Day 3 from Ft. Myers (Video, Henry Ramos, Tuesday recap)

Here’s the link to my blog from Tuesday. Today I’ll be heading to Sarasota, as the Sea Dogs and PawSox play Baltimore’s affiliate.

Some short video clips from yesterday’s action at the Twins Complex –

Red Sox are off today

Sea Dogs have home exhibition games on Thursday and Friday against Chattanooga and Bowie. A reminder, if you come down here, access to the minor league side is free.

Do You Remember This Guy? Henry Ramos was hitting .372 in May of last year, but injured his leg and missed the remainder of the season. At the time, Ramos was one of the best hitters in the Eastern League. Funny thing about last year’s club, Mookie Betts, Sean Coyle, Keury De La Cruz and Henry Ramos hardly played together due to injuries and promotions. In 48 games in his Double-A debut, Ramos hit .326 (59-for-181) with 2 HR and 23 RBI. One of my biggest thrills was the April 25th game against Trenton. Henry delivered a two-run walk-off single in the 15th inning, giving Portland a 9-8 win over Trenton. The win went to position player Peter Hissey, who allowed a run in the top of the inning on a wild pitch.

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Day 2 from Ft. Myers (Evening edition)…’Dogs lose to Chattanooga

Manuel Margot went 2-for-4 on Tuesday with a triple. He's ranked as a top prospect in the Red Sox system.

Manuel Margot went 2-for-4 on Tuesday with a triple. He’s ranked as a top prospect in the Red Sox system.

(Ft. Myers, Florida) – The Minnesota Twins Double-A team is no longer the New Britain Rock Cats, and I almost forgot that as I arrived at the Twins minor league complex in Ft. Myers. The Chattanooga Lookouts are the new affiliate, with New Britain now aligning with the Colorado Rockies.

This afternoon in a game that started at 1:01 PM, the Sea Dogs fell to Chattanooga 4-3. With the game scoreless, both teams scored single runs in the fourth. Top prospect Manuel Margot (2-for-4) nailed a triple to left-center field and scored on a run-scoring groundout by Carlos Mesa (Yoan Moncada’s friend). Joe Gunkel fired 4 innings for Portland, giving up one run on 5 hits.

Chattanooga scored twice in the sixth inning on a two-run homer by Mike Gonzales. Portland received a two-run homer in the ninth by Oscar Tejeda, a muscle shot over the right-field fence.

Portland pitchers today: Gunkel 4 IP, Kyle Martin 2 IP, Simon Mercedes IP and Madison Younginer pitched the final frame and walked 5. On Wednesday, the Sea Dogs and PawSox travel to Sarasota to face the Baltimore affiliates.

Tom Kelly has been a Minnesota Twin for a long time.

Tom Kelly has been a Minnesota Twin for a long time.

Opponent Bites: I was really impressed with Jake Reed, who threw two dominant innings for the opposition. Reed was the 5th overall pick out of Oregon in last year’s draft. Miguel Sano is making his making way back from Tommy John and finished 0-for-3 with a walk. Bryan Buxton did play in the Triple-A game. I had the pleasure of seeing longtime Twin Tom Kelly with a fungo bat on Field 4. When I see him every year, it just brings me back to those great years of Twins baseball.

Getting to know Joe Thurston: I had a nice conversation with Joe Thurston before the minor league games on joining Portland. Thurston will be mainly a coach, but listed on the roster as player/coach. The former big leaguer was playing Winter Ball up until January, but found the right situation to get into coaching and accepted the offer from the Red Sox.

Joe Thurston (pictured on the right) joins the Portland roster as a player and coach.

Joe Thurston (pictured on the right) joins the Portland roster as a player and coach.

Thurston was contacted a few years ago about coaching, but felt he was swinging the bat well, and wanted to continue playing. I think Portland fans will really like Joe. He’s a terrific guy, who joins a great staff. Also new is pitching coach Kevin Walker. Kevin was in High-A Salem last season and replaces Bob Kipper, who was promoted to Triple-A.

The additions to the Twins minor league complex is unreal. They built a giant dorm for the players, but it looks like a mansion.

Portland and Pawtucket now have 10 games left on their exhibition schedule. The teams break camp on April 5th with Opening Day for Portland on April 9th against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field.

Do you like apps? The First Pitch App has an update, so it includes everything for 2015.

My scorecard for minor league spring training games.

My scorecard for minor league spring training games.

Portland fans could see this dynamic duo in the outfield.

Portland fans could see this dynamic duo in the outfield.

Day 2 in Ft. Myers…Sea Dogs, Sox and PawSox on the road (2013 vs. 2015 Sox)

Brian Johnson has impressed John Farrell this spring (photo courtesy of Gordon Donovan)

Brian Johnson has impressed John Farrell this spring (photo courtesy of Gordon Donovan)

Good morning from Ft. Myers! I’ve never one to rub in the weather down here, so I won’t mention anything about the temperature, but I will say it’s beautiful.

The Red Sox are playing the Miami Marlins today in Jupiter. Nice to see former Red Sox Broadcaster and Media guru Glenn Geffner calling games for the Marlins. He’s helped me in many ways over the years.

Portland and Pawtucket are playing games at the Twins Complex, which is also in Ft. Myers. There’s a chance a few big leaguers could be playing in those games. Former Sea Dogs Heiker Meneses, Ryan Pressley and Tony Thomas are in Twins camp.

In the off-season in 2013, there was a feeling that Red Sox had way too many questions going into the season. I feel the same could be said for this season, which I don’t agree with. Take a look at the potential Opening Day roster, compared to the 2013 Opening Day Roster.

2013/2015
Salty/Vazquez
Ross/Hanigan

Napoli/Napoli
Pedroia/Pedroia
Drew/Bogaerts
Middlebrooks/Sandoval

Nava/Ramirez
Ellsbury/Betts
Victorino/Victorino
Ortiz/Ortiz
Bench
Ciriaco/Holt
Gomes/Craig
Carp/Nava

Pitching
Lester/Porcello
Bucholz/Bucholz
Doubront/Miley
Dempster/Masterson
Aceves/Kelly or Wright?

Bailey/Mujica
Hanrahan/Ogando
Miller/Layne
Tazawa/Tazawa
Uehera/Uehara (possible DL)
Wilson/Vavaro
Mortensen/Breslow

Games cut short…Day 1 from Ft. Myers

Very cool sign at Jet Blue Park.

Very cool sign at Jet Blue Park.

It did rain very hard in Ft. Myers today, but that still beats the weather we are currently getting back north. The Sea Dogs and PawSox games were cut short, as was the Red Sox against the Cardinals.

Portland and Pawtucket played on the back fields at JetBlue Park today. The Sea Dogs were leading the Montgomery Biscuits 3-1 when play was called in the bottom of the fifth inning. Pat Light pitched four innings for Portland, giving up one run. The ‘Dogs scored all their turns in the third inning. Kendrick Perkins led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Kevin Heller. Heller scored on a run-scoring double by Tzu-Wei Lin.  After a long out off the bat of Jordan Weems, Jantzen Witte nailed an RBI double to right.

Also, I was really impressed with Jonathan Aro. He’s kind of an unknown reliever, who was signed as an International Free Agent in 2011.

A reminder on minor league spring training games, most of the players are playing a level higher for the time being. More moves happen soon and the complete rosters can change as close to the last day of camp.

I had the chance to chat with these great people today: Christian Vazquez, who was doing interviews with a TV station from Puerto Rico, Jared Sandberg (former Sea Dog) and manager of Triple-A Durham. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, Mike Hazen and Bob Brenly.

IMG_4044On Tuesday, the Sea Dogs and PawSox play at Minnesota’s complex. If you missed it earlier this off-season, the New Britain Rock Cats are now affiliated with Colorado, so the Twins Double-A affiliate is Chattanooga.

I’ll be at those games tomorrow! Thanks for reading.

Minor

Minor League dugout 

Good Morning from the Fort

Today I’ll be heading to JetBlue Park for the Sea Dogs and PawSox exhibition games. The Red Sox are also playing at the complex, and I hope to catch up with some players and/or coaches before of after. The Sea Dogs open up on April 9th against the Reading Fighting Phils (Phillies affiliate).  Ironically, the Red Sox open up the season against the Phillies. I advise all Mainers to try and visit this area at some point. The Red Sox and Twins have terrific complexes, and it’s really fun for the kids. In addition to the big league games, you can see all the minor league games for free.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at mantonellis@seadogs.com.

I’ll have an update later

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Off to Ft. Myers

On Sunday morning, I’ll head down to Ft. Myers and provide coverage of the Sea Dogs and Red Sox all week long. I can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity, and a big thanks to the Sea Dogs and the Burke family for sending me down there.

The Sea Dogs began their minor league games on Wednesday, I’l have complete reports from all the exhibition games. Typically, most of the rosters right now aren’t set, and players tend to play a level higher during minor-league spring training.

In case you missed it: The Red Sox announced the Joe Thurston will be added to the Portland roster as a player/coach. Thurston played in the Mexican League last year, but was a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2008 and appeared in 4 games with the Red Sox that season.

Great article on the Red Sox system by MLB.com (currently ranked 2nd overall in MLB).

Studio of our flagship station in Portland.

Studio of our flagship station in Portland.

Hadlock Field on March 19

Hadlock Field on March 19

Sea Dogs Spring Games start today! Full Schedule

I’ll be heading down to Ft. Myers this Sunday and will have complete game coverage all next week.

DATE                        OPPONENT                    AFFILIATE            SITE                 TIME

Wed. March 18         vs. Bowie Baysox                 Orioles           Ft. Myers            1:00 pm
Thur. March 19         @ New Britain Rock Cats      Twins             Lee County        1:00 pm
Fri. March 20             vs. Bowie Baysox                Orioles           Ft. Myers            1:00 pm
Sat. March 21            @ Montgomery Biscuits       Rays              Port Charlotte    1:00 pm
Sun. March 22           CAMP DAY
Mon. March 23          vs. Montgomery Biscuits      Rays              Ft. Myers           1:00 pm
Tues. March 24         @ New Britain Rock Cats      Twins             Lee County        1:00 pm
Wed. March 25         @ Bowie Baysox                    Orioles           Sarasota           1:00 pm
Thur. March 26          vs. New Britain Rock Cats    Twins             Ft. Myers           1:00 pm
Fri. March 27             vs. Bowie Baysox                 Orioles           Ft. Myers           1:00 pm
Sat. March 28           @ Montgomery Biscuits         Rays             Port Charlotte    1:00 pm
Sun. March 29          CAMP DAY
Mon. March 30         @ Montgomery Biscuits         Rays              Port Charlotte   1:00 pm
Tues. March 31         vs. New Britain Rock Cats     Twins             Ft. Myers          1:00 pm
Wed. April 1              @ Bowie Baysox                    Orioles           Sarasota          1:00 pm
Thur. April 2              vs. Montgomery Biscuits       Rays               Ft. Myers          1:00 pm
Fri. April 3                 vs. New Britain Rock Cats    Twins              Lee County       1:00 pm
Sat. April 4                vs. New Britain Rock Cats    Twins             Ft. Myers           1:00 pm

My new broadcast partner for 2015

The Sea Dogs have announced Mark Perlman-Price as the team’s new Assistant Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the 2015 season.  Perlman-Price will join Mike Antonellis on the radio broadcast for all 71 Sea Dogs home games this season, as well as assisting Director of Media Relations Chris Cameron with other duties.

A native of Newton, MA, Perlman-Price spent the 2014 baseball season as the Broadcast Assistant for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA-Philadelphia), where he was the flagship producer for the IronPigs Radio Network on ESPN Radio 1230/1320 Lehigh Valley and also served as the studio host for the IronPigs pre and postgame shows.  His previous work in baseball includes a three-year stint as the team broadcaster for the New Bedford Bay Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, where he was voted to represent the Eastern Division as broadcaster for the 2013 NECBL All-Star Game.  Perlman-Price’s other broadcasting experience includes two semesters at Harvard as a member of the broadcast crew for the Ivy League Digital Network, and three seasons calling high school football games on radio in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket as well as on the internet at capeandislandsports.com.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Mike on the Sea Dogs broadcasts this season,” Perlman-Price said, “I had been hoping to be back in the broadcast booth this season and as a lifelong Red Sox fan, the opportunity to do so for an affiliate is really a dream come true.  I’ve been to Hadlock Field as a fan and know that the Sea Dogs are a top notch organization, so I feel proud to be able to serve the team both over the airwaves and also in the front office.”

Perlman-Price is a graduate of Indiana University, where he received a B.A. in journalism with a minor in music.  You can find him on Twitter @mtriplep.

The Sea Dogs open the 2015 season at Hadlock Field on Thursday, April 9th, at 6:00 PM against the Reading Fightin Phils.  Tickets for the 2015 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or online at www.seadogs.com.  All 142 Sea Dogs games can also be heard on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network: 95.5/95.9 WPEI Portland (flagship), WKTQ 1450 AM South Paris, and WTME 780 AM Rumford.

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Pedro and Smoltz interviews, thanks to the Sea Dogs!

I could go on for hours how appreciative I am of the Portland Sea Dogs, for giving me an opportunity to broadcast their games in 2005. The franchise is first class, and that starts from the top with our ownership group – the Burke Family. Yesterday was big news for the Sea Dogs, as John Smoltz becomes the first Hall of Famer to appear in a game for the Sea Dogs.

I had the pleasure of interview John Smoltz in 2009 and Pedro Martinez in 2013. So blessed! Hot Stove is January 16th – hope to see you there.

 

This is 40! Former Sea Dogs added to Boston’s 40-man roster

On Thursday, the Boston Red Sox added 4 former Sea Dogs to their 40-man roster. INF Sean Coyle, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, INF Travis Shaw and C Blake Swihart were the four additions, bringing Boston the minimum of 40. All four players appeared in Portland’s record-breaking 2014 season.

From left to right: Travis Shaw, Sean Coyle, Eduardo Rodriguez and Blake Swihart are now members of Boston's 40-man roster.

From left to right: Travis Shaw, Sean Coyle, Eduardo Rodriguez and Blake Swihart are now members of Boston’s 40-man roster.

Coyle hit .295 in his first Double-A season, hitting 16 homers with 61 RBI, going 13-for-14 in stolen bases.

Rodriguez was acquired by Boston from Baltimore for LHP Andrew Miller during the ’14 season. The lefty dominated Portland, going 3-1, 0.96 ERA (4 ER/37.1 IP) in six starts with the ‘Dogs, earning a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket for their championship run.

Shaw hit .278 with 21 home runs, 78 RBI, and 78 runs scored in 128 games between Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2014. The Ohio native has clubbed 56 homers over the past 3 seasons – the most in the system.

Swihart was named an Eastern League All-Star in his first Double-A season, hitting .300 with 12 HR and 55 RBI in 92 games. The standout catcher did not have a passed ball all season with the Sea Dogs. Swihart earned a late season promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Off-season moves involving 2014 Sea Dogs: Carlos Rivero signed with Seattle. Carson Blair was signed to a minor-league deal by Oakland and Derrik Gibson signed with Baltimore. Boston re-signed Miguel Celestino, Dayan Diaz and Nate Reed. Former Sea Dog Alex Hassan was claimed on waivers by Oakland, but earlier today, was claimed by Baltimore. Hassan wrote an amazing letter thanking the fans and people in the Red Sox Organization.

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