Rusney Castillo

Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Rusney Castillo returns, Allen Craig continues hot streak

Ken Laird
May 22, 2015 - 4:36 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday, May 21: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (23-19): L, 6-5, 10 innings, at Louisville (Reds) -- Rusney Castillo was back in the lineup after his paternity leave, batting second and playing in center field for his first action since Sunday. Castillo was 1-for-6 in his return with a smashed RBI double past third base in the third inning. Castillo struck out twice and grounded out twice, while also reaching on an error on a slow bouncer to shortstop. Baseball America's No. 3 prospect in the Red Sox system and No. 21 overall in baseball, Castillo saw his average drop to .293. He was on a 7-for-16 stretch with two home runs, a double and four RBIs in the weekend before his leave. -- Allen Craig had a 3-for-4 night including a double and two walks as he hit from the three-hole in the lineup. Craig's opposite-field single in the third inning tied the game at 2. Since being optioned from Boston and joining the PawSox on May 12, Craig has played in eight out of 10 games and gone 11-for-36 (.306) with three doubles, three walks, two runs and seven strikeouts. He played left field with Pawtucket for the first time Thursday after appearing twice in right, twice at first base and three times as the DH. -- Third baseman Garin Cecchini went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored to raise his average to .200. It was only Cecchini's third multi-hit game in his last 25 contests with Pawtucket and his first three-hit game of the season. Selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, the 24-year-old entered the season as the Red Sox' No 3 prospect at MLB.com and No. 10 at Baseball America. Cecchini's strikeout numbers are up this season and his walk totals down, as he is on pace for 38 more K's and 14 fewer walks (projected to the 114 games he played in Triple-A last year). DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (17-23): W, 4-1, vs. Altoona (Pirates) -- Joe Gunkel earned his first Double-A win in his first start at that level as he went 5 IP, 6H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO (92 pitches, 59 strikes). The 6-foot-5, 23-year-old right-hander was ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the Red Sox system entering the season. He was an 18th-round pick of the Sox in the 2013 draft and was promoted from High-A Salem on May 15. Gunkel has split time between starting and the bullpen both this and last year, now moving into Portland's rotation (27-year-old Mike McCarthy moved from the rotation to the bullpen). -- Tim Roberson continued his torrid week at the plate (he had gone 11-for-24, a .458 clip, with eight RBIs in his last five games including hitting for the cycle Friday night) going 2-for-3 with a double as the DH to raise his average to .365 in 13 games with Portland. It is Roberson's fifth year in the Red Sox system but first action at the Double-A level. In 2014 Roberson finally played a full season's worth of games, primarily as a first baseman, combining with Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem to hit .231 with 10 HR and 26 doubles. The 25-year-old hit 40 HR in his college career at Florida Gulf Coast ('08-11). -- Former top Sox prospect Oscar Tejeda kept on rolling as his RBI single in the first inning got Portland started and extended Tejeda's hitting streak to nine games. Tejeda, the reigning Eastern League Player of the Week, entered the night with 10 doubles for the month, tied for most in the minors. His RBI gave him 15 knocks in his last 14 contests. Tejeda was promoted to Double-A on April 19 from High-A Salem, but he has appeared in Eastern League action each of the last four seasons with Portland, Altoona and Harrisburg. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (20-21): L, 10-4, vs. Lynchburg (Indians) -- It was a tough night for Salem starter Kevin McAvoy as he allowed six earned runs, four hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings. The 21-year-old McAvoy (3-3) was coming off a start where he had allowed just one walk and one hit over seven shutout innings. The Bryant alum had his ERA rise from 2.04 to 3.19. Earlier in the season, walks had also been an issue with McAvoy as he'd given 20 free passes in his first five starts (26 2/3 IP). McAvoy was the Red Sox' fourth-round selection in last year's draft. -- Reliever Taylor Grover had an impressive bullpen outing to put out McAvoy's fire, as the 6-foot-3 right-hander pitched 4 1/3 scoreless to go along with seven strikeouts. Grover, a 10th-round draft pick of the Sox in 2013, had good K totals last year as he racked up 62 in 58 IP between Low-A and High-A in 2014. It was a bounce back from what became a disastrous first career minor league start for Grover, as last Sunday he gave up 10 ER in just 3 1/3 innings. -- Wendell Rijo extended his hitting streak to seven games, as the 19-year-old, 5-foot-11 second baseman is on a 9-for-26 (.346) stretch. Rijo has played in only 25 of Salem's 40 games this year but still is second in the Carolina League in doubles with 13. Before the season ESPN's Keith Law described Rijo as "a really smart player with average to slightly above-average tools, probably a utility guy but with a chance to be a regular." SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (24-16): W, 8-0, vs. Charleston (Yankees) -- Yoan Moncada's debut week continued with his fourth appearance in Greenville, a 1-for-3 night as well as getting back in the field at second base after a night as the DH. The 19-year-old Cuban is off to a 5-for-15 start in Low-A with four runs and two RBIs. The switch-hitter has three hits off lefties and two vs. righties. -- Another 19-year-old in Greenville had the big hit of the night, as Panamanian shortstop Javier Guerra hit a bases-clearing triple in the eighth inning to put the game away. Guerra is hitting .300 in 31 games with a .371 on-base percentage and .509 slugging. Fifteen of his 33 hits have gone for extra bases. Guerra reportedly has played an excellent shortstop as well; he was signed out of Panama in 2012 at age 16 largely on the promise of his defensive ability, athleticism and feel for the game. -- Jordan Procyshen continued his surge at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Procyshen has had multi-hit games in five of his last eight outings, and has raised his batting average 111 points since April 24. The Canadian backstop, who hit in the cleanup spot in the order, is 10th in the Carolina League in OBP at .383. With the .323 hitting Rafael Devers (Boston's No. 6 prospect at Baseball America) hitting third, Greenville has quite a potent heart of the order in place.

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