Ryan L. Fox
Welcome PawSox fans of all ages to WBOB’s PawSox Weekly Notebook, a weekly guide to all what’s happening with the Columbus Avenue Crew (aka, the Pawtucket Red Sox). Last week, things were looking bleak for the PawSox after they had lost 8 in a row. But since then, they’ve been on a tear winning 5 of their last 7. Will this momentum continue to carry over as the end of the season looms over the horizon?
A Week in Review
After coming home after getting swept by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the PawSox welcomed in the Charlotte Knights of the IL West. Already the two teams played each other back in mid-April in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Knights won 2 out of the 3 games that series.
The PawSox opened up the series with a 7-0 shutout of the Knights, their 12th of the season, on August 7. They then followed that up with a 9-2 victory of the following Tuesday as both teams then squared off in the series finale on Wednesday, August 9. It was a closer game compared to the two as the PawSox ended up winning 6-5, surviving a 9th inning rally by the Knights in the process.
The PawSox 3-game sweep of the Knights was the first home sweep for then since they swept the Syracuse Chiefs back on June 5-7. Not to mention that the Knights were one of two teams from the IL West Division to be swept by the PawSox, the other team being the Durham Bulls back on May 26-29 at McCoy. The series also marked the last time the PawSox would play a team from the IL West as they ended up finishing with a 13-13 (.500) record against teams in that division (9-6 at home and 4-7 on the road).
After the Knights, the PawSox began a 4-game weekend series with the Columbus Clippers. This was the first meeting of the series between the two teams as the PawSox took the first game on Thursday, August 10, by the score of 3-2. However on the following Friday, the PawSox were able to win more soundly by the score of 8-1. Then on Saturday, August 12, the Clippers were able to jump out to an early 5-0 lead that game. The PawSox were able to claw back thanks to homeruns by SS Deven Marrero, C Dan Butler, and RF Brian Bogusevic but ultimately fell short during the 5-4 loss.
The Clippers and PawSox finished up their series finale this past Sunday, August 13, as the PawSox got out to a 2-0 early lead in bottom of the second thanks to a 2-run home run by RF Steve Selsky. PawSox SP Jalen Beeks was able to limit the Clippers to just 1 run on 2 hits over 6 innings of work but unfortunately, the PawSox bullpen collapsed. Both RHPs Chandler Shepherd and Noe Ramirez each gave up 2 runs in the later innings as the Clippers ultimately won 5-2 and split the series with the PawSox.
Where They Stand
With their recent winning streak, the PawSox are still in 4th place in the International League North with a record of 59-61 (.492). They are currently 17.5 games back behind the divisional leading the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, who are sitting at 76-43 (.639). As it stands right now, the PawSox are just 4 games away from being eliminated from the IL North Divisional race.
In the Wild Card Standings, the PawSox are 9.5 games behind the current Wild Card leaders, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and Rochester Red Wings, with each team sitting at 69-52 (.570). However the PawSox are 13 games away from being eliminated from the Wild Card race.
Just the Stats Jack
The following statistics are of players currently playing on the PawSox roster. This excludes those on the disabled list, call-ups, sent downs, releases, and traded players.
At the Plate
(*=min. 150 at-bats)
- LF Bryce Brentz leads the team in games played (101), at-bats (372), runs scored (64), extra-base hits (45), home runs (27), RBIs (76), total bases (203), slugging/SLG (.546)*, and on-base plus slugging/OPS (.890)*
- CF Rusney Castillo leads the team in hits (97), stolen bases (14), and batting average (.306)
- 3B Ryan Court for team lead in walks drawn (40) and on-base percentage/OBP (.364)*
Start You Pitchers
(*= min. 35.0 IP)
- SP Hector Velazquez leads all started in wins (7), ERA (2.25)*, games played (16), games started (16), strikeouts (88), and WHIP (1.07)*
- SP Jaleen Beeks leads all starters in hit batsmen (2), strikeouts (76), and opposing batting average (.217)*
Outta Da Pen
(*= min. 20 appearances)
- LHP Marcus Walden leads the bullpen in wins (10), innings pitched (94.0), and strikeouts (81)
- LHP Edgar Olmos leads the bullpen in ERA (2.89)* and hit batsmen (5)
- RHP Noe Ramirez leads the bullpen in game appearances (32), saves (5), WHIP (1.11)*, and games finished (25)
- LHP Kyle Martin leads the bullpen in holds (5)
- RHP Austin Maddox leads the bullpen in opposing batting average (.178)*
The following team transactions took place from August 7 to August 13
- Received RHP Carson Smith from Portland (AA) to continue his MLB 30-day Injury Rehab Assignment
- Received RHP Ben Taylor from Boston (MLB) to begin MLB 30-day Injury Rehab Assignment
- Sent LHP Edgar Olmos to Lowell (Short Season-A) via paper move
- Reinstated SP Shawn Haviland from the temporary inactive list
- Sent RHP Ben Taylor to Boston (MLB) per injury rehab recall but will remain on
Boston Red Sox disabled list
- Placed OF Aneury Tavarez placed on 7-day disabled list with right hand inflammation retro to August 1
- Sent RHP Robby Scott to Boston (MLB)
- Sent SP Shawn Haviland to Lowell (Short Season-A) via paper move
- Received LHP Edgar Olmos from Lowell (Short Season-A) via paper move
- Reinstated C/OF Blake Swihart from the disabled list
Red Sox Rehab Watch
Currently the only Red Sox player rehabbing with the PawSox is RHP Carson Smith.
Smith originally joined the Boston Red Sox organization back in 2015, along with LHP Roenis Elias, from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for SP Wade Miley and RHP Johnathan Aro.
However Smith battled with various elbow surgeries during his first year with the Red Sox in 2016 and had multiple stints on the disabled list. He ultimately ended up getting Tommy John surgery on May 24, thus ending his 2016 season.
Smith spent the majority of the 2017 on the Red Sox disabled list due to Tommy John surgery recovery. He was then placed on Major League rehab assignment by the Boston Red Sox on August 5 with the Portland Sea Dogs in Double-A. After pitching in 1 game with the Sea Dogs, Smith was then transferred to Triple-A Pawtucket on August 8 and made his debut that same day against the Charlotte Knights, pitching in the 7th inning.
So far in 2 games with the PawSox, Smith has pitched in 2 games, going just 2 innings while giving up 1 hit, 0 runs, and striking out 3 batters while accumulating a 0.00 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and limiting opposing batters to a .167 batting average.
The PawSox will be off on August 14 before heading out onto the road for a 7-game road trip. Up first is a 4-game series against the Louisville Bats (August 15-17). Originally slated to be a 3-game series, the two teams will play a doubleheader on August 15 with the second game being the makeup for the May 25 game that was cancelled due to weather at McCoy. This will mark the last time these two teams will play against each other this season with the season series tied at 1-1.
Following the series against the Bats, the PawSox will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a rematch weekend series against the Columbus Clippers on August 18-20. Like with the Louisville Bats, this will also be the final match between the two teams for the 2017 season.
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