Red Sox minor league roundup: No platoon needed for Jackie Bradley Jr.; Mario Alcantara turns heads in Lowell; Travis Shaw heating up

June 20, 2013 - 7:02 am
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A brief look at Wednesday's action in the Red Sox farm system, on a day when first-half standout Garin Cecchini learned that he has been promoted to Double-A Portland: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (10 INNINGS) AT COLUMBUS (INDIANS) (BOX) -- While Jackie Bradley Jr. has fallen into slumps on a couple of occasions while in Triple-A Pawtucket this year, he's shown the ability to not just climb but instead to leap out of any holes in which he's found himself at that level. The 23-year-old endured four straight hitless games from June 14-17, but after going 1-for-4 with a homer and walk on Tuesday, he continued his rebound by going 3-for-5 with a double and walk on Wednesday. In 29 games with the PawSox, Bradley has three three-hit games and 12 multi-hit games. On the year, Bradley is hitting .310/.412/.500 in Pawtucket. Perhaps most impressively, his double against lefty Clay Rapada continued his string of outstanding performances against lefties. The left-handed Bradley is hitting .346/.433/.577 against lefties, marks that exceed his already solid numbers against righties (.300/.406/.478). -- News flash: Alex Hassan struck out. For the first time in four games (and 13 plate appearances) since rejoining Triple-A Pawtucket, the 25-year-old whiffed. Still, he continued his strong performance since resuming play, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a walk while playing right field. In four games back with Pawtucket after a strong rehab assignment in Single-A Greenville, Hassan is now 6-for-12 with four doubles and a homer. -- Reliever Chris Martin submitted perhaps his most dominant outing since being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, recording two perfect innings in which five of his outs came by way of the punchout and the other one came on a groundout. Though Martin had been touched for six runs in his last 7 2/3 innings, he has a respectable 3.18 ERA since his mid-May promotion to Pawtucket along with a tremendous 18-to-2 strikeout-to-walk rate in 17 innings. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 9-8 LOSS (10 INNINGS) AT READING (PHILLIES) (BOX) -- Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo did not factor into the decision on Wednesday night, but threw six solid innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out six. Ranaudo walked the first batter of the game and would pay for it, retiring the next two batters but giving up a two-run home run to the cleanup hitter. A leadoff home run from the same batter to start the fourth inning would be the only other earned run Ranaudo allowed. These were only the fourth and fifth home runs Ranaudo has allowed all season, bringing his average to 0.6 home runs allowed per nine innings; the longballs ended a streak of six starts (34 innings) in which the 23-year-old had not been taken deep. Ranaudo threw 102 pitches and 70 strikes, with seven of those coming as swings and misses. The starter actually looked to get stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in his last inning of work. Ranaudo remained 7-1 on the year with a 2.34 ERA and 0.959 WHIP through 13 starts. -- First baseman Travis Shaw hit his second home run in his last five games and his fifth of the season on Wednesday. The first baseman, who went 2-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout in the 10-inning contest extended his hitting streak to six games. Over the span of the streak, Shaw is batting .417/.440/.792 with two home runs, three doubles, and six RBI. Shaw'€™s walk on Wednesday was his first free pass in eight games, bringing his total to 43 on the season in contrast to 63 strikeouts. Shaw has compiled a .231/.354/.363 line for Portland through 65 games this season. -- Catcher Christian Vazquez went 0-for-4 with a walk in the 10-inning contest. Vazquez, who had given the Sea Dogs solid production over the first two months of the season (finishing May with a .255/.390/.409 line on the season) has been dealing with a prolonged slump, seeing his average dip to .224 while his OPS has fallen to .695. Vazquez is batting .094 with two doubles, seven RBI, and eight walks in his last 15 games. Vazquez has also struggled on the road just about all season, putting up a .172/.270/.219 line with one extra-base hit in 16 road games as opposed to a .265/.392/.458 line at home. He also has had trouble producing with runners in scoring position, batting .211 with RISP and .176 in the same situation with two outs. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: OFF SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: OFF SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-1 WIN VS. CONNECTICUT (TIGERS) (BOX) -- Right-hander Mario Alcantara created a considerable amount of buzz in spring training this year. After working mostly in the low-90s last year while tinkering with his mechanics, the 20-year-old seemed to get locked into a delivery that permitted him considerably better power and command this spring, touching 97 mph. On Wednesday, he made quite an initial statement in his season with Lowell, dominating over five shutout innings in which he permitted just two hits (both singles), struck out six and got five more outs via groundball. He sat at 92 mph and touched 95, while throwing both of his secondary offerings (changeup, breaking ball) for strikes while getting some swings and misses on them as well. -- Outfielder Manuel Margot, one of the most dynamic prospects in the Red Sox system, offered a glimpse of his multifaceted talents and the high gear at which he plays. In his first plate appearance, the 18-year-old reached second base on a fielder error and then stole third (before scoring on a single). He went on to single in each of his next two at-bats. After one of those hits, he was thrown out trying to advance from first to third on a single to left. Though the aggressiveness resulted in an out, the instinct to put pressure on an opposing defense hinted at the type of player that Margot tends to be -- one who is always looking to force activity and take the extra base. -- Outfielder Kendrick Perkins, back in Lowell after hitting .223/.314/.358 in 42 games there last year, went 4-for-4 with a double while driving in three runs. It was his second professional four-hit game, with the first having come in 2011. DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 4-3 WIN VS. DSL RAYS (BOX) -- Left-hander Dedgar Jimenez continued his strong start to the year, tossing a season-high five innings while allowing two runs (both unearned) on two hits and a walk. He struck out four, and the big-framed (6-foot-3, 240 pounds) 17-year-old now has 15 punchouts and two walks in 16 innings this year with a 1.69 ERA. -- Third baseman Victor Acosta, who has moved up from the middle of the lineup to the leadoff spot, went 1-for-2 with three walks and a pair of steals. In 14 games, the 17-year-old is hitting .250/.381/.346.