Arnie’s April Appraisal

Arnie Beyeler’s first season as Pawtucket’s manager is off to a good start.

Photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor

The PawSox finished the month of April with a 13-10 record — despite playing 14 of their 23 games on the road.  Pawtucket ranked third in the International League in runs scored (5.2 per game) and second in the league in ERA at 3.25.

On Sunday, I asked Arnie to critique the April performances of some of the Red Sox highest-rated prospects:

Josh Reddick who batted  .273/.356/.636 with 8 HR and 16 RBI

“Josh is having some pretty good at-bats and it kind of looks like, ‘As he goes, we go,’ from an offensive standpoint.  He’s off to a really good start.  His swing looks good and he’s been a lot more disciplined at the plate.  He’s taken what pitchers have given him instead of trying to create things, and I think the results show that.”

Yamaico Navarro who batted .320/.440/.557 with 7 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 HR

“He’s a kid that’s just scratching the surface as far as his talent goes.  He shows up every day and continues to work hard and have good at-bats.  He’s a valuable guy because he can play all over the field.”

Navarro got hit by 3 pitches in a 3-game span.  Are teams starting to throw at him?

“No — it’s just the way he approaches the ball at the plate.  I don’t know why they would throw at him and not Reddick.  He just dives toward the plate a little bit, so when guys come inside sometimes he can’t get out of the way.”

Lars Anderson who batted .284 with a .412 OBP, but no HR and his last 10 hits were singles.

“For most young hitters, the power is the last thing to come.  For a lot of these guys, if they’re good hitters, they are going to play in the big leagues.  You have to show that you can hit left-handers and right-handers, and be consistent at the plate every day.  The power numbers will come down the road when Lars learns how to turn on a ball and gets a little more familiar with his swing, but the goal is to continue to square the ball up and have good at-bats.”

Jose Iglesias who batted .227 with no extra-base hits.

“He’s very young for this league and he’s going to get over-matched sometimes by some of these older pitchers.  They’re going to take advantage of his youthfulness and his aggressiveness.  But he can run a little bit and gets his hits, and as long as he has good at-bats and stays in the middle of the field, his approach is just going to keep improving.”

Andrew Miller who had a 1.40 ERA in four April starts.  Opponents batted a league-low .138 against him, but Miller walked 12 batters in 19.1 IP.

“What we’re looking for is consistency from him and being able to repeat his delivery.  Every time out he’s getting better and better and I think most of his walks were in his early games.  We see him improving and he’s done a really nice job.”

(That comment was made before Sunday’s start against Toledo in which Miller struggled with his control walking 5 batters in 3-plus innings.  He allowed 3 ER on 4 hits as his ERA rose to 2.42.)

Kyle Weiland who had a 3.43 ERA in five April starts with 24 K in 23.2 IP.

“He’s a young kid with good stuff.  He’s going to come up here and compete and his stuff is going to get him a lot of ground balls.  He’s learning to pitch at this level day-in and day-out, and it’s going to be fun watching him develop.”

* * * * *

The PawSox dropped their third game in a row on Sunday, losing to Toledo 4-3.  It wasn’t Michael McKenry’s fault, as the Pawtucket catcher belted 2 HR and added a double.

Brandon Duckworth will take the mound tonight in Game 3 of the 4-game series at 6:15.  I hope you’ll join us  for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:00 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.

I’d love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.

If you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

And I’ve finally joined Facebook.  Just search for Dan Hoard and look for the photo of me with the handsome lad.

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