2012 PawSox Roster

Top 10 PawSox moments of 2012

This past season was one to remember for the Pawtucket Red Sox franchise. Not only did the 2012 club, a club that saw an extreme amount of roster turnover, bring the Governors’ Cup back to Rhode Island for the first time in 28 years, its players and staff experienced riveting, and on some occasions, career changing feats that will forever be ingrained in their memories.

As per the norm this time of year, we’re here to recap what was an compelling year for the Boston Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in a simplistic, top 10 list.

10. McCoy Stadium gets a makeover

For the first time since 2006, McCoy Stadium, which celebrated it’s 70th year in existence this season, received a new playing surface in October. The renovations were rendered on both the infield and the outfield grass, and were performed by Sports Turf Specialties of Wrentham, Mass.

It may not have have been an awe-inducing moment like the nine that will follow, but new grass for the first time in six years is still a quality moment for everybody involved in the franchise, especially the players. You can watch a time-lapse of the project by clicking here.

9. PawSox tie franchise record with ninth-straight win

Long ago, when the PawSox featured a lineup akin to what Boston had in September, the club tied the franchise mark of nine straight wins. It was April 24 when the PawSox achieved the feat on a 4-3 victory over the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees (if you haven’t heard, the Yankees recently changed their name).

Mauro Gomez led the way offensively with a three-run home run, and the collective pitching efforts of Brandon Duckworth, Clayton Mortensen, Alex Wilson, Rich Hill and Mark Melancon stymied the Yanks’ bats.

8. Will Middlebrooks homers in four straight games

It took all of 24 games in Pawtucket for Will Middlebrooks to captivate Red Sox Nation and to garner a call-up to Boston. In that stretch, the 24-year-old batted .333/.380/.677/1.057 with nine home runs.

Four of those nine homers came in four straight games in mid-April (18-21), amid the PawSox’ nine-game winning streak, and had Middlebrooks homered in the first game of the PawSox’ doubleheader on April 23, he would have matched Michael Coleman’s five-game home run streak set in 1999.

Middlebrooks ended up going 0-for-2 with a walk and strikeout in game one of the doubleheader against the Durham Bulls, but in game two, the Texas native belted a three-run home run. Although he didn’t accomplish Coleman’s feat, he did match Josh Reddick’s four-game home run streak from 2011.

7. Bryce Brentz wows in playoff run

Bryce Brentz did anything but performed well in his first five games at Triple-A, batting .118/.167/.118/.284 after a 122-game Double-A Portland campaign in which he batted .296/.355/.478/.833. But once the playoffs game around, the former first round pick played at an exceptional level.

In seven games during the Governors’ Cup Playoffs, Brentz went 8-for-24 (.333) with five RBI, a double, triple and two home runs. It’s safe to say he adjusted well to Triple-A level.

6. Mark Prior’s revival (almost)

Remember when Mark Prior suited up for 19 games with the PawSox? Well, if you don’t, you should because oft-injured, former second overall pick almost had a career revival playing for Pawtucket.

In those 19 games, Prior pitched 25 innings and struck out 38, while surrendering 11 runs (3.96 ERA). Although he did walk 23 batters in that span, it appeared the 32-year-old was on the right track to pitch in the majors for the first time since 2006. Instead, Prior was released by the Red Sox in August in order to create roster space for Pedro Beato.

5. Lars Anderson breaks McCoy’s video board

If you’re reading this, you probably heard or saw, whether in person or on ESPN Sportscenter Top plays, Lars Anderson breaking the video board in right-center at McCoy Stadium (if you haven’t seen it, click here).

It was a mammoth shot, to say the least. It was one of two PawSox plays this season that was featured on Sportscenter — the second one is high on this list.

4. Arnie Beyeler earns first major league promotion

Arnie Beyeler was one of the best managers to walk through McCoy in sometime. Not only was he the guy to lead the first Governors’ Cup championship team in 28 years, he won the International League North in 2011 and collected a 160-126 (.559) record in two seasons at Triple-A — which places him second, behind Ken Macha, for highest winning percentage in PawSox history (with at least 100 games managed).

So, when Beyeler was named Boston’s first base coach for 2013 in November, it was a great moment for him and the PawSox.

3. Ben Mondor statue is unveiled

Had it not been for the late Ben Mondor’s persistence earlier in his career as PawSox owner, this marvelous 2012 season probably would have never occurred. There couldn’t have been a better season to unveil the statue of the best thing to have ever happened to PawSox baseball.

The statue is located in the Mondor Gardens, which is just behind the left field fence at McCoy.

2. Jason Repko’s sensational catch

And here’s the second PawSox play to land on Sportscenter Top plays. Just like Anderson’s home run, you’ve probably seen this, and if not, here it is.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

1. PawSox take home Governors’ Cup

This had to take the top spot because it was clearly the highlight of the 2012 season. For the first time in 28 years, the PawSox took home International League glory.

To place it in crazier context, this PawSox team endured immense roster turnover as 69 different players donned a PawSox uniform in 2012 (one shy of the franchise record of 70 set in 2006 and 1995), and only seven players from the opening roster were a part of the club’s postseason run.

It really was a remarkable year for the PawSox, and to summarize it and 10 plays doesn’t completely do it justice, but, you know, having anything but a top 10 list is just unorthodox. There were several different moments that could have made the cut (Pedro Ciriaco’s 16-game hitting streak and Mauro Gomez winning International League MVP honors are examples).

Hopefully you’ll be reading us during the 2013 season, which can potentially top what was, again, a ridiculous 2012. I, and no doubt Keith, hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Game 111, PawSox 4, Yankees 2

The Pawtucket Red Sox take the finale o the four game series with the Scraonto-Wilkes Barre Yankees, and regain first place in he I.L North, with a 402 victory last night on the “road” in Rochester.

BOX SCORE

PawSox and Yankees Flip Flop Again (PawSox.com)
PawSox 4, Yankees 2: Victory Puts Pawtucket Back in First (Providence Journal)
Red Sox Trade Lars Anderson to Indians
(PawSox.com)
Anderson Talks About Being Traded to Indians (PawSox.com)
Red Sox Trade Albers and Podednick for Breslow (PawSox.com)
Anderson “Pretty Happy” About Fresh Start with Cleveland (Providence Journal)
Red Sox Deal lars Anderson to Cleveland for Knuckleballer Steven Wright (Sox Prospects)
McGair: Lars Anderson Finally Gets a Change of Scenery (Pawtucket Times)
Baseball Chapel Plays Major Role with Players (Pawtucket Times)
PawSox’ Mock Stays True to his Spiritual Side (Pawtucket Times)
Empire State Yankees Fall Out of First Place (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Yankees Surrender Division Lead in Loss (Times Leader, PA)

UP NEXT-  The PawSox move on to Allentown to open a two game series with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  Tonight’s game begins at 7:05p.m.  Tony Pena, Jr. (1-9, 5.66 ERA) starts for Pawtucket.  Scott Elarton (5-8, 5.22 ERA) throws for Lehigh Valley.

PawSox Mid-Season Report By the Numbers

It’s seems impossible that the Pawtucket Red Sox are at the official half way mark of its 2012 season.  But it is.  The season thus far has been an exceptional success, with Pawtucket in first place in the I.L. North Division, four games ahead of second place Lehigh Valley.  At 45-27 the PawSox also have the best record in the International League.

By taking a look at the numbers it’s easy to see how the PawSox have succeeded through 72 games.

OFFENSE-  The statistics clearly show that the PawSox’ great start can be attributed to its offense.  As a team Pawtucket leads the league in the following offensive categories: batting average (.275), total hits (663), runs scored (377), home runs (83), RBI (351), total bases (1051). on-base percentage (.350), slugging percentage (.477), and OPS (-797).  The PawSox are also third in doubles (139) and fourth in walks (267).

Even though the team has excelled at the plate, no players rank at the top of any individual category.  Pedro Ciriaco (.301), Mauro Gomez (294), and Ryan Lavarnway (.292) rank 8, 9, and 10 in batting average.  Gomez is fifth in runs scored (40), third in doubles (20), fourth in homers (15) and fourth in RBI (65).  Lars Anderson (.389) and Lavarnway (.384) rank eighth and ninth in on-base percentage.

PITCHING-  As solid as the PawSox offense has been, it’s pitching corps is rank at respectable levels.  The PawSox are fifth in ERA (3.57), eighth in hits allowed (593), fourth in least runs allowed (283), sixth in WHIP (1.31), but have allowed the most home runs in the league (62).

Despite those league numbers, Pawtucket does have a star in starter Jason Germano.  Germano is tied for the league lead in wins (8), tied for second in WHIP (0.93) and is fifth in ERA (2.49).  He is also second in the league in most homers given up (12).

What do all these indicators mean as the PawSox open the second half of the year?  That’s unclear.  But if the team can continue this trend, expect Pawtucket to punch another ticket to the International League’s playoffs.

Changes in the PawSox Locker Room

A lot of off-the-field activity today for the PawSox.

First of all, the Red Sox announced today that Daniel Bard is being optioned to Pawtucket following a string of subpar starts. It’s unclear whether Bard will continue to start for the PawSox or work out of the bullpen.

No announcement has been made as to who will replace Bard in the Red Sox rotation.  Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching tonight for the PawSox and may be a logical choice.

Darnell McDonald has been activated by the Red Sox to take Bard’s spot on the Boston roster.  McDonald had been with the PawSox as part of a rehab assignment.

Ryan Kalish will also be making his Pawtucket return tonight.  Out since last season with shoulder and neck issues, Kalish will be in the PawSox line-up tonight as he continues his rehab stint.

Other new faces making their debut at McCoy, pitcher Mark Prior and Billy Buckner.  Prior has already worked out of the bullpen for the PawSox, working one inning at Lehigh Valley this weekend.  Buckner, recently called up from Portland, will start for the PawSox Wednesday night.

2012 PawSox Opening Day Roster

Here is the PawSox 2012 Opening Day Roster:

Pitchers

Aaron Cook
Brandon Duckworth
Justin Germano
Garrett Mock
Clayton Mortensen
Ross Ohlendorf
Tony Pena, Jr.
Chorye Spoone
Junichi Tazawa
Alex Wilson

Catchers

Luis Exposito
Ryan Lavarnway

Infielders

Lars Anderson
Pedro Ciriaco
Mauro Gomez
Jose Iglesias
Will Middlebrooks
Nate Spears
Tony Thomas

Outfielders

Alex Hassan
Josh Kroeger
Che-Hsuan Lin
Daniel Nava
Jason Repko