Kyle Doesn't Go Out in Style
Snyder Sparks Jays Rally in 6th; Gets Released
Jays 10, Sox 2: Big Bullpen Trouble in Toronto Continues
On the Bright Side: Buchholz Not as Bad as the Bullpen
Bryan Corey Was Another Story as Thomas Goes Deep
Sean Casey: A Good Guy Just Made a Bad Play
"We don't point fingers at anybody. We win as a team, we lose as a team. When we lose, we all feel like we didn't do the job. They got into our bullpen and did what good offensive clubs do."-- 4.5.08, Terry Francona on the Sox bullpen troubles
FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs
Making Their Case
PAWTUCKET, RI | April 5, 2008 -- Of course by now you’ve heard of Bartolo Colon’s dominant performance here at McCoy Stadium Thursday, when he worked five sparkling innings against the Indianapolis Indians, striking out five, walking one, and reaching the mid-90’s on his fastball. Certainly he has made his case that if he’s not ready for prime time, he’s no more than one start away.
But Colon was not the only one to make a statement from the mound that day. There are some players here in Pawtucket that are making their case that their ticket to The Show is only an opportunity away.
In Thursday’s opener, Craig Hansen pitched two strong innings, not allowing a hit while striking out three. And well-traveled ex-All-Star Dan Kolb, having signed a minor-league contract after nine years in the Bigs, pitched an uneventful inning.
After the game, Kolb seemed pleased with his performance.
“Not bad for the [cold] weather,” he said with a smile. “It was a little hard to hold on to the ball, but for the most part it went the way it normally goes – I got ground balls, which is what I normally get…everything felt good. Had a little adrenalin, everything is going to be a little off, but I got through it. You always want the first one to go nice and smooth.”
David Pauley, too, acquitted himself well, pitching five strong innings in in the top of Saturday’s twinbill (Friday’s game was postponed due to rain), striking out three, walking no one, and giving up only two hits.
“[Pauley] did a really nice job, first time out,” said PawSox manager Ron Johnson. “He was pitch-efficient, he threw strikes, he [gave] a really good performance…I was really pleased.”
On the other side of the baseball, Brandon Moss is batting .500 thus far, tripling down the right field corner in his first at-bat Saturday, and smoking a double to left in his next one. As unsurprising as that was, one of this season’s early surprises seems to be Jonathan Van Every, who has a reputation of being a light-hitting defensive specialist. Van Every has already hit two home runs while batting out of the nine hole, and making some loud outs as well.
And left fielder Chris Carter, brought over late last year in the Wily Mo Pena trade, has started the season 5 for 9, picking up right where he left off last season.
Johnson: “He came here with a reputation as being a good hitter and he’s living up to it. We saw it in Spring Training. This guy has a really good idea of what he’s doing at the plate…he keeps his hands back, he stays with pitches, he tracks balls well. It’s going to be really fun to watch; we’re going to see some really good things from him this year.”
All in all, the very early verdict is positive for the farm. If the Big Club stays healthy, look for Johnson’s PawSox to pile up wins by the bunch. If not, look for Pawtucket to make a real impact in the continued success of the organization.
Of course it’s a bit early to identify trends (or is it?) but Bobby Kielty is struggling in the early going. Kielty has started the season 1 for 7 for a .143 average…Knuckleballer Charlie Zink got shelled in his 2008 Pawtucket debut, giving up five runs in the second inning of his Saturday afternoon start. Compounding his troubles were two errors made by his defense. “Charlie didn’t have his real good stuff today, but we didn’t really play well behind him either- he’s a guy who [the opposition] will put the ball in play, and we kicked some balls around. It happens,” said Johnson…Jed Lowrie has yet to register his first base hit this year- is expectation weighing down his bat?…Johnson, at his accustomed position as third base coach, is sporting a new look: a shiny batting helmet, required attire of all coaches at all levels since the tragedy last year where Double-A coach Mike Coolbaugh died after being beaned off first base. “It is what it is,” said Johnson. “If I had my druthers I’d wear a [cap] but I’m superstitious…I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ to not wear a helmet and then get drilled.”…umpire Jason Bradley made his International League debut Thursday – welcome to Triple-A, Jason, and best of luck. -- By Gary Jacobs, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor. E-mail Gary