AL Eastern Division Current Standings
|Tampa Bay||15-11||.577||.5 GB|
|NY Yankees||7-17||.292||7.5 GB|
Owner John Henry wants a season of .500 Baseball, we are on schedule for that. As expected with 13-12 record losing streaks were matched with winning streaks and later on in the month it was a case of win one, lose one, notably we swept the Blue Jays in Toronto.
Standout players of the month
Starting pitcher Matt Barnes has been lights out so far this season. Barnes showed us some of the potential late in 2016 with the Major League club after going 10-6 and a 3.73 ERA with AAA Pawtucket. This season five starts has yielded three no decisions and a 1-1 record, with a minute 0.80 ERA
Signed in the off season Jared Hughes has made a promising start to his Red Sox career. With 0-0 record and a save Hughes has pitched in 7 games posting a 0.73 ERA and 10.2 K/9 and only walking 2 in 12.1 innings.
Can’t get any better than been named as player of the month, Mookie Betts has pounded SSG Baseball pitchers last month hitting .388/.479/.643 with an OPS of 1.121. Stats helped by a 15 game hitting streak from April 8th Betts leads the league Batting Average, OBP, OPS, wOBA, WAR and triples.
Hembree’s leash shortening?
Hembree’s first season as the Red Sox closer was a successful one, 35 saves in 41 opportunities, striking out 100 in 79 innings. This season has had a rocky start for Heath and brought into question whether he continues long term as the Red Sox first choice at closer.
Two consecutive appearances saw Hembree blow saves against the Tigers conceding 7 runs, 2 home runs, walking 3 and striking out just 1. Since April 16th Hembree has sucked it up, allowing no runs, 2 hits, 1 walk and striking out 7 in 7 appearances and now has 6 saves on the season with a 4.85 ERA but walks are up and strikeouts are down.
Any further implosions, Joakim Soria and Jared Hughes are waiting in the wings…..
Down on the farm
Four of the RS farm teams have started their season, only the Portland Sea Dogs do not lead their respective division.
The AAA Pawtucket PawSox have gotten off to a great start on the season. They lead the north division by 4 games from Buffalo with a record of 18-5 behind some great pitching from Workman (3-2, 1.27 ERA), Johnson (2-0, 2.33 ERA) & Andre Rienzo (2-0, 3.74 ERA). Henry Owens leads the team in strikeouts (30) and newly acquired Trevor Cahill is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA. The bullpen is solid with the likes of Tommy Layne closing out 8 games this season with a 0.75 ERA.
3B Gavin Cecchini won the IL batter of the month award for April and is hitting .382/.451/.539 ably supported by Yoan Moncada (.348/.439/.483) and Dustin Hood who is leading the team with 4 Home Runs and 18 RBI with a .247 average.
Portland trail the Richmond Flying Squirrels by six games with a 12-11 record. Top prospect Manuel Margot (CF) is hitting .314/.385/.414 with 6 stolen bases but the big revelation is SP Ted Burton, a third round pick in the 2015 draft. Burton went 9-3 combined at A level last season in Salem and Greenville and is 3-0 with a 0.70 ERA this season in 4 starts.
Salem head the Southern division of the Carolina League with a 14-4 record, 3 games ahead of Myrtle Beach (Chicago Cubs). 3B Rafael Devers is hitting .338/.421/.492 in 17 games, whilst scoring 81 runs the teams has conceded just 44 behind some stingy pitching with both the rotation and bullpen ranking first in the division. Simon Mercedes (4-0, 1.37 ERA) and closer a waive pick up from Cincinnati (8 saves, 0.00 ERA) lead the way.
Greenville lead the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League by one game on the back of their bats. The offence has collectively hit .316 and scored 107 runs in 18 games for a 11-7 record, Deiner Lopez (.414/.506/.571) and Maurico Dubon (.404/.463/.632) leading the way from the left hand side of the diamond. SP Mike Augliera leads the pitching staff that ranks 5th in starters ERA (3.78) with a 3-0 record and a 0.92 ERA.
Top five prospects stat lines
1) Manuel Margot (CF/Portland/AA) .314/.385/.414, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 SB (OPS .799)
2) Donnie Reid (SP/Greenville/A) 2-1, 4.05 ERA, 12K, 12BB (WHIP 1.50)
3) Yoan Moncada (2B/Pawtucket/AAA) .348/.439/.483, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 3 SB (OPS .922)
4) Ted Burton (SP/Portland/AA) 3-0, 0.70 ERA, 19K, 7 BB (WHIP 0.90)
5) Joel Daniels (CF/Lowell Spinners/S A) Season starts June 19th, still to play this season.
Coming up in May
Home stands against Baltimore (4), Tampa Bay (3), Rangers (3) & Mariners (3)
Road trips to Twins (3), Brewers (3), Cardinals (3), Athletics (3) & White Sox (3)