The Silver Lining

Sunday was not a good day for the PawSox.

They wasted a good effort by starting pitcher Enrique Gonzalez (2 ER in 6 IP) and lost to Lehigh Valley 6-2.  Pawtucket left 10 runners on base, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

But the silver lining was the Triple-A debut of pitcher Robert Coello (pronounced Kway-yo).

The 24-year-old had never pitched above the rookie league level in affiliated baseball and spent last year in the independent Golden Baseball League, but Robert got called-up to Pawtucket on Friday to help the bullpen after Hunter Jones was promoted to Boston.

Today in an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the PawSox, the converted catched struck out the first batter he faced and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings.  Coello hit 91 on the stadium radar gun with his fastball and picked up his strikeout with a forkball.

Congrats to Robert on making a great first impression.

* * * * *

Lehigh Valley is managed by Dave Huppert who enjoyed today’s game at McCoy Stadium much more than the one he took part in 28 years ago.  You see, Huppert was Rochester’s starting catcher in the longest game in baseball history — the 33-inning marathon between the PawSox and Red Wings.

In fact, he would have been the hero if not for Wade Boggs.  Huppert gave Rochester a 2-1 lead in the 21st inning with an RBI double, only to see Boggs tie it with his own RBI double in the bottom of the inning to keep the game going.

In Boggs words, “I didn’t know if my teammates were going to hug me or slug me.”

Huppert was finally removed for a pinch-hitter after catching the first 31 innings and went 1-for-11 in the game.

* * * * *

Red Sox minor league field coordinator Rob Leary is in town after spending several days watching Class-A Greenville, and came away raving about Casey Kelly, the Red Sox number one draft pick last year.

Kelly is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts (10 IP, 8 K) for Greenville, and Leary says he has outstanding command of his fastball, curve and changeup and great mound presence for a kid who has never been a full-time pitcher.

Kelly was primarily a shortstop in high school and could still wind up in the infield.  The Red Sox will reportedly limit him to 90-100 innings on the mound this year and then give him the opportunity to be a position player.

* * * * *

Red Sox minor league infield instructor Bruce Crabbe is also in town and made manager Ron Johnson’s day by programming the TV remote in his office.  RJ will no longer have to waste time searching for his favorite channels, as Crabbe set up the favorites button to include Country Music Television, Great American Country, ESPN, NESN, and the Golf Channel.

Wait a second, the golf channel?  RJ has no interest in golf.

Crabbe does, and is a frequent visitor.

* * * * *

Don’t forget to tune in early on Monday as the PawSox will conclude their series against Lehigh Valley at 12:05.  Michael Bowden (0-0, 1.04) gets the start for Pawtucket.

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