The Pawtucket Red Sox’ All-Star break could not come at a better moment as they have been in difficult times over the past month. The PawSox have lost just seven of their 27 games, including a 12-game losing streak between June 29 and July 10. The team’s biggest problem this season has been their offense. Despite having some top-rated talent, they have struggled to score runs all season. Pawtucket is currently in the basement for many offensive categories including runs, batting average, and hits.
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Despite the team’s difficulties, there has been no shortage of excitement about the team’s roster. Red Sox Nation was captivated when Eduardo Rodriguez, a PawSox pitcher, arrived and quickly proved that he could be a future ace. In Pawtucket, he was able to use his three-pitch mix well and dominated Triple-A hitters during his short time with the club. He is now a regular in the rotation and will be for many years. After spending part of the previous two seasons at Pawtucket, Brian Johnson and Deven Martero were also called up to Boston.
Many Boston Red Sox players have been sent to rehab, including Shane Victorino and Ryan Hanigan, Justin Masterson and, currently, Daniel Nava, Blake Swihart. Pawtucket has been assigned to other struggling Red Sox like Allen Craig, Rusney Castillo and Joe Kelly to help them regain their form. Although Pawtucket may not be the right place for these men, manager Kevin Boles has seen positive changes from each of them.
Castillo was expected to do well after signing a $72.5 million 7-year contract in August. However, 2015 has seen some challenges. Boles believes that some of his problems are due to the fact that he took 18 months off while escaping from Cuba. Boles also mentions Castillo’s aggressiveness and how it may have affected him at the MLB.
“When he had his second chance at the big leagues, they were capable of exploiting some weaknesses. Some of it was self-induced with the expansion of the zone, and I believe he knows that. It’s not about the details when it comes to outfield play and base running. We are excited to get him back on track. He is the hardest worker that we have.
Craig is now trying to return to his form with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was an All-Star in the National League. Boles is currently batting.275 and has scored three home runs. He also has 14 RBIs. His improvement can be attributed to his strike zone management and his lower halves.
He said, “People know who he really is when he’s on the field and they pitch him hard.” He’s able to look back on film from two years ago and see how he got his lower half under control, as well as his timing with the barrel before the pitch.
Kelly’s performance with the PawSox has been exceptional. He posted an earned run average (2.27) and he had excellent command of his pitches. He has shown great ability to mix his pitches and work with hitters. Boles is very impressed by Kelly’s arsenal and what he has done so far.
He said, “He’s got guns.” He has life to his fastball. It’s fast, explosive and hits hitters quickly. The slider also comes off the same plane. He can give many different looks.
The PawSox will be returning home for the break with most of their players, but there will be two PawSox representatives at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Omaha, Nebraska. Jackie Bradley Jr. was Pawtucket’s top hitter in 2015. He hit well over.300 every season while playing his stellar defense. He has made necessary adjustments to his swing, and has proven that he is still capable of being a regular major leaguer when given the opportunity. Kevin Boles will coach the PawSox. Brian Johnson was selected to the team, but is currently in Boston.