguel Gonzalez beat Allen Webster at the Major League game – both are former Sea Dogs.
  6. David Ortiz was holding court in the dugout during batting practice this morning.
  7. Tony LaRussa was at the Twins Complex today, explaining the new replay rules to Ron Gardenhire.
  8. Most of the fans at the Twins Complex was asking me if Greenwell was Mike’s son – yes he is.
  9. My interview with Jackie Bradley Jr. from this morning.
I'll never bat .300, but I got Press Credential #300

I’ll never bat .300, but I got Press Credential #300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Middlebrooks working before today's game with Maine native Brian Butterfield.

Will Middlebrooks working before today’s game with Maine native Brian Butterfield.

(AUDIO) Jackie Bradley Jr. Interview

Before today’s Red Sox game against the Baltimore Orioles, I had a chance to catch up with former Sea Dog Jackie Bradley Jr.

Wednesday’s Schedule (Day 4 from the Fort)

Ted Williams wore #9 for 19 years, still the most of All-Time in the Majors.

Ted Williams wore #9 for 19 years, still the most of All-Time in the Majors.

Good Morning from Ft. Myers! I’ve heard the northeast is getting some snow, but things aren’t too bad in Portland. Down here, most of Floridians will be in sweatshirts today, due to temps in the 60s.

Portland and Pawtucket travel to Minnesota’s Minor-League Complex to play the Twins affiliates. The complex is a 10-minute drive from JetBlue Park. Both games today start at 1 PM. Follow @JoshMauerRadio on Twitter for Pawtucket updates.

 

Starting 9

  1. Who will bat first in Boston? Jackie Bradley Jr. or Grady Sizemore. Both played in the Eastern League.
  2. Two ways to tune into Sea Dogs baseball at Hadlock Field this year – on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network or MILB.TV.
  3. I have three days left on my trip. Had to throw that in there.
  4. For the 4th straight year, Portland will have a New England Patriot visit Hadlock Field – Shane Vereen on May 8th.
  5. Anthony Ranaudo pitched 5.2 innings on Tuesday for Pawtucket. The game was played on the Major League field.
  6. Six days until the Sox open up in Baltimore.
  7. San Francisco has the 7th highest payroll in MLB at 154,185,878, according to the AP.
  8. Sea Dogs at Reading in 8 days from First Energy Stadium.
  9. Ted Williams has still worn #9 more than an Major League player.

 

A different type of format today (Day 3 coverage)

Due to rain this morning, the Sea Dogs played a different kind of game today on fields 3 & 4 at JetBlue Park.   The host team was Tampa Bay’s Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits.  On both fields, just the pitcher, catcher and batter were on the field. The grounds crew didn’t want anyone on the infield, and there’s no bases put down. Portland’s hitters were on field 3 and the pitchers on field 4.

Notes from today

  • Andrew Miller pitched an inning for Portland and was scoreless
  • Aaron Kurcz, recovering from Tommy John surgery, looked sharp…(VIDEO) of Kurcz throwing.
  • Michael Olmsted pitched a scoreless inning…he was released by the Brewers earlier in Spring Training and signed by Boston.
  • Hitters on field 4: Sean Coyle, Ryan Dent, Keury De La Cruz, Peter Hissey and Shannon Wilkerson.

Pawtucket played Durham on the Major League field today, due to the wet grounds on the minor league fields. Durham won 4-0, but Anthony Ranaudo was sharp over 5.2 IP on one run.

Pawtucket playing Durham on the big stage.

Pawtucket playing Durham on the big stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View of the Green Monster at JetBlue Park.

View of the Green Monster at JetBlue Park.

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