While it is great to win at any level of the game, Triple-A baseball is about preparing players for the big leagues. Minor league baseball gives clubs the opportunity to focus on things that aren’t possible when trying to win on the biggest stage, whether that is young prospects looking to get a longer look at the big leagues or veterans looking for a way to improve their game. Take the PawSox’s May performance as an example.
Let’s start with Robbie Ross and Allen Craig’s recent demotions. Both have been successful at the MLB level but have struggled tremendously since being acquired. These players face a difficult task in getting back on track with high expectations and little room for error. Pawtucket could be a great place to send them.
Craig will get regular at-bats for the PawSox no matter what he does, something that was not the case in Boston. Kevin Boles, manager of the PawSox, stated that Craig will play in the middle of the order, left field, right field and first base, depending on how long he stays with the team.
Craig stated that the main thing Craig should focus on was not the surprise of being sent down, but the fact that he has the opportunity to play baseball and bat every day.
Ross is able to pitch multiple innings in Triple-A without worrying about the results.
Boles stated that he would likely use Boles with a bit more length to allow him to throw all his pitches. We don’t have a set time, but he did throw shorter innings in Boston so we might extend his outings to get his full mix.
Rusney Castillo, on the other hand, is struggling to prove he can make an impact in major league baseball. Although he will have every chance to prove his worth after signing a $72.5 million, 7-year deal with the club, 2015 has not gone exactly as planned. He was unable to play in spring training due to an oblique injury and in April due to a shoulder injury. Boles and PawSox are working to get him back to health.
Boles stated that this is a part of his spring training due to all the time he had missed. “We just want to get him comfortable and settled.”
Boles stated that the team would mix their usage of him while he was being settled. To increase his versatility in major league baseball, he will be able to hit at a variety of positions in the order. The PawSox have been known for their versatility, having tried nearly every position player.
Major league pitchers Henry Owens, Eduardo Rodriguez and others were seen practicing batting before Tuesday’s game. The organization encourages young pitchers to practice bunting in case they have to do it Boston. The team is not rushing to get those two out, but they do want them to practice bunting in Boston.