Red Sox minor league roundup: Xander Bogaerts making strides at third; Blake Swihart keeps impressing; Dan Butler's home run binge

August 02, 2013 - 10:25 am
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-2 LOSS VS. NORFOLK (ORIOLES) (BOX) -- Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 with a double to extend his streak of consecutive games on base to 29 during which he is hitting .320/.433/.520 with four homers and eight doubles. Perhaps more significantly, he had his most active game at third base, starting a pair of double plays (one a step-on-third/throw-to-first move, another a round-the-horn double play for his first two twin-killings at the hot corner), getting challenged on a bunt (a single) and getting a number of new experiences under his belt at a position that he is still learning. -- Catcher Dan Butler remained on his midsummer tear, going 1-for-4 while mashing his fifth homer in nine games and 11th of the year. In 38 games since May 27, the 26-year-old, a member of the Sox' 40-man roster, is hitting .326/.404/.583 with nine homers. -- Right-hander Brock Huntzinger continued his outstanding performance since getting to Pawtucket, tossing 1 2/3 shutout innings, walking one and striking out three. In 24 2/3 innings with the PawSox, he has a 1.82 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 11 walks in 24 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .173 against him in Pawtucket. -- Right-hander Alex Wilson worked around a hit to submit a scoreless inning of work in his second rehab outing. He's given up a run on three hits and a walk while striking out one in two rehab games. -- In a pair of notable transactions, Jackie Bradley Jr. landed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow while Brandon Lyon opted out of his minor league deal with the Sox. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 6-5 LOSS (10 INNINGS) AT RICHMOND (GIANTS) (BOX) -- Corner infielder Michael Almanzar went 1-for-4 with a walk but plated three runs on the strength of a two-run single (to right) and an RBI groundout. He continues to be a different hitter with runners on base (.315/.364/.462) than with the bases empty (.229/.304/.402), helping to explain how the 22-year-old is sixth in the Eastern League with 66 RBI. He's hitting .269/.332/.430 for the year. -- Right-hander Noe Ramirez allowed a pair of hits, walked one and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings. After a four-outing, 10 1/3 inning string without walking a batter, Ramirez has issued a free pass in each of his last four appearances. Still, he has an impressive 19-to-5 strikeout-to-walk rate in 18 innings. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 5-0 LOSS AT LYNCHBURG (BRAVES) (BOX) -- Blake Swihart filled up a number of columns, going 2-for-4 with a double, a strikeout, a steal and a pickoff/caught stealing. He now has a six-game hitting streak during which he's 10-for-24 (.417) with three walks and three doubles. Perhaps more intriguing, he continued to show evidence of the ability to shut down opposing running games. Swihart threw out one runner on an attempted steal and picked off two others. He is the runaway leader in the Carolina League in caught stealing percentage, having thrown out 39 percent of attempted thieves. Combine that with an offensive performance that suggests the ability to hit for average, doubles and on-base skill (his line is .275/.355/.409) and you have the makings of an above-average big league starting catcher. -- Though he gave up four earned runs (his most since July 5), right-hander Heri Quevedo punched out six and walked one, showing some of the swing-and-miss stuff and control that made him stand out as a pitcher who is making his pro debut (as a 23-year-old) in spring training. On the year, in 72 1/3 innings, he has 68 punchouts and 43 walks while holding opponents in the Carolina League to a .227 average. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-3 LOSS VS. SAVANNAH (METS) (BOX) -- Left-hander Brian Johnson, who had been dominant in his first two starts off his nearly two-month DL stint for shoulder tendinitis, got roughed up. He pitched just three innings, allowing two runs on three hits (including a homer) while walking five and striking out four. It was just the third homer allowed in 47 innings for Johnson this year in Greenville, but his 19 walks (3.6 per nine) represent a surprisingly high total for a pitcher who had a reputation as a strike thrower at the University of Florida. -- Outfielder Aneury Tavarez went deep for the second straight game, going 2-for-4 with a double and his sixth homer of the year. The 21-year-old has four extra-base hits in his last four games. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 7-1 WIN VS. AUBURN (NATIONALS) (BOX) -- Right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz, the Sox' second-round pick this year, pitched two innings in which he allowed his first baserunners (three hits) and run (one) while also recording his first professional punchouts. Indeed, the 19-year-old struck out four in his two innings of work. Right-handers are 0-for-10 against him this year. -- Right-hander Sergio Gomez, 19, fired six shutout innings, allowing just one hit while walking three and punching out four. The 6-foot-3 19-year-old is fourth in the New York-Penn League with a 1.81 ERA and leads the league with 50 punchouts, a rate of 10.1 per nine innings. ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS AT GCL ORIOLES (BOX) -- Second baseman Sean Coyle went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his fourth rehab game, and he's now 1-for-14 with five strikeouts and no walks in 14 plate appearances. -- Left-hander Randy Perez continued to get strikeouts and groundballs in volume. In five innings, the 19-year-old allowed a run on three hits while punching out five, walking none and eliciting six groundouts. He's struck out 27 in 33 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .169 average, in part because they don't seem capable of elevating his fastball (which tops out at 93 mph). He's eliciting 2.6 groundouts per air out. DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 7-3 LOSS VS. DSL INDIANS (BOX) -- Luis Alexander Basabe went 2-for-3 with a walk, an HBP and a strikeout. The 16-year-old is hitting just .199, but his OBP is now up to .376. -- Shortstop Javier Guerra went 2-for-4 with a double. He's on a 10-for-18 run in his last five games, with the 17-year-old boosting his season line to .230/.354/.277 in the process.

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