Red Sox minor league roundup: Brandon Workman, strike-throwing machine; Ryan Lavarnway goes deep; the unhittable Terry Doyle

April 18, 2013 - 8:41 am

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-1 WIN VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES) (BOX) -- DH David Ortiz went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He's now 3-for-15 with three singles, four strikeouts and no walks in his five-game rehab assignment. He is in the lineup for Thursday's matinee game. -- Right-hander Terry Doyle is off to a tremendous start with the PawSox. He continued that on Wednesday by tossing seven innings and allowing just one run on two hits while striking out six and walking one. In three starts spanning 18 1/3 innings, he's allowed just five hits while holding opponents to a mind-blowing .088 average. He has 16 punchouts and seven walks -- including just two in his last 12 innings. The 27-year-old BC alum has positioned himself where, if the Red Sox need an early-season callup, he and Allen Webster would be the likely top choices (though Webster has the advantage of being on the 40-man roster). -- Catcher Ryan Lavarnway went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, clearing the fences for the first time this year. In the early going, Lavarnway is hitting for average and getting on base at an excellent clip, hitting .323 with a .421 OBP and .484 slugging mark in eight games. -- Brandon Snyder continued his hot start, going 2-for-3 with a double and his third homer of the season. The first baseman, who signed with the Sox just before the start of the season after requesting and being granted his release from the Rangers, is hitting .359 with a .444 OBP and .718 slugging mark. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 1-0 WIN AT BINGHAMTON (METS) (BOX) -- Brandon Workman continued his excellent start, logging seven shutout innings in which he permitted just four hits (all singles), walked none and struck out nine. He got 13 swings and misses -- seven on his fastball, three each on his cutter and curve -- while throwing 70 percent (49 of 70) of his offerings for strikes to sail through one of the more efficient outings imaginable given how many strikeouts he generated. Through three starts, Workman has a ridiculous 25-to-2 strikeout-to-walk rate. Through three starts, the 24-year-old is third in the minors in strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .169 against him. Of the impressive group of starters in the Portland rotation (which also includes Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes and Drake Britton), Workman is clearly the most advanced, and the most likely to assert himself as a candidate to impact the Sox big league pitching staff in the second half. Sea Dogs players may want to petition to have Workman start on all future getaway days. Time of game: 2 hours, 9 minutes. -- Right-hander Chris Martin, fresh off being named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, continued his excellence out of the bullpen, tossing two scoreless innings while allowing two hits and striking out three (no walks) to complete the shutout. To date, Martin has 15 punchouts and two walks while yielding just six hits. Given that he is dominating the Eastern League, 26 years old and spent all of last year in Portland, he will be a candidate for a relatively early promotion to Triple-A if he sustains the stuff he's shown to this point. -- Xander Bogaerts snapped a streak of 10 games without an extra-base hit with an opposite-field double to right to lead off the fourth inning. It was his second longest stretch without an extra-base hit; he had a 14-game run in Salem last year without an extra-base knock. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 4-2 LOSS VS. POTOMAC (NATIONALS) (BOX) -- Left-hander Henry Owens had his third straight strong start. He permitted three runs (two earned) on just three hits (two singles and a double) while punching out a season-high seven and walking two. All of the damage came when he lost his fastball command in the fourth inning, giving up a pair of hits and a walk, with an error helping to push the harm to three runs. Aside from that, he was very good, with a curveball that elicited plenty of swings and misses. He's pitched exactly five innings in each of his three starts, with a 2.40 ERA, 16 strikeouts and, perhaps most notably, just five walks in 15 innings to date. -- While Brandon Jacobs is struggling early in his return to Salem, he continues to the ability to drive the ball. Of his six hits this year, five have been for extra bases -- including his fourth double of the year in his 1-for-4 game on Wednesday. He's hitting .154 but with a .333 slugging mark. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 5-4 WIN VS. WEST VIRGINIA (PIRATES) (BOX) -- Franklin Morales had a solid first rehab start in Greenville, tossing three scoreless innings while permitting one hit (a single), walking two and striking out one. Still, the left-hander struggled to stay in the strike zone, as just 24 of his 48 pitches were strikes. -- Right-hander Pat Light labored through 76 pitches (42 strikes) in just 2 2/3 innings, permitting four runs (three earned) on five hits. He also walked three. On the positive side of the ledger, all eight of his outs came via strikeout (3) or groundball (5). -- Mike Miller went 1-for-2, and is now hitting .469 in 10 games this year. He's doubled in three straight games.