Before we take a look around the Red Sox minor league system for the past week, let’s take a look at Rusney Castillo’s professional debut in the Gulf Coast League playoffs in Fort Myers, Florida. Gordon Edes reported that Castillo singled on a ground ball to left in his first at-bat. He was subsequently caught stealing. In his second plate appearance, Castillo struck out looking on three pitches, after swinging and missing on the first pitch and fouling off the second pitch. Castillo batted twice in the game and was replaced after three innings as the DH. He did not play the field.
Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA):
Edwin Escobar had his first bad start with Pawtucket on August 23, allowing eight earned runs in 2.1 innings. He tries to bounce back in a start on the 31st.
Henry Owens who was 14-4 with a 2.60 ERA at Portland this season, was named that league’s (Eastern League) pitcher of the year this week. While he hasn’t been as spectacular at Pawtucket, he has put up solid numbers (2-1, 3.66 in five starts) while continuing to strike out more than a batter an inning (35 in 32 IP)
With the arrival of Yoenis Cespedes, Dalier Hinojosa, a fellow Cuban, has stepped up his game lately. He has posted a 1.29 ERA in August. Walks have been a problem for him this season, allowing 33 in 60.2 innings in his first major league season. While he has a 3.86 ERA for the year, he has allowed only 38 hits, for a .182 batting average allowed, and 1.17 WHIP.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has not started to hit since his demotion. This week he was six for 27 (.222 BA) and drawing two walks with three RBI and seven strikeouts.
Portland Sea Dogs (AA):
Brian Johnson should advance past this level after another dominating week, allowing one earned run on three hits over 12 innings of work in two starts. Since July 7, he has posted numbers meriting a promotion, 53.1 IP 4 ER 21 H 13 BB 44 K (0.67 ERA).
Sea Dogs left fielder Keury De La Cruz has shown no ill effects of a broken wrist that kept him out the first two months this season. After being named Eastern League offensive player of the week earlier this month, De La Cruz finished August with a healthy .352/417/.571 batting line, for the month.
Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched lights-out since his arrival from the Baltimore system. After a seven inning, one earned run performance with seven strikeouts, Rodriguez has a stellar 0.86 ERA with 35 strikeouts and a 0.99 WHIP in 31.1 innings over five starts
Keith Couch has put up a 2.96 ERA in 100.1 innings this season. Couch was a 13th round draft choice by the Red Sox in 2010. He was touched for five earned runs in a start this week, but his body of work this season earned Couch an invitation to the Arizona Fall League which starts the first week in October. Since he turns 25 in November, a solid showing there can really help his stock going forward.
Salem Red Sox (High A)
Carlos Asuaje has excelled in his first season in Salem. After posting a .305/.391/.542 line in Greenville, Asuaje has continued to put up numbers at Salem, entering Sunday’s game with a .331/.401/.527 slash line, with 19 extra base hits in 37 games.
Madison Younginer is putting up stronger numbers to close the season, posting a 1.29 ERA over his last ten appearances (3-3, 4.15, 2 saves for the season). Younginer is among the four Red Sox minor league pitchers invited to the Arizona Fall League this season.
Greenville Drive (Low A)
Teddy Stankewicz is finishing strongly in his first full professional season. This week, Stankewicz threw his sixth straight quality start, finishing a 4-1, 1.89 month for last year’s second rounder.
Sam Travis had another solid week, batting .333 in 20 plate appearances, striking out only once and walking twice. Travis’ line for Greenville: .286/.330/.500
Though he has only a 4.68 ERA this season, Trey Ball is another player finishing the season on a strong note. Ball has allowed only 40 hits in 56.2 innings in July and August. His ERA of 3.36 in July foreshadowed the excellent 2.03, Ball posted in five August starts, four of them wins.