Just returned from McCoy Stadium where the PawSox hosted a meet-and-greet for new manager Torey Lovullo. There were a number of players on hand as well, most of them having just participated in the rookie development program in Boston.
A few notes for you:
- The players heard a presentation from Celtics coach Doc Rivers at Fenway Park and came away very impressed by what he had to say about the opportunity to play professionally in Boston and the mental toughness it will take. “It was one of the best things I’ve ever heard,” Ryan Kalish said. Player development director Mike Hazen said he had never before heard somebody articulate the message as well as Rivers did.
- Don’t sleep on Randor Bierd. The RHP, who was obtained from Baltimore in an under-the-radar deal for David Pauley a year ago, had some ups and downs with Pawtucket last season but the Red Sox like his sinker/changeup combination and will continue to develop him as a starter. Hazen said Bierd could be an emergency starter.
- Here are some more minor-league free agents the Red Sox have signed: INF Ray Chang, INF Christian Colonel, RHP Scott Patterson, RHP Kelvin Pichardo and INF Nate Spears. Patterson was the last cut of the Yankees in 2008, pitched one game for them during the season then was claimed by the Padres. He’s a 6-7 reliever.
- Had a nice chat with Ryan Kalish that I’ll post more on tomorrow. The 21-year-old is likely to return to Portland to start the season but could be in Pawtucket before the year is out. Portland is going to have a lot of talent on the roster to open the season.
- The PawSox, as usual, put on a great event today. Frank Malzone and Tommy Harper were on hand along with Dick Berardino and Jeremy Kapstein. There is no more professional organization in the minors than Pawtucket.