Gedman eyes son’s progress
Third baseman making adjustments
Rich Gedman says he has attempted to take the same evenhanded approach with his son, Matt, as he has with the other prospects on Lowell’s roster.
“It’s a lot of fun to go out there and watch him play,’’ said Gedman, the Spinners’ hitting coach. “You’re always pulling for him. But as I look at everybody out there, I sit there and say, ‘I’m an acting dad for a lot of you.’ It’s what we do. It’s like we have 20-30 sons out there.’’
And yet the former Red Sox catcher says he’s been able to balance the on- and off-field relationship with the 22-year-old third baseman, who was selected in the 45th round of the this year’s draft out of UMass.
“When we normally have the uniforms on, it’s coach and player,’’ Rich said. “But when we’re in street clothes, it’s dad and son. We’ve been doing that for a long time. I’ve never been his head coach, but I’ve been around him in baseball for 15-16 years.’’
Said Matt, “I think we’re both pretty good about that. Once we’re here, it’s work. We’re not concerned about that at all. When we’re here, it’s coach-player and he’s real close with all the guys, so there’s no special treatment or anything like that.’’
Matt started in the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .282 in 31 games with 14 runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, and 15 RBIs.
But since his promotion to Single A Lowell, he has struggled.
“The numbers aren’t there right now,’’ said Matt, who hit his first homer in a 2-for-3 effort last night, giving him two RBIs and upping his average to .152.
“I don’t really talk or mess with him too much,’’ the elder Gedman said. “I just try to give him a decent approach, stay on the ball, give yourself a chance, and put the ball in play and see what happens.
“He’s a little snakebit at the moment, but nothing that a few hits won’t cure. He’ll just keep working hard and he’ll be fine.’’
Gedman paused, expressing some fatherly concern.
“Sometimes I wonder if it’s not harder on him than it is for me, you know? I feel like he has to do more.’’
While his father placed no expectations upon him, Matt acknowledged, “When I first joined the team, I put a little pressure on myself - not because he was one of the coaches, but because they were already having a good season and I wanted to prove that I could play here.
“There was no pressure because he was the hitting coach. It was more pressure that I didn’t need to put on myself, but I did in trying to fit in right away and prove myself by doing too much. Now I’m just trying to give myself a chance by taking a good approach and putting together some good swings.’’
Watching the crop Fenway Park will host the sixth Futures at Fenway minor league doubleheader tomorrow, beginning with a Double A contest between Portland and Binghamton at 1:05 p.m. Five Portland players were named Eastern League All-Stars, including third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who leads the league in RBIs, and outfielder Alex Hassan of Milton.
One hour after that game, Pawtucket will square off against Syracuse, the Nationals’ Triple A affiliate. Despite last night’s home loss to Columbus, the PawSox are tied for the lead in the North Division of the International League with a 71-54 record, the best record of any Sox affiliate.
Making moves A lot of comings and goings this week, with the promotion of righthander Alex Wilson from Portland to Pawtucket. Wilson was 9-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 21 starts for the Sea Dogs before making his Triple A debut last night. He took a no-decision, allowing three runs over six innings. Wilson was 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA in his last eight starts at Portland. To fill the void in the Portland rotation, the Sox signed righthander Matt Rusch. Rusch pitched for Quebec of the Can-Am League, where he posted a 6-4 record with a 2.99 ERA. In his Sea Dogs debut last night, Rusch allowed six runs to Reading in 5 1/3 innings. Rusch last pitched for a major league affiliate in 2009 with the Toledo Mud Hens, where he went 2-4 with a 4.86 ERA . . . The Sea Dogs snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a sweep of Reading, 5-4 and 5-3, Wednesday night. Catcher Jeff Howell made his Portland debut in the second game, going 2 for 3 with a two-run homer and a triple . . . Salem clobbered back-to-back-to-back home runs in an 8-3 win over Myrtle Beach Wednesday. The Red Sox erupted for six runs in the third inning off Wilfredo Boscan. He gave up a three-run homer to Kolbrin Vitek, followed by Bryce Brentz’s 28th homer of the season. One pitch later, Miles Head made it a trifecta with his 20th homer . . . The McCoy Stadium crowd of 7,255 gave Columbus starter Corey Kluber a rousing ovation when he departed Tuesday’s game, having thrown a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings. Kluber was pulled after throwing 113 pitches and issuing five walks. Kluber turned it over to Chen Lee, who allowed Luis Exposito’s leadoff single up the middle in the eighth. Conversely, Pawtucket starter Felix Doubront departed to the sound of crickets after three innings, having given up five runs on six hits, including a second-inning grand slam, in a 5-2 loss.
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.