Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Andrew Miller getting closer on Day of the Shortstops

April 13, 2012 - 4:30 am
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Andrew Miller continued to impress in his rehab progression, while a number of Red Sox prospects enjoyed big days at the plate in offensive explosions by both Triple-A Pawtucket and High-A Salem. TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: WON 10-1 AT ROCHESTER (TWINS) -- Left-hander Andrew Miller, in his first rehab appearance in Triple-A following a pair with Single-A Greenville, built up his pitch count, requiring 39 pitches to log 1 2/3 shutout innings. Miller came on in relief of Brandon Duckworth for the sixth inning and recorded five outs (two strikeouts, three groundballs) while walking two and working around a fielding error by third baseman Will Middlebrooks. According to PawSox broadcaster Steve Hyder, Miller touched 97 mph with his fastball. The left-hander will pitch again on Sunday for the PawSox. -- Jose Iglesias went 3-for-5 (all singles) with a run, an RBI and a steal. It was his first three-hit game of the season (indeed, it was his first multi-hit game of the year); the shortstop had three three-hit games for the PawSox last year. -- Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin had a homer and a double for the PawSox, just the second time in 90 Triple-A games that he's had multiple extra-base hits in a contest. Lin also walked. Lin and Iglesias were joined by Nate Spears, Ryan Lavarnway and Lars Anderson in producing multiple hits for the PawSox. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: LOST 5-1 VS. BINGHAMTON (METS) -- Center fielder Juan Carlos Linares produced the only Sea Dogs run when he led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run. He went 2-for-5, and now has five multi-hit contests in eight games played, helping him to an average of .406 with a .472 OBP, .688 slugging mark and 1.160 OPS. -- Second baseman Heiker Meneses, one of the youngest players in the Eastern League at age 20, had his first multi-hit game of 2012, going 2-for-4 to improve to .350 (7-for-20) in the early-going. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: WON 10-8 (10 INNINGS) AT LYNCHBURG (BRAVES) -- Salem was down, 8-3, before rallying for one run in the eighth, four in the ninth (including the game-tying pair on a two-out homer by Brandon Jacobs) and then rallying for two more runs in the 10th, with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sean Coyle delivering the run-scoring singles. -- Travis Shaw now has a .435 average and .480 OBP after going 4-for-5 with a double. Here's a cool story from last year about Shaw's upbringing in and around big league clubhouses. -- Though he stands at just 5-foot-8, Sean Coyle has surprising pop, as demonstrated by the fact that he was tied for seventh in the organization with 48 extra-base hits (14 homers, 27 doubles, seven triples) in just 106 games last year as a 19-year-old in Single-A Greenville. Unlike a year ago, when his slow start represented in no small part bad luck on his BABIP, Coyle's 4-for-24 start (with no walks and nine strikeouts) looked more like a season-opening slump. However, on Thursday, he went 2-for-6, with the 20-year-old delivering his first homer of the 2012 season, a reminder of the unexpected power he possesses. -- Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was 3-for-6 with two doubles (one to right, one to center -- underscoring his all-fields approach) and a single to center. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-1 LOSS TO WEST VIRGINIA (PIRATES) -- Left-hander Henry Owens struck out seven for the second straight start, but he also permitted four runs in 3 2/3 innings, including the first two homers he's given up as a pro. In fact, Owens allowed a homer on his first pitch of the night to leadoff man Alen Hanson. With runners in scoring position, however, the Power was 1-for-8 with an infield single, three walks and two strikeouts. -- Though shortstop Jose Vinicio might be the lightest player in the Red Sox organization, he shows surprising pop and a good approach at the plate, particularly for his age and level. He went 2-for-3 with a double and steal on Thursday, and the switch-hitter is now hitting .368 with a .455 OBP, .737 slugging mark and 1.191 OPS in the very young season. Though he has above-average defensive skills, however, he committed his fourth error (in six games) this year. LINKS -- Andrew Miller told PawSox broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith that he's close to major league-ready. -- The Roanoke Times has an insightful feature on Salem center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Scouts and organizations, in evaluating makeup, consider it a plus when players carry themselves comfortably (rather than obnoxiously) with a star-like presence. Bradley, whom manager Billy McMillon describes as being as good a defensive center fielder as anyone in the Red Sox system, does that. Quick with a smile and a handshake, Bradley became a popular figure on the South Carolina campus immediately. He blossomed into an even bigger star after fueling the first two national championships in school history. Bradley still keeps in touch with all his former Gamecocks teammates. The day before he reported to Salem, he dropped by Columbia, S.C., to hang out with some of them. Of course, it's tough for him to walk around town unnoticed. "Yeah, it is, but I wouldn't have it any other way," he said. "I'd rather be known than unknown, so to speak. I'd rather be loved instead of hated." -- Also from the Roanoke Times, a good snapshot of the Salem roster, with brief player-by-player scouting reports. -- Here's the morning Cup of Coffee rounding up the affiliates, by SoxProspects.com.