The Arrival Of Lars Anderson
The PawSox have lost three straight games and will finish April with a losing record.
But there’s reason for optimism with Thursday’s promotion of Lars Anderson from Double-A Portland.
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
The 22-year-old first baseman was destroying Eastern League pitching. In 17 games, Anderson was batting .355/.408/.677 with 5 HR and 16 RBI. Lars belted 4 HR in his last 10 games and was working on a 6-game hitting streak (10-for-21, .476) at the time of his promotion.
Lars entered the season as the #4 prospect in the Red Sox organization according to Baseball America. He was listed as the organization’s best power hitting prospect for the 4th consecutive year.
Mike Hazen, Boston’s Director of Player Development, discussed Anderson’s promotion to Triple-A with PawSox beat writer Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times.
“He’s done a good job this year of really being focused in his approach – from going hitless in big league camp all the way through leading the Eastern League in OPS at this point today, we’ve never seen that waiver since he stepped into camp,” Hazen told McGair. “So, it’s time for him to be challenged at the next level.
Regardless of the results in a game – good or bad – we’ve seen the exact same player the next day . . . pitch-to-pitch, at-bat to at-bat, and day to day. That’s all anyone ever expects out of a player from a consistency standpoint and he’s done a great job of that. He worked really hard. He put in a lot of work this off-season, he put in a lot of work in spring training and the results are showing up on the field. Good for him. He’s done a lot in the first couple of weeks and the last couple of months to earn this promotion.”
Anderson arrived in the PawSox clubhouse during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Indianapolis and grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the 6th inning. He’s expected to make his first start for the PawSox on Friday night.
Let’s hope that it’s Fireworks Night in more ways than one.
* * * * *
Thursday was the 24th anniversary of one of the most exciting nights in Red Sox history.
On April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens became the first pitcher in major league history to strike out 20 batters in a 9-inning game while tossing a 3-hitter vs. Seattle at Fenway Park.
My pal Joe Harty, who has assisted the PawSox as a batting practice pitcher for many years, had tickets to the game.
And didn’t go.
“It was biggest mistake you could ever make,” Harty told me. “My wife’s boss had great tickets right behind home plate and we used to go all of the time. That night she came home with the tickets, but we decided that we would watch the Celtics in their playoff game instead. It was a little misty out and it wasn’t a great night to go watch a game. So we turned on the TV to watch the Celtics and it was blacked out – we couldn’t believe it. We were sitting at home with four tickets to the game where Clemens struck out 20. The next day, she goes into work and her boss said, ‘Who had the tickets last night?’ And everybody pointed out that my wife did. And her boss said, ‘So Joe saw the great game,’ and she had to tell him what happened.”
Joe didn’t get to witness history, but did come away with a valuable souvenir.
“I still have the tickets untouched that I kind of keep in my safe,” he said.
Would he consider selling them?
“Absolutely,” Harty said with a laugh. “When you’re unemployed you do stuff like that. I don’t know, I always thought that maybe I could get them signed if Roger ever showed up somewhere around here. It would be kind of cool to put them in a frame. I don’t know – I guess I would regret it if I sold them”
* * * * *
There was a no-hitter in the International League on Wednesday night as Norfolk’s Chris Tillman tossed a 9-inning masterpiece vs. the Gwinnett Braves.
Congrats are not only in order for Tillman, but also for his pitching coach – former Pawtucket pitching coach Mike Griffin.
Griffin was the PawSox pitching coach in 2003 when Bronson Arroyo pitched a 9-inning perfect game against Buffalo.
* * * * *
The PawSox conclude their 8-game homestand on Friday night as they face Indianapolis at 6:15. The game will be followed by a gigantic Fireworks Show.
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.
Also, don’t forget to join us for “PawSox Insider” on Saturday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00. We’ll be joined live by Darnell McDonald.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is email@example.com.
And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard