Tag Archives: Portland Sea Dogs

Bobby Dalbec: A big hit in Portland

Bobby Dalbec poses in front of the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Bobby Dalbec ready to hit.

(Portland ME) Sometimes batters get your attention in batting practice.

Bobby Dalbec of the Portland Sea Dogs is one of those players.

Thirteen games into the 23-year-olds promotion to Double A, he bears watching even before the game.

I took in the pregame yesterday at Hadlock Stadium and saw him drill BP pitches all over the place.

During BP the Altoona Curve was warming up in the left-field corner awaiting their turn to take over the field.  I’d hear the whack of bat meeting ball and watch players at least 300 feet away take a quick look to see if the ball was coming their way.  And several times it did.

I watched one of the Sea Dogs coaches, standing near second base, hear a ball go whizzing by his head and not have time to react.

The young man has power.  Between Salem (VA) in the Carolina League and his brief time in Portland, Bobby is tied for the top spot in the minors with 31 home runs.

“I know about where I am with home runs but I’m not going to chase them,” Bobby told me in a post-BP interview.  “I want to hit the ball hard.”

Portland broadcaster Mike Antonellis

Sea Dogs announcer Mike Antonellis added that, “Bobby isn’t trying to hit the ball out like some players do.  He’s not upper cutting but he generates so much power that they do go out.”

Mike, who reached 3000 games broadcasted recently, has seen all thirteen of Bobby’s Portland games and recalled two memorable homers already. “The most impressive one I’ve seen here (Hadlock Stadium) was one that cleared the Thomas College sign in center.  That sign is 24’ high.  Our trackman service estimated that the ball traveled 451 feet!  On the road he had one in Erie to left center that landed on the roof of their arena.  Some of the Erie people told me that they thought it was one of the longest ones they had ever seen there.”

Bobby relaxes in the dugout pregame with a teammate

Bobbly was one of the Portland players without a number on his practice jersey.  “That gives you away as the new guy,” I kidded him.

“I may be new here, but I know most of these guys from the lower minors,” he said, “it has been an easy transition for me to be in Portland.”

Bobby told him that his parents were in Portland for the weekend to see him play here for the first time.  They had taken two trips to Salem to catch him in the Carolina League.

Bobby is a third baseman but so is Boston’s #1 prospect Michael Chavis.  In tonight’s game Michael was at 3B and Bobby was DH.

“Bobby is 6’4” so he’s easy to see at 3B,” said Mike.  “He’s a former pitcher (Arizona) and has a terrific arm.”

There is so much data available on players that with his reputation he faced shifts even in A ball.  “I was aware of the shifts, but I just refused to change my approach at the plate to try and defeat it,” said Bobby.

Bobby Dalbec in the dugout with pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz

Mike explained that Double A can be tough for newcomers.  “The good one’s face shifts and they see more secondary pitches thrown by better guys.”

Mike told me that he was surprised that the righthanded-hitting Bobby was seeing a lot more fastballs early in counts since teams were shifting a bit toward the left side.

There are some comparisons between Bobby and JD Martinez. “Both players seem to have a similar plan at the plate,” said Mike, “and that is to hit the ball hard.  Both insist that they’re not intentionally going for homers”

Regarding his future Bobby said: “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and see where it takes me.”  So far it has taken him this season from Boston’s #12 prospect to #6.

Bobby Dalbec

Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers may be younger (21) and entrenched a bit in Boston but Bobby’s power numbers and ability to play the position could move him up to Fenway sooner or later.

“I think he’s special,” added Mike. “There may be some adjustment periods, so we’ll have to see.”

One is left to wonder how the last-place Portland Sea Dogs (52-69) would have done in 2018 with Josh Ockimey, Michael Chavis, and Bobby Dalbec in action from the beginning of the season.

Mike Antonellis has been involved in broadcasting for twenty-two years.  “I started out doing sports updates at Dean Junior College,” he told me.  “I felt comfortable at it right away.  I have been with Portland since 2005 and have done 2000 games with them.”

My thanks to Mike for arranging my interview with Bobby Dalbec and adding to the information I had on the talented young man.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Feeling at home in Portland

Bobby was the DH against Altoona

Heading out to bat

With Coach Luke Montz

On the move on the bases against Altoona

Set to bat

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bobby Dalbec, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Top Prospects Manuel Margot (Red Sox) and David Dahl (Rockies) at Hadlock Field today

Manuel Margot hit for the cycle versus New Britain driving in five runs

Manuel Margot hit for the cycle versus New Britain driving in five runs

David Dahl heads for the New Britain dugout

David Dahl heads for the New Britain dugout

(Portland ME) Four years ago I was chasing the 18-year-old phenom of the Washington Nationals. Today it was David Dahl of the Colorado Rockies.

I did get pictures of both of them despite the fact that both of them were out of uniform on the day that I saw them at Hadlock Field in Portland.

It helped that I had looked at several pictures of the player. Interesting, both players wandered from the clubhouse to the dugout at the last minute.

Today I was blessed to have a photographer near me in the New Britain dugout who has been covering the Rock Cats for twelve years. He told me earlier that he had been at Hadlock when the team bus arrived and didn’t see David Dahl get off. However, later when a player strolled into the Rock Cats dugout just before game time I asked him if it was David Dahl and he confirmed that it was.

Today was Field of Dreams day at Hadlock. The cornfields were set up in center field and the Portland players did come out from the fields as narrator Mike Antonellis told the story.

The idea of having the cornfields as part of an event at Hadlock began in the ‘90’s when efforts were being made by Eastern League teams to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary. One of the Portland owners suggested the cornfield idea and it has become an annual event ever since.

Portland players were in the stands today wearing their 2926 Portland Eskimos uniform

Portland players were in the stands today wearing their 1926 Portland Eskimos uniform

Thirteenth sellout of the season for Portland. The team will finish last in the Eastern League eastern division. Fans show up anyhow. Why? Prices are low. Plenty of entertainment during the game. Good view of the action.

I go there to try and get an early glimpse of future stars. Once I got Bryce in 2011 I have done homework to try and photograph others with big futures.

David Dahl is listed as Prospect #3 in the Colorado system. David is 21 and was selected in the first round in 2012.

The Number 3 prospect in the Red Sox farm system put on a huge show today. I’m talking about Manuel Margot. The 20-year-old hit for the cycle in today’s game and drove in five runs.

Very unlikely Manuel Margot will be in the Portland dugout next season

Very unlikely Manuel Margot will be in the Portland dugout next season

Manuel has all the skills needed to be a star. His home run today was to the opposite field.

Manuel will start next season in Pawtucket but then what? You look at the Red Sox outfield (Mookie, Rusney, and Jackie) and wonder which one Manuel could replace. Trade bait??

The New Britain franchise will be moving to Hartford (CT) next year to a new stadium. An independent league team will be playing in New Britain’s park.

The Sea Dogs win today ended New Britain’s eight-game winning streak.

It was a beautiful day with plenty of September sun.

Many thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging my visit today.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Red Sox #3 prospect Manuel Margot

Red Sox #3 prospect Manuel Margot

David Dahl in the Rock Cats dugout

David Dahl in the Rock Cats dugout

Manager Darin Everson

Manager Darin Everson

Fan gets ready to catch Manuel Margot home run. Ball is above top railing.

Fan gets ready to catch Manuel Margot home run. Ball is above top railing.

Will Swanner home run trots past pitcher Mike McCarthy

Will Swanner home run trots past pitcher Mike McCarthy

Will Swanner

Will Swanner

Sam Travis gets a day off

Sam Travis gets a day off

Pat Valaika

Pat Valaika

Noel Cuevas

Noel Cuevas

Joey Wong fires to first

Joey Wong fires to first

Jordan Patterson bunt attempt

Jordan Patterson bunt attempt

Jordan Patterson

Jordan Patterson

David Chester stretches to take a high throw

David Chester stretches to take a high throw

Harrison Musgrave eyes the home plate umpire

Harrison Musgrave eyes the home plate umpire

Carlos Asuaje

Carlos Asuaje

Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

Carlos Estevez

Carlos Estevez

Dave Burba

Dave Burba

John Cornely

John Cornely

Jordan Weems

Jordan Weems

Sea Dogs announcer Mike Antonellis narrated the Field of Dreams event

Sea Dogs announcer Mike Antonellis narrated the Field of Dreams event

Leave a comment

Filed under New Britain Rock Cats, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Rusney Castillo sighted at Portland as Binghamton forces Game Five with 11-4 win in Eastern League playoffs

Boston Red Sox prospect Rusney Castillo looks out from the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Boston Red Sox prospect Rusney Castillo looks out from the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Keury De La Cruz and Rusney Castillo

Keury De La Cruz and Rusney Castillo

(Portland ME) I hoped for better.

I decided to take in Game Four of the Eastern League playoffs because I wanted to be at Hadlock Field when the Sea Dogs reached the EL finals.

I also wanted to get a good look at Red Sox newcomer Rusney Castillo.

Well, the Rusney Castillo part worked out.  The other part fell apart after Portland starter Mike Augliera loaded the bases with Binghamton Mets in the fifth inning with no outs.

Sea Dogs manager Billy McMillon twice signaled for relief thereafter and found none.  Mike McCarthy and Peter Ruiz?  Couldn’t have done worse.  Walks, hit batsmen, and hits, and before you knew it a 2-2 game after four innings was an 11-2 laugher two innings later.  The final score was 11-4.

It was a disappointment but there is tomorrow in this best-of-five series and that decisive game will be played at Hadlock Field.

Rusney Castillo played center field for the Sea Dogs

Rusney Castillo played center field for the Sea Dogs

I did get a good look at recently signed ($72 million) Rusney Castillo.  I would describe him as short, thin-waisted but powerfully built.  He never got on base in this game so I never got a chance to see any of the blazing speed he apparently has.

I am sure that Rusney is a little bit dazed by all that has happened.  He signed the big-money contract on August 23rd and then went to play in A ball in the Gulf Coast League.  Next he joined Portland.  That, so far, has meant two games in Binghamton (NY) and a seven-hour bus-ride to Portland for a 6PM game on Friday and a noon game today.  I suspect after tomorrow Rusney will move on to Pawtucket for the International League finals versus Durham.  At least it has given a lot of Red Sox fans a chance to see a highly-publicized player up close before he starts his career in Boston.  

Rusney smiled at the fans pre-game but didn’t sign autographs.  He seems to have bonded with leftfielder Keury De La Cruz during his short stay in Portland.

Fortunately for me, Rusney spent his in-the-dugout time down the end where the photographer’s were.  That gave this amateur plenty of chances to get a decent picture of him.  

Did it make a difference in the game?  I’m not sure but when I arrived, 1 1/2 hours before game time, the B-Mets were taking batting practice.  The team had just four hits in Friday night’s 6-3 loss.  Normally you don’t see a team taking batting practice before a noon game, but with elimination pending batting practice was called and it paid off with thirteen hits and eleven runs.  Maybe Portland should take BP tomorrow?

I succeeded in getting a picture of the B-Mets Brandon Nimmo.  Brandon was a first-round pick of the Mets in 2011.  The 21-year-old third baseman can hit.  He is from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Bad start dooms Slugger

Bad start dooms Slugger

Another happy fan gets the best of Slugger

Another happy fan gets the best of Slugger

I have noted the running skills of Sea Dogs mascot Slugger every time I’m at Hadlock.  I always like his chances when I see the size of his around-the-bases running opponent.  They’re always small but never small enough that they can’t beat the easily-distracted Slugger.  Today the very social mascot found a need as the race started to get some batting tips over by the Binghamton dugout.  But he did and off raced his diminutive, full-speed opponent to a big lead.  Slugger was great once he was underway on the bases but that early chat did him in.  Why would he need batting tips anyhow?  My suggestion to the Sea Dogs management would be that his uniform number should be changed from 1 to 2 because that is where he’s finished every time I’ve watched.

Rusney Castillo smiled but didn't sign

Rusney Castillo smiled but didn’t sign

Seriously, another good time at Hadlock. The visit arranged for me late Friday night by the always-affable Chris Cameron.  I really appreciate it.

A crowd of over three thousand was on hand.  The game was originally scheduled for 6PM.  Changing the time to noon avoided the showers forecast but probably forced some fans to miss the game.  

I was surprised by how quiet the crowd was.  I could understand it after the team was down 11-2 but not before that.  I think that the Sea Dogs could use the boost.

Sean Coyle was hit by a pitch.  I think on the forearm.  I predict that Sean will start 2014 at Pawtucket.  Playing second base isn’t going to get him to Boston any time soon but maybe he’ll be a multi-position player like Brock Holt and Mookie Betts.

Good luck to the Sea Dogs tomorrow in Game Five.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

singer of the National Anthem

singer of the National Anthem

Sean Coyle after getting hit by a pitch

Sean Coyle after getting hit by a pitch

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Brian Burgamy

Brian Burgamy

intense Sean Coyle

intense Sean Coyle

Keury De La Cruz

Keury De La Cruz

Heiker Meneses

Heiker Meneses

Rusney Castillo prepares to bat

Rusney Castillo prepares to bat

Catcher Carson Blair homered for Portland

Catcher Carson Blair homered for Portland

Brandon Nimmo

Brandon Nimmo

Leave a comment

Filed under Binghamton Mets, Portland Sea Dogs

Top Red Sox prospects litter Portland Sea Dogs roster

Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero

Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero

catcher Blake Swihart and pitcher Henry Owens

catcher Blake Swihart and pitcher Henry Owens

(Portland ME) Do you want to see the top Red Sox prospects?  Portland, Maine should be your destination real soon.

The Portland Sea Dogs’ roster (according to MLB.com Prospect Watch) currently has three of the top five Red Sox prospects (Henry Owens, Blake Swihart, and Mookie Betts) as well as #13 Deven Marrero.  Highly regarded Sean Coyle is also on the team along with recently arrived Bo Greenwell (Yes, Mike is his father.).

I was at Hadlock Field this morning/afternoon as the Sea Dogs pushed their won/loss record to 35-18 with a 2-1 win over the New Britain Rock Cats.

The Thursday weather for the 11AM start was downright awesome: sunny but not too hot.

Hoping to see some of the six prospects, I was blessed into a game in which all six took part.  You talk about photo ops!

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

#1 prospect Henry Owens was very impressive.  The tall lefty went seven innings facing only twenty-five batters.  Henry allowed three hits and kept the Rock Cats from making solid contact most of the time.

This was the first time I have seen #3 prospect Blake Swihart catch.  Henry’s control gave Blake an easy-to-handle game.

I came to this game suspecting that it might be a last chance to see Mookie Betts (#5 prospect) in action.  I am envisioning Pawtucket in his June future.  The Sea Dogs centerfielder had a rare game for him………never got on base.

The best play I saw today?  Easily it was what shortstop Deven Marrero did with Kennys Vargas’ grounder up the middle.  It would have been a terrific play if Deven had just stopped the ball but he added to it by getting off the ground and getting the out at first.  Granted, Kennys Vargas (6’5 – 275 pounds) appears to have David Ortiz-like speed, but the play was remarkable nonetheless.  I have read in several places that Deven’s glove is major-league ready.  Today I confirmed the fact for myself visually.

This young fan toasted Slugger

This young fan toasted Slugger

Mascot Slugger added to his losing streak as yet another young fan got the best of him circling the bases. This race should be under review because the young fan started halfway up the first baseline.  This unfair start put Slugger way behind early and he just didn’t have the closing kick needed to win the race.  Of course the way I saw it, the young fan should have been disqualified.  I am starting to think these races may be fixed.

Plenty of Maine school kids in the house.  There were some educational activities before the game and fun activities during the game.  The Portland Sea Dogs management aims to please the attendees and again today they hit the target.

Thanks to Assistant GM Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Deven Marrero dives back to first

Deven Marrero dives back to first

Tony Thomas (former Sea Dog)

Tony Thomas (former Sea Dog)

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

Mookie Betts signs

Mookie Betts signs

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

Mookie Betts pregame

Mookie Betts pregame

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

Nick Kvasnicka

Nick Kvasnicka

Bo Greenwell

Bo Greenwell

Deven Marrero steals second

Deven Marrero steals second

pregame rocket launch

pregame rocket launch

Leave a comment

Filed under New Britain Rock Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Henry Owens and Gary Sanchez spotted at Field of Dreams game in Portland

The 1926 Portland Eskimos move out onto Hadlock Field

The 1926 Portland Eskimos move out onto Hadlock Field

Portland Eskimos applaud Hadlock fans

Portland Eskimos applaud Hadlock fans

(Portland ME) Quite the pregame show!

Set up close to the wall in centerfield was a cornfield arranged in the, “Field of Dreams,” mode.

The sellout crowd was addressed and thanked for twenty years of baseball following at Hadlock Field.

Then suddenly players appeared on our side of the cornfield.  They came out wearing 1926 Portland Eskimos uniforms and looked around in wonder at Hadlock Field.

The players then strolled in toward the foul lines getting a thunderous, standing ovation from the delighted crowd.

The players then applauded the fans and went up into the stands to greet as many in the crowd as they could get to.

Media boss Chris Cameron in the middle

Media boss Chris Cameron in the middle

It was terrific stuff.  Media boss Chris Cameron had told me, on a previous visit, that it was his favorite promotion of the summer.  Now I knew why.  Fan involvement in most minor league games is quite subdued but this show had everyone stirred up.

Then there was the game that you thought this write-up was about!

Portland lost the game, 9-4, on a cloudy/rainy/sunny Sunday afternoon.  The rain hit just at game time but fortunately was soon gone.  It turned out to be a delightful day for a game.

Going into Friday, the Portland Sea Dogs had a chance to get to second and make the Eastern League (AA) playoffs.  “All” they had to do was finish the regular season with five straight wins over second-place Trenton.

They got past Friday but not Saturday.  The home team dropped both ends of last night’s double-header and the first loss sealed the doom of the Sea Dogs.  That result made this game irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.

But there were prospects to be seen.  My main reason for doing this game was to get Sea Dog pitcher Henry Owens.  The 20-year-old was the starter today.  I was also hoping to get a look at shortstop Deven Marrero in the field.  Missions accomplished!

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

The Trenton Yankees have their top three prospects (Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, and Tyler Austin) on their roster.  Mason, however, was injured Saturday night so he was unavailable.  I flat out messed up on Tyler.  I think that the Trenton online roster had him with a different number.  But I did really well with Gary Sanchez.  He cooperated for a nice shot in the Trenton dugout.

Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez

Gary is a 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic who signed a $3 million contract with the Yankees as a 16-year-old.  He has the size (6-2/220 pounds) to catch and plenty of power.  The eerie thing about Gary is that on first glance he looks like Alex Rodriguez!

Speaking of catchers, Portland’s Christian Vazquez was called up to AAA Pawtucket today.  Christian had been cited for his defense in the past.  This year his hitting improved tremendously.

Many of us were on hand to see Henry Owens.  What most of us didn’t expect was for him to get taken deep twice (Ramon Flores and Gary Sanchez) in the first inning.  The tall lefty ended up going 5 2/3 innings giving up six hits, 3 runs, and had eight strikeouts.  He should be a good one.  I suspect that he’ll at least start at Portland next season.  I doubt that he’ll stay there too long.

Nik Turley takes care of his arm

Nik Turley takes care of his arm

Lefty Nik Turley started for Trenton and got the win.  He went five innings and left leading 3-2.  Nik is not related to former Yankee ace Bob Turley although Bob did call Nik’s father after the 2008 draft to welcome Nik to the Yankees.

A 3-2 game got away from the Sea Dogs in the 8th inning when the Thunder put up a five-spot on reliever Miguel Celestino.

Trenton, which hosts Binghamton in the EL playoffs on Wednesday, had thirteen hits against Portland.  Ben Gamel led the way with three hits including a home run.  Ramon Flores (Yankees #16 prospect) had two hits including a homer.  Reegie Corono had a home run as well.

Portland had eleven hits.  Garin Cecchini, Travis Shaw, and Deven Marrero each had two of them.

Slugger falls losing yet again

Slugger falls losing yet again

Another embarrassing effort by Slugger.  He raced against a 4-year-old (?) from Oxford today.  The youngster headed for rightfield after first but it didn’t matter.  Slugger should have built up a big lead with the confusion but instead fell flat near second.  Slugger recovered but just when he had a great chance for the win went down again just short of home.  I’m beginning to wonder if he’s really trying.

Again thanks to media relations director Chris Cameron for setting up my visit.

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Christian Vazquez was called up to AAA Pawtucket

Christian Vazquez was called up to AAA Pawtucket

Matt Spring and Henry Owens

Matt Spring and Henry Owens

Gary Sanchez signs

Gary Sanchez signs

catching a pop

catching a pop

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez

Garin Cecchini gets third as Casey Stevenson awaits throw

Garin Cecchini gets third as Casey Stevenson awaits throw

Ramon Flores

Ramon Flores

Gary Sanchez in home run trot

Gary Sanchez in home run trot

Ramon Flores congratulated after homer

Ramon Flores congratulated after homer

Henry Owens

Henry Owens

Reegie Corona and Gary Sanchez both hit homers

Reegie Corona and Gary Sanchez both hit homers

Leave a comment

Filed under Portland Sea Dogs, Trenton Thunder

Mickey Pena debuts in 4-2 Portland Sea Dogs win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Peter Hissey hustles to beat the throw to first enabling the Portland Sea Dogs to score their first run.

Derrik Gibson hustles to beat the throw to first enabling the Portland Sea Dogs to score their first run.

Christian Vazquez had three hits and drove in the 4th Portland run

Christian Vazquez had three hits and drove in the 4th Portland run

(Portland)  They fought like cats and dogs.

I’m sorry, I just had to use that.  Why? Because it was true.

Tight game this afternoon with the Portland Sea Dogs getting three runs in the eighth inning on their way to a 4-2 win over the visiting New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

The Wednesday noon start brought out over six thousand fans and they saw the home team win an important game.  The Sea Dogs are currently in 4th place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League.

The top two teams will make the playoffs.  Binghamton will get first but the race for second place is tightening up.  Second place Trenton (Yankee farm team) leads Portland by 4 ½ games with 13 games left.  However, by the luck of the schedule, the two teams will meet a remarkable nine times the rest of the way including the last five at Hadlock Field.  The opportunity to move up in the standings is certainly there for the taking for the Sea Dogs.

Many of today’s attendees were disappointed to learn yesterday that phenom Henry Owens would not be pitching in today’s game.  Henry has pitched once at Hadlock and that was after a two-hour rain delay.  Let’s just say that not too many have seen him pitch in person at the AA level in Portland.

Mickey Pena made his AA debut pitching seven shutout innings

Mickey Pena made his AA debut pitching seven shutout innings

Mickey Pena got the start today for Portland and the lefty looked very good.  There was no indication that this was his AA debut.  He has been with Salem (A) this season.  Mickey went seven innings giving up only five hits and no runs.

Marcus Walden of the Fisher Cats was just as effective as Mickey was.  Marcus came in with the deceiving 6-12 record but he had won four games against Portland with a very impressive 1.56 ERA.

The Sea Dogs scratched out a run in the 4th inning.  Christian Vazquez (three hits/1 run/1 rbi) scored from third as Derrik Gibson’s hustle prevented an inning ending double play.

That 1-0 looked safe after reliever Jeremy Kehrt retired the first two batters in the eighth inning but then the wheels came off.  Jeremy gave up six hits to the next nine batters he faced.  He did manage to escape with only one run given up in the eighth but the score was now tied.

Michael Almanzar had a two-out, two-run triple in the eighth inning.

Michael Almanzar had a two-out, two-run triple in the eighth inning.

A hit batsman and a walk surrounded two outs for Portland in their half of the eighth.  Out went Marcus Walden and in came Evan Crawford.  That switch did not go well!  Michael Almanzar tripled to right bringing both runners home.  That was the 24th run this season that Michael has delivered with two outs.  Christian Vazquez followed with a single and Portland had a 4-1 lead.

In the ninth Jeremy Kehrt continued to struggle.  He gave up a run (now 4-2) and he left with two outs and the bases loaded.  Noe Ramirez came on to save the game getting Andy Burns to pop to shortstop Derrik Gibson along the left-field line.

I will have to admit that I was a bit disappointed not to see Henry Owens in action. However, maybe I’ll look back in a few years and say I saw Mickey Pena debut in AA ball.  He could be a good one.

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

With Henry out of the mix, I was left to get recently called up Deven Marrero.  Would you believe that he wasn’t playing either!

I did, however, get some shots of Deven before and during the game……but not any action shots.

Minor league baseball is a great take for the family.  There certainly is plenty of entertainment for everyone.  I did notice the there were few buses in front of Hadlock so obviously camps are over and the resumption of school is at hand.

I continue to be disappointed with the Sea Dog mascot Sluggo.  How many times can he lose to opponents ¼ his size?  He always gets a bad start and usually falls down, which gives him no chance.  I wonder if he’s heard of the Washington Generals??

Sluggo loses to another youngster

Sluggo loses to another youngster

Thanks to Portland Sea Dogs media director Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.  I may try to get back to Hadlock during their five-game series with Trenton that ends the season.  There is a big if.  Henry Owens has to be pitching.  I would like to think that in a five-game series, that might mean something, the 20-year-old would get a start.

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Rich Gedman

Rich Gedman

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

pre-game chat

pre-game chat

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

JC Linares and Michael Almanzar

JC Linares and Michael Almanzar

loose ball

loose ball

Derrik Gibson

Derrik Gibson

Christian Vazquez gets high five from Shannon Wilkerson after scoring first run

Christian Vazquez gets high five from Shannon Wilkerson after scoring first run

sea of green

sea of green

Marcus Walden

Marcus Walden

Kenny Wilson takes second

Kenny Wilson takes second

sliding results

sliding results

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf

Mickey Pena throws to first

Mickey Pena throws to first

Kevin Heller

Kevin Heller

Ryan Dent steals second - he had two steals in the game.

Ryan Dent steals second – he had two steals in the game.

Garin Cecchini

Garin Cecchini

Gary Allenson and Garin Cecchini

Gary Allenson and Garin Cecchini

Mickey Pena

Mickey Pena

Deck McGuire

Deck McGuire

Richie Hebner signs

Richie Hebner signs

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

Garin Cecchini

Garin Cecchini

Leave a comment

Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Franklin Morales and Dave Ross rehab at Portland

Portland infield - Michael Almanzar, Xander Bogaerts, Derrik Gibson, Matt Spring

Portland infield – Michael Almanzar, Xander Bogaerts, Derrik Gibson, Matt Spring

(Portland)  Third straight win for the Sea Dogs as they defeated New Hampshire, 8-4, on a Thursday morning/afternoon Eastern League game.

The treat for the 4,622 attending was that two Boston Red Sox players (Franklin Morales and David Ross) were rehabbing with the Sea Dogs.

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Portland (27-18) is currently at the top of the Eastern League East with a two-game lead over the Binghamton Mets.  The Sea Dogs have gone to Binghamton (NY) for a weekend series.

The announcement that Morales and Ross would be playing came late.  I was geared to take a look at Portland pitcher Anthony Ranaudo.  Anthony has pitched well enough in 2013 (5-1/1.67 ERA/0.91 WHIP) to deserve a promotion to Pawtucket before too long.

I anticipated a small turnout at Hadlock Field.  An 11AM start on a Thursday with overcast conditions drove that point of view.  I realized the error of my thinking when I saw 30 (?) school buses lined up outside the stadium.

The students were entertained and talked to for about an hour before the game.

As part of the education segment, a lady involved with science launched a rocket.  Something about that activity always gets me a bit nervous when I think of something like that being tried by one of these school kids when they get home.

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Catcher Dave Ross told the Press Herald that he had to borrow a glove from Jason Varitek for the game.  There were two other former Red Sox catchers on the scene – Rich Gedman (Portland hitting coach) and Gary Allenson (New Hampshire manager).

Ross (36-years-old) has been on the DL since May 11th after he took a couple of pitches off his mask against Toronto and suffered a concussion.

Ross headed back to Boston after five innings were over expecting to be checked out the Boston team physicians.

Franklin Morales got the win for Portland.  He went five innings and gave up six hits and one run.

Franklin (27-years-old) has been on the DL since opening day with a back strain.   This was his fifth rehab start.  I don’t know if he’ll have anymore or not.

I did not see Matt Barnes, the Red Sox’s first round pick in 2011.

Ryan Schimpf had a big game for the Fisher Cats going 4-for-5.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

The top player at Portland, in my opinion, is Xander Bogaerts.  Young (20) and at the top of his game.  Good fielder (shortstop) and an improving bat.  Xander had a triple in today’s game.

This was my second time seeing New Hampshire.  Their top player (again, in my opinion) is Kevin Pillar.  This 24-year-old outfielder plays quality defense and is currently 7th in the Eastern League in batting at .316.

I am again grateful to Chris Cameron (media relations director) for setting up my visit to Hadlock Field today.  Chris also puts in time with the Sea Dogs grounds crew.

The dugout view that I was allowed to have is the best picture-taking spot at Hadlock.  It also can be a bit dangerous.  During this visit I had a one-hop grounder come toward me, bounce over my head, carom off the brick behind me, and back onto the field.

I hope to get back to Hadlock in July.  I notice that there is one of those “getaway” games on July 8th.

(All of the pictures both above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf

Dave Ross and Amadeo Zazueta

Dave Ross and Amadeo Zazueta

play at second

play at second

mascot

mascot

Rich Gedman

Rich Gedman

Matt Spring

Matt Spring

youngster outruns mascot to get prize

youngster outruns mascot to get prize

lady contestant

lady contestant

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Leave a comment

Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs