March 24, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (72) against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Minor League Update: Pitchers Struggle As Bogaerts Continues Hot Streak

This week was the first week in a while that was not generally a good week. Many of the pitchers up and down the Red Sox’ system saw their ERA’s inflate a bit with some of their worst performances of the year. However, the premier hitters in the Red Sox’ system continued to hit well. Xander Bogaerts‘ current hot streak is beginning to make people question why he’s still in Portland and likewise for Garin Cecchini in Salem.

The Pitchers

  • Allen Webster was one of those pitchers who had their worst appearance of the year. He was roughed up as he allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out just 2 batters in 3.1 innings pitched. Those on-base numbers, as well as the two home runs allowed, show that he may have been unlucky and there’s likely no reason to worry. Still, a rough start for Webster and one that made his ERA rise above 3.00 for the first time in a while– it grew all the way to a still impressive 3.38 to go with his 50:21 K:BB ratio in 45.1 innings.
  • Matt Barnes had similar struggles to Webster, as he also allowed more runs than one would think looking at his on-base numbers. Barnes lasted all of 4 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk while punching out 8 batters. The strikeouts are impressive, but Barnes struggled again and his last couple of outings have really ballooned his ERA. That is all the way up to 5.87– it was just 4.50 a few weeks ago– and Barnes is really have a rough go of things in Portland.
  • Rubby de la Rosa, on the other hand, is really coming into his own in Pawtucket. In his one start yesterday, he went his first full 5 innings of the year and allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks. The fact that he only struck out one batter is mildly disconcerting, but his yearly strikeout numbers are good enough to make one forget about one shaky outing, as he has 38 punchouts in 38.1 innings pitched. De la Rosa is really pitching well of late, and we may see him up in the majors for the double-header against the Rays next week.
  • Anthony Ranaudo had by far his worst outing of the year on Tuesday, and it’s not particularly close. After a masterful start to the season, Ranaudo allowed 7 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5 batters in his 4.2 innings of work. That shaky outing will bring his season ERA to a still very impressive 2.43, and even with this game considered, he should be moving on to Pawtucket very shortly.

The Hitters

  • Xander Bogaerts continues his recent hot streak with another nice week here. He batted .368 with 1 home run, 1 double, 1 triple, and 3 RBIs to keep the 20 year old shortstop hot. Bogaerts’ second go-around in Portland has brought him statistics on the year up to .308/.403/.507 with 12 doubles, 6 triples, 6 home runs, and 5 steals. He is continuing his bid to be a five-tool player and his bid to move to Pawtucket.
  • Garin Cecchini seems to have gotten to the point to where he can just do no wrong. He is by far the best hitter in the South Atlantic League, and this week continues to prove the point as he batted .333 over the course of the week. It looks like he will play in the High-A All-Star Game, given his .354/.464/.551 slash line and then he should move up to Portland.
  • Bryce Brentz has continued a quietly productive season in Triple-A as he batted .333 with 1 home run and 5 RBIs this week. That will bring his season slash line up to .268/.326/.489 to go with his 10 home runs and 40 RBIs. It likely won’t be too long now until his right-handed power stroke finds its way into Fenway Park.
  • Blake Swihart also has continued his recent hot streak with yet another good week, as he has been on fire lately. This past week, he hit to the tune of a .267 average along with nailing his first home run of the season. The switch-hitting catcher has enjoyed a nice season in Salem, batting .277/.365/.432 with 1 home run and 19 RBIs as he’s coming along as well as could be hoped.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Prospects

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