Pat Light knows all-too-well about the bumps that can pock the baseball freeway, but now, in his third season in professional baseball, he is learning to smooth things out.
“I’ve been working hard,” said Light. “Lately, I’m just kind of doing things one game at a time. Small goals, approach the smaller picture.”
As a Red Sox first round selection in 2012, Light had a solid debut with Lowell, compiling a 2.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a 30-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Heading into his first full season, Light was ready to make quick work of Class-A Greenville, but slow out of the gate, he came up limping at the beginning of June and a torn hamstring sidelined him for over two months.
In the offseason Light was determined to not make a habit of being injured, so he enlisted the help of his brother Sean, a strength and conditioning coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and his sister Colleen, a certified dietician-nutritionist.
Starting back in Greenville this season, Light came out blazing, striking out a career high ten in his first start of the season.
Two more solid starts for the Drive were followed by his first in-season promotion, making the jump to Salem before the end of the first month of the season.
“I was pretty excited,” said Light. “Going back to Greenville I had a lot to prove, not only as a pitcher, but being able to stay healthy. You don’t want to get that injury label on you.
“It was exciting to come up and experience a new level, and keep going and hopefully work my way to the next level.”
Although he admits that there were not any immediate differences at the next level, Light did experience some growing pains, going 0-1 with a 5.12 ERA in four starts.
He picked up his first win in start number five with Salem, but then had some inconsistencies before a 1-2 June in which his ERA hit 8.14 for the month.
Yet his last outing of that rough June, and his first of what he hopes will be a bright July, have Light back in the right mindset.
It’s a hint that maybe he is returning to the form he flashed in Lowell, putting together the best back-to-back outings of his career.
“The biggest thing is to not change who you are,” said Light. “It’s really easy to have some bad starts and say “hey this isn’t working” and change a lot about you.
“You’ve just got to weather the storm. Figure out what the kinks are and attack them on those days between each start.”
Ultimately, despite the results, if Light makes it to the end of the season unscathed in the health department, than it is a major win.
However, strong results down the stretch of what he dubs his “first real full season,” will also help the 6-foot-5 right-hander get on a smoother path to the next level.
“I’m confident in myself and confident in what I have,” said Light. “That’s what’s going to propel me to the next level and keep on moving.”
Noe Ramirez – The Eastern League All-Star reliever has a run of 52 innings, dating back to last season, without allowing a home run.
Squeezing the system
Pawtucket (AAA) – Reliever Tommy Layne has not allowed a run in his last ten appearances for the PawSox. In that span he has seven saves and has allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out 12. Layne also had a clean 2/3 inning appearance with Boston in the midst of it all.
Portland (AA) – Third baseman Michael Almanzar, who played all of last season for the Sea Dogs, returned to the fray after being designated by Baltimore. Because he was selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft, he had to be returned to the Red Sox organization. STATS
Salem (A+) – In the midst of a nine game hit streak infielder Mike Miller is batting .531. In that span he has 17 hits and seven walks and has not struck out.
Greenville (A) – Carlos Asuaje has hit safely in nine straight games for the Drive. The third baseman’s 93 hits are fourth most in the Red Sox organization and his 39 extra base hits are second most.
Lowell (Short Season A) – Nick Longhi extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a fourth inning double. He is hitting .386 during the streak with five doubles, six RBIs and seven runs.
Gulf Coast (Rookie) – Rafael Devers has not skipped a beat since being bumped up from the DSL a week ago. The 17-year-old third baseman went 4-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBIs in his GCL debut and has hit safely in all four games since the promotion. Devers has at least one hit in 29 of his 32 games this season.
Dominican (Rookie) – Outfield Luis Alexander Basabe is tied for the Dominican Summer League lead in triples, with ten in 31 games. He also leads the DSL Red Sox in RBIs (21), runs (32), walks (24) and stolen bases (12).