Red Sox drop both split-squad games
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (Oct. 23, 2018 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
The Boston Red Sox lost to both the Baltimore Orioles (7-6) and Tampa Bay Rays (5-4) in split-squad action on Wednesday afternoon. There is relevant information about both games, so let’s break this down one at a time.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox:
This game took place at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida and featured many regulars. Mookie Betts, who is the reigning best baseball player on Earth, made his first appearance in a Spring Training lineup. Unfortunately, he crafted an underwhelming 0-3 day. Don’t fret, though. He’s still the GOAT.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and top-prospect Michael Chavis each popped loud homers. For Bradley Jr., it was his second blast in as many games. Meanwhile, the top-100 MLB.com prospect hit his third three-run homer of the spring. Small sample caveat clouds everything, as it should, but this is an encouraging start to the faux portion of the 2019 campaign.
Like Betts, Eduardo Rodriguez made his spring debut. This was a somewhat anticipated start because it presented an opportunity for the lefty to showcase his new pitch. For those that live under a rock, E-Rod’s reshaped slider, which debuted in camp, got its first test run today. According to reports, it endured mix results.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The Red Sox travelled for this one which took place in Charlotte Sports Park. Boston did not unleash many stars for this contest, though Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez all made the trip.
Devers enjoyed a monster game with a juicy 3-3 line. He blasted his first homer of Spring Training on a low-and-inside pitch. The slugger took it on a relatively low but purposeful line to right field. On the breadth of homers, one-time baserunning legend Tony Renda popped a ball over the fence. How delightfully surprising that is.
Pitching prospect Mike Shawaryn made his 2019 debut as Boston’s starter in this one. He went an inning and allowed one earned run on two hits. Travis Lankins, another named to watch, framed two scoreless innings.