Saturday, June 11, 2011
Red Sox report: Duo stops skid
Anthony Ranaudo and Chris Hernandez paired up to put the brakes on the Salem Red Sox's slide this week, pitching back-to-back high-quality starts Wednesday and Thursday to help the Sox to their first back-to-back wins since May 20-21.
Before Wednesday, Salem had lost 13 of its last 15 games.
"Good pitching will always help slumps," Salem manager Bruce Crabbe said. "But you still have to score runs, you still have to play defense. You get different combinations on various days. If you get all three, you win."
The Sox started this season mostly winning but went into Friday's game with a 28-31 record.
"Losing stinks," Crabbe conceded. "You strive to win. But at this level, winning and losing are secondary. It's all about developing players like Ranaudo and Hernandez."
Ranaudo was a supplemental first-round draft pick for the Boston Red Sox last summer out of Louisiana State. He started this year with Greenville and was promoted to Salem on May 31. The Red Sox drafted Hernandez out of Miami in the seventh round.
"He's 6-foot-7 with a 94 mph fastball," Crabbe said. "He has command of his fastball and a power breaking ball. He's going to move quickly."
Ranaudo allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings in his first Carolina League outing. He pitched six shutout innings Wednesday.
Hernandez was named to the Carolina League all-star team this week.
"Hernandez has a variety of looks and pitches," Crabbe said. "He's an advanced kid. He's poised on the mound. He's used to playing under tough situations. And he's a left-hander with good stuff, and he's taken advantage of those attributes."
Catch a rising star
Neither of Salem's other all-stars, Dan Butler and Reynaldo Rodriguez, was drafted, but they rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the Carolina League in RBIs.
Butler had Tommy John surgery while he was a catcher at Arizona, and caught the Red Sox's eye in the Cape Cod League.
Crabbe said Butler "is one of the best catchers in the league."
Rodriguez, who is from Colombia, signed with the New York Yankees as a 17-year-old. He starred in the Dominican Summer League, but he too had arm troubles and was let go after five years. Rodriguez, who leads the league in doubles (23), slugging (.576) and runs scored (43), signed with Yuma of the independent Golden Baseball League, earning rookie of the year honors in 2009.
"It's a matter of good scouting and seeing their potential," Crabbe said. "There were injury issues and questions about that. The scouts saw through that."