Anatomy of a Team Record: Stolen Bases

Andrew BenintendiBefore the season, Red Sox Manager Joe Oliver expressed his desire to be a team that runs frequently to put pressure on defenses to make plays. When Bryan Hudson stole second base in the third inning of Sunday’s game against the Winston-Salem Dash, it was the 221st successful stolen base of the season for Salem, a new franchise record set with 13 games remaining to play.

The club’s frequent stolen bases this season have been key to its success. It is no coincidence that the talent-laden team has also set a Red Sox-era record for wins in a season, with 78 entering Tuesday’s matchup with the Potomac Nationals. Considering that both records will continue to be left in the dust by the surging Red Sox, let’s take a look at just how much the running game has contributed to the historic season.

In order to do so, we must first establish a few things. The first concept to understand when seeking to get a full picture of stolen bases is what is called the run value (RV) of the event. In their seminal book The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, Tom Tango, Mitchell Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin analyzed years of baseball play-by-play data and determined the RV of every possible event on the field. Without getting into gory mathematical details, their research spanned five years of every MLB game to determine how many runs scored following certain events and base-out states (e.g.- runners on first and second, one out).

Tango, et. al. calculated that the RV of a successful stolen base was 0.16, and the RV of a caught stealing was -0.45. Boiled down into simple terms, this means that approximately six successful steals generates on average one extra run, but two caught stealings on average costs one run. This is why you need to be successful in roughly three out of every four attempts to break even.

We are going to use this information to calculate a statistic known as stolen base runs (SBR). To do so we will take the RV of the successful stolen bases and subtract the RV of the times the Red Sox have been caught stealing.

Entering Tuesday’s game with Potomac, the Red Sox have stolen 221 bases and been caught 61 times. As a team, the Red Sox have 7.91 SBR on the season. That means in 126 games, the team has scored an additional eight runs because of stolen bases alone! That may not seem like much, but it is actually quite significant. No other Carolina League team has more than 4.32 SBR this season, and the Red Sox alone raise the league average SBR from -1.71 to -0.51.

Salem is nearly 10 runs better than the rest of the league when it comes to stealing bases, which translates to an additional win throughout the season. So now that we see how well the team has done in stealing bases, how about highlighting a few of the individual performances that have contributed.

Not surprisingly the two All-Stars, Yoan Moncada and Mauricio Dubon, pace the team in SBR, with 2.16 and 2.04, respectively. Moncada stole 36 bases in 44 attempts, while Dubon swiped 24 in 28 tries. But the players right behind them are Bryan Hudson (1.75 SBR) and Mike Meyers (1.59). Each of those two have been key role players in the Red Sox outfield for the entire season, and should contribute to the Mills Cup Playoff run.

However, there is a wide gulf between Meyers and the next-best SBR player, Franklin Guzman (0.54), followed closely by Jose Sermo (0.51) and Jordan Procyshen (0.48). After that, the positive impact of any one player is minimal, although there are four players who have cost runs with their steal attempts.

I will fully admit that this is not a perfect science. This very crude calculation of SBR fails to take into account variances in base-out states and how RV differs in different states as well as at different junctures in the game.

A runner caught stealing in the ninth inning down by one has a bigger impact than a runner caught stealing in the first inning. Stealing third base gives you a greater chance to score a run than stealing second base. This calculation fails to take these things into account and is therefore simply a very general picture of what the Red Sox have done. Context to statistics is key, and unfortunately I have stripped these stats of all context.

There are more sophisticated stats that exist to give a better picture of the true impact of stolen bases, but quite frankly they are too advanced for my mathematical abilities. Additionally, baserunning stats are the least mature of the four major statistical categories (hitting, pitching, fielding and baserunning), so there is a lot more refinement that needs to be done by people far smarter than I.

But in the absence of any momentary lapse of math genius on my part, this will have to do to show that the Red Sox have been far and away the best team at stealing bases in the Carolina League, and it has gone far toward helping them re-write the record books.

@JoeVasilePBP

Game Preview: August 21, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Sunday, August 21, 2016 – 2:00 pm

Game 125 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets for the Upcoming Homestand!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Anyelo Leclerc (2-2, 5.35 ERA) vs. RHP Kelvis Valerio (3-4, 4.01 ERA)

  • The Red Sox look for the sweep behind right-hander Anyelo Leclerc, making his seventh start and 12th overall appearance with Salem. Leclerc allowed four runs in 4.2 innings against the Carolina Mudcats in his last outing on Tuesday, and is 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA overall. The righty swingman is 1-1 with a 6.04 ERA as a starting pitcher, compared to a 1-1 mark with a 4.05 ERA as a reliever. He as also seen his walk and strikeout rates increase as a starter, improving from 7.42 to 7.81 K/9, and from 5.40 to 3.90 BB/9. Leclerc became a fixture in the Salem rotation when Travis Lakins was placed on the disabled list on July 28
  • Winston-Salem rolls the dice with RHP Kelvis Valerio, who like Leclerc, began the season in the bullpen before being moved to the starting rotation. Valerio will be making his seventh start of the year for the Dash, and his 30th overall appearance. The righty has also been more effective as a starter, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.82 ERA as a starter, compared to a 1-3 ledger with a 4.15 ERA out of the bullpen.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Bryan Hudson, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, DH
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jordan Betts, 3B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 33-23
  2. Potomac Nationals, 32-24, 1.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 27-28, 5.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 22-34, 11.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-21
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 34-21
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-31, 10.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-40, 18.5 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • After ripping off nine straight wins, the Salem Red Sox have tied the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for first place in the Carolina League Southern Division second half standings. The winner of the second half hosts game one of the Mills Cup playoffs in September.
  • The Dash have lost their last six games and are 4-6 in their last 10, continuing their slide since a hot start to the second half. Their elimination number is now three.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • REVISIONIST HISTORY: With the doubleheader sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash Saturday night, Salem set a Red Sox-era record for most wins in a season (77), surpassing the 76 wins posted by the 2013 Carolina League champions. With 14 games to play including Sunday’s contest with the Dash, the Red Sox would have to go 10-4 to tie the all-time franchise record of 87 victories, set by the 1974 Rebels. The squad obliterated the previous Red Sox-era record for triples in a season with 57, surpassing the 2014 team’s 47. The club long ago passed the Red Sox-era record for stolen bases (180 in 2012) and with 217 thefts, is only three shy of the franchise record of 220 by the 1987 Buccaneers.
  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won nine games in a row, a new Red Sox-era record for longest winning streak, and the longest in franchise history since the 2007 Salem Avalanche won 12 consecutive contests. Additionally, the Red Sox have won 10 straight games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). It is the first home winning streak of 10 games or more for Salem since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 72-42 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a ludicrous 123-74 clip.

Doubleheader Preview: August 20, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Saturday, August 20, 2016 – 5:00 pm

Games 123 & 124 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets for the Upcoming Homestand!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

G1: LHP Matt Kent (8-6, 3.86) vs. RHP Tanner Banks (6-2, 4.12)

  • Salem sends soft-tossing left hander Matt Kent to keep the ball rolling against the Dash in the weekend series opener. Kent has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent starting pitchers this season, posting an 8-6 record with a 3.87 ERA. The southpaw will be making his staff-leading 23rd start of the season tonight, and is tops on the club in innings pitched (130.1), hits allowed (147), hit batsmen (10), and strikeouts (96). Kent is fifth among active Carolina League qualifiers in ERA, and his 1.73 unintentional BB/9.0 IP ratio is the lowest among qualifiers.
  • Winston-Salem’s Tanner Banks makes his 13th start of the season with the Dash, and second against the Red Sox. On June 17, Banks stifled the Salem lineup, allowing just three hits in 7.0-shutout innings. In his last four starts, the righty has yeilded just four earned runs in 22.0 innings, good for a 1.63 earned run average. He is equally ‘effective’ against both right and left-handed hitters, with righties hitting at a .293/.328/.415 line, and lefties batting .294/.338/.397.

G2: LHP Trey Ball (6-5, 3.91 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Thompson (2-4, 7.63 ERA)

  • The back end of the double dip will feature another left-handed pitcher on the rubber as Trey Ball gets the call. Making his 21st start of the season, Ball has had a mixed bag of results this season, pitching to the tune of a 6-5 record with a 3.91 ERA, the sixth-best mark in the Carolina League. His overall stat line would be much better if not for his extreme struggles in the month of July, during which the lefty posted an ugly 8.17 ERA. However, he has rebounded nicely in August, pitching to the tune of a 3.18 ERA in three starts. Against Winston-Salem this year, Ball has been fantastic, posting a 1.42 ERA across three starts.
  • Meanwhile Zach Thompson makes his eighth start of the season for the Dash after beginning the season with Low-A Kannapolis. Thompson is 2-4 with an unsightly 7.63 ERA overall, but at BB&T Ballpark he has been far better. At home Thompson is 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA, compared to 0-3 with a 9.90 ERA on the road. This will be the first time that Thompson faces Salem this season.

RED SOX LINEUP

Game One

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. David Sopilka, C
  8. Ben Moore, DH
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

Game Two Lineup TBD.

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-23
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 31-23
  3. Frederick Keys, 26-28, 5.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 21-34, 11.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-20
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 32-21, 1.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-29, 9.5 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-39, 18.5 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off seven straight wins, the Salem Red Sox still stand 1.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Dash have lost their last four games and are 5-5 in their last 10 and have continued their slide since a hot start to the second half. The Red Sox can twart whatever remaining hopes of the playoffs Winston-Salem has this weekend.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Salem Red Sox are an impressive 57-1 (.983). The second-best record in the Carolina League in that situation belongs to the Potomac Nationals at 57-2 (.966). Salem is one of seen full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. The Trenton Thunder (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the stupendous seven with their .986 (69-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 30-11 (.732) record in one-run games, and are the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is the Clearwater Threshers (High-A, PHI) who are 23-10 (.697), although the Jackson Generals (AA, SEA) have 28 one-run victories
  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won 10 consecutive games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). It is the first home winning streak of 10 games or more for Salem since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 72-42 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a ludicrous 123-74 clip. Overall, Salem has been victorious in seven straight, marking the third streak of the season in which the club has won six or more consecutive contests.

  • THAT’S ALL THEY GOT: After a 46-minute pre-game delay owing to a potential rain storm that missed the ballpark, Daniel McGrath allowed a leadoff triple to Travis Demeritte before shutting down the Mudcats. McGrath (8.0 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1.0 IP) combined to face the minimum after the Demeritte triple to onehit the Carolina Mudcats in a 5-1 triumph. It was the first one-hitter of the season for Salem, which previously had a two-hitter on May 6th against Lynchburg (5.0 innings) thrown by Jalen Beeks. In Thursday’s series finale, the Mudcats were able to muster one run on four hits against Red Sox pitching.

  • DEVERS DESTROYS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 31 extra-base hits in 44 games played, including 19 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .340/.387/.606 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, no player has more than 30 extra-base hits in that span, and his 114 total bases pace all MiLB hitters. The third baseman was named the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for July by SoxProspects.com, who rates him the #3 prospect in the organization.

Game Preview: August 19, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFORMATION

Friday, August 19, 2016 – 7:00 pm

Game 123 of 139 vs. Winston-Salem Dash

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets for the Upcoming Homestand!

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Matt Kent (8-6, 3.86) vs. RHP Tanner Banks (6-2, 4.12)

  • Salem sends soft-tossing left hander Matt Kent to keep the ball rolling against the Dash in the weekend series opener. Kent has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent starting pitchers this season, posting an 8-6 record with a 3.87 ERA. The southpaw will be making his staff-leading 23rd start of the season tonight, and is tops on the club in innings pitched (130.1), hits allowed (147), hit batsmen (10), and strikeouts (96). Kent is fifth among active Carolina League qualifiers in ERA, and his 1.73 unintentional BB/9.0 IP ratio is the lowest among qualifiers.
  • Winston-Salem’s Tanner Banks makes his 13th start of the season with the Dash, and second against the Red Sox. On June 17, Banks stifled the Salem lineup, allowing just three hits in 7.0-shutout innings. In his last four starts, the righty has yeilded just four earned runs in 22.0 innings, good for a 1.63 earned run average. He is equally ‘effective’ against both right and left-handed hitters, with righties hitting at a .293/.328/.415 line, and lefties batting .294/.338/.397.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Mike Meyers, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Ben Moore, DH
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-22
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 31-23, 1.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 25-28, 6.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 20-34, 12.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 32-21, 2.0 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-29, 10.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-38, 18.5 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off seven straight wins, the Salem Red Sox still stand 2.0 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Dash have lost their last four games and are 5-5 in their last 10 and have continued their slide since a hot start to the second half. The Red Sox can twart whatever remaining hopes of the playoffs Winston-Salem has this weekend.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won 10 consecutive games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). It is the first home winning streak of 10 games or more for Salem since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 72-42 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a ludicrous 123-74 clip. Overall, Salem has been victorious in seven straight, marking the third streak of the season in which the club has won six or more consecutive contests.

  • THAT’S ALL THEY GOT: After a 46-minute pre-game delay owing to a potential rain storm that missed the ballpark, Daniel McGrath allowed a leadoff triple to Travis Demeritte before shutting down the Mudcats. McGrath (8.0 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1.0 IP) combined to face the minimum after the Demeritte triple to onehit the Carolina Mudcats in a 5-1 triumph. It was the first one-hitter of the season for Salem, which previously had a two-hitter on May 6th against Lynchburg (5.0 innings) thrown by Jalen Beeks. In Thursday’s series finale, the Mudcats were able to muster one run on four hits against Red Sox pitching.

  • DEVERS DESTROYS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 31 extra-base hits in 44 games played, including 19 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .340/.387/.606 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, no player has more than 30 extra-base hits in that span, and his 114 total bases pace all MiLB hitters. The third baseman was named the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for July by SoxProspects.com, who rates him the #3 prospect in the organization.

Game Preview: August 18, 2016 vs. Carolina

GAME INFORMATION

Thursday, August 18, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 122 of 139 vs. Carolina Mudcats

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Michael Kopech (2-1, 1.41 ERA) vs. RHP Caleb Beech (2-7, 4.53 ERA)

  • Salem sends flamethrowing prospect Michael Kopech to the mound in the series finale with the Mudcats. The Texan right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.41 ERA in eight starts with Salem this season. He has struck out a mind-boggling 60 batters in 38.1 innings pitched (14.09 K/9), a ludicrous ratio for a starting pitcher. Kopech made his season debut at Carolina on July 7, striking out six in 4.0 innings, including an immaculate inning in the fourth – whiffing three batters on nine pitches. The right-hander set a career high with 11 strikeouts in 5.0 innings against Wilmington in his last start, and has fanned 28 batters in his last 16.0 IP.
  • Carolina’s Caleb Beech has pitched better than his record and ERA might suggest, falling victim to bad luck and other factors. In 57.2 innings across his 11 starts with the Mudcats, Beech has struck out 33 and walked only seven batters. He faced Salem on July 6th at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, getting the win while holding the Red Sox to just one run on six hits in 5.2 innings. Since then, Beech has lost five straight decisions.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Bryan Hudson, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, DH
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Betts, 1B
  8. David Sopilka, C
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-21
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 30-22, 1.5 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 23-27, 7.0 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 19-34, 13.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 34-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 31-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-29, 10.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-37, 18.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off six straight wins, the Salem Red Sox still stand 2.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Mudcats, losers of 13 of their last 14, will try to climb their way out of the Carolina League cellar after falling 0.5 games behind the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the worst record in the league last night.
  • Salem seeks its 42nd win of the season at LewisGale Field, which would tie the Red Sox-era record of 42 home triumphs in the 2013 season. The Red Sox won the Mills Cup in 2013.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • THAT’S ALL THEY GOT: After a 46-minute pre-game delay owing to a potential rain storm that missed the ballpark, Daniel McGrath allowed a leadoff triple to Travis Demeritte before shutting down the Mudcats. McGrath (8.0 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1.0 IP) combined to face the minimum after the Demeritte triple to one-hit the Carolina Mudcats in a 5-1 triumph. It was the first one-hitter of the season for Salem, which previously had a two-hitter on May 6th against Lynchburg (5.0 innings) thrown by Jalen Beeks.

  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won nine consecutive games at LewisGale Field, surpassing a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012 (seven games). A win against Carolina tonight would give Salem their first home winning streak of 10 games or more since an 11-game surge for the Salem Avalanche from May 26-June 15, 2000. That streak stands as the all-time franchise record for most home wins in a row. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 69-41 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a mind-boggling 123-70 clip. Overall, Salem has been victorious in six straight, marking the third streak of the season in which the club has won six or more consecutive contests.

  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Salem Red Sox are an impressive 56-1 (.982). The second best record in the Carolina League in that situation belongs to the Potomac Nationals  at 57-2 (.966). Salem is one of seven full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. The Trenton Thunder (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the elite eight with their .986 (68-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 30-11 (.732) record in one-run games, and are the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is the Clearwater Threshers (High-A, PHI) who are 22-10 (.688), although the Jackson Generals (AA, SEA) have 28 one-run victories.

Game Preview: August 17, 2016 vs. Carolina

GAME INFORMATION

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 121 of 139 vs. Carolina Mudcats

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Daniel McGrath (6-5, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Andrew Thurman (0-2, 9.86 ERA)

  • Salem looks to keep the perfect homestand alive by sending lefty Daniel McGrath to the hill against the Mudcats, facing Carolina for the first time since an Opening Night quality start at LewisGale Field. Overall, the Australian southpaw is 6-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 80.2 innings pitched in 15 starts this season. McGrath has struck out 51 and walked 32 batters, and is the team leader with two complete games, though both resulted in losses. Against the Wilmington Blue Rocks in his last start on Friday night, McGrath tossed 6.0 innings of three-hit ball, yielding only one unearned run to receive the victory.
  • Mudcats starting pitcher Andrew Thurman began the year with the Double-A Mississippi Braves, pitched in 19 games to the tune of a 1-7 record and 6.89 ERA, and was transferred to Carolina on July 20. Since joining the Mudcats, Thurman has been downright dreadful, going 0-2 with a 9.86 ERA in five starts, striking out 19 and walking 18 while hitting five batters in 21.0 innings.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Bryan Hudson, LF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Mike Meyers, DH
  6. Jayce Ray, RF
  7. Jordan Procyshen, C
  8. Jose Sermo, 2B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-20
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 30-22, 2.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 23-27, 7.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 18-34, 14.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 33-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 30-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-28, 9.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-36, 17.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off five straight wins, the Salem Red Sox stand 2.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Mudcats, losers of 12 of their last 13, will try to climb their way out of the Carolina League cellar after falling 0.5 games behind the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the worst record in the league last night.
  • Salem seeks its 41st win of the season at LewisGale Field, one shy of the Red Sox-era record of 42 home triumphs in the 2013 season. The Red Sox won the Mills Cup in 2013.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • EXCELLING CLOSE & LATE: When leading after seven innings this year, the Salem Red Sox are an impressive 55-1 (.985). The second best record in the Carolina League belongs to the Potomac Nationals at 57-2 (.966). Salem is one of eight full-season teams in Minor League Baseball with one loss or fewer when leading at the conclusion of seven innings. The Trenton Thunder (AA, NYY) have the best winning percentage of the elite eight with their .986 (68-1) clip. Salem has also amassed a 30-11 (.732) record in one-run games, and are the only team in MiLB with 30 one-run wins this season. The next-best one-run team in MiLB is the Clearwater Threshers (High-A, PHI) who are 22-10 (.688), although the Jackson Generals (AA, SEA) have 28 one-run victories.

  • WAR OF ATTRITION: With an 11-inning win Tuesday against Carolina, the Red Sox sport a 10-3 (.769) record in extra-inning games in 2016. The second best extra-inning record in the Carolina League belongs to Potomac at 10-7 (.588). Salem is one of only seven clubs in Minor League Baseball to notch at least 10 wins in extra innings, and has the second-best winning percentage, behind the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA, MIL) at 10-2 (.833). The Durham Bulls (AAA, TB) have played an MiLB-high 19 extra-inning games this season, and have posted an 11-8 (.579) record in such contests. Of the victories, six have come via a walk-off hit, including three times in the Red Sox’ last 10 games played. Overall, Salem has won an incredible 19 games in their final at-bat.

  • OUTPERFORMING EXPECTATIONS: The Salem Red Sox have used their good fortune in close games to post the second-best record in the Carolina League at 73-47, one game behind the Lynchburg Hillcats. In doing so, Salem has outperformed their expected pythagorean win-loss record of 64-56. The nine-game difference is the largest gap between actual and expected wins of any team in the Carolina League. Pythagorean W-L projections are calculated using a team’s run differential. At +44, Salem has the third-best run differential in the Carolina League, trailing Lynchburg (+144) and Myrtle Beach (+61). Unsurprisingly, the two worst teams in the league in terms of run differential, Carolina (-109) and Wilmington (-165), also sport the two worst records in the league.

Game Preview: August 16, 2016 vs. Carolina

GAME INFORMATION

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 120 of 139 vs. Carolina Mudcats

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Anyelo Leclerc (2-2, 5.03 ERA) vs. RHP Enderson Franco (5-10, 4.83 ERA)

  • The Red Sox send swingman righty Anyelo Leclerc to the slab to take on the Mudcats tonight. Leclerc will be making his 11th overall appearance and sixth start with the club. The righty has a 1-2 record with a 5.66 ERA as a starting pitcher for the Red Sox. He has made one previous appearance against Carolina – a 3.0 scoreless inning relief appearance on July 6 at Five County Stadium. Stamina has been an issue for Leclerc this season, as he has lasted 5.0 innings in only two of his starts. Overall, Leclerc is 2-2 with a 5.03 ERA in 34.0 innings with Salem after beginning the season with the Low-A Greenville Drive.
  • Meanwhile, Enderson Franco has made one dreadful appearance against the Red Sox this season – an Opening Day start on April 7th where he gave up nine runs on 12 hits in 2.0+ innings, getting the loss. He rebounded from the turbulent beginning to become one of Carolina’s most steady starters, though he has allowed 11 earned runs in 11.0 innings over his last two starts. Outside of the Opening Day disaster, Franco’s season ERA drops to 4.08, and his road ERA falls from 6.55 to 5.51. Franco split 2015 between the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins organizations.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Danny Mars, RF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Mike Meyers, LF
  6. Jordan Procyshen, C
  7. Jose Sermo, 2B
  8. Deiner Lopez, SS
  9. Bryan Hudson, DH

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-19
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 29-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 23-26, 8.0 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 17-34, 15.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 32-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 29-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-27, 8.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-35, 16.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Even after reeling off four straight wins, the Salem Red Sox stand 2.5 games behind the red-hot Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • The Mudcats, losers of 11 of their last 12, will try to avoid overtaking the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the worst record in the Carolina League. At 45-76, Carolina is 0.5 games better than Wilmington.
  • Salem seeks its 40th win of the season at LewisGale Field, two shy of the Red Sox-era record of 42 home triumphs in the 2013 season. The Red Sox won the Mills Cup in 2013.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Salem Red Sox have won seven consecutive games at LewisGale Field, tying a Red Sox-era record set from April 25-May 8, 2012. A win against Carolina tonight would give Salem their first home winning streak of eight games or more since a nine-game surge from May 22-June 1, 2007. The all-time franchise record belongs to the 2000 Salem Avalanche, who ripped off 11 straight home wins from May 26-June 15. During the current streak, the Red Sox are outscoring their opponents by a 57-34 margin, and have out-hit their opponents by a mind-boggling 97-58 clip.
  • POSTER CHILD: A key to the success of the Salem Red Sox this season has been the contributions from all players on the roster. On the weekend that his poster was handed out to fans, Deiner Lopez embodied that spirit as Salem swept Wilmington in three games. In four games on the current homestand, the switch-hitter is 9-for-13 (.692 AVG) at the plate with five runs scored, two stolen bases, and two RBIs – including the walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th Sunday in a 4-3 triumph. It was Lopez’ second walk-off hit in an eight-day span, as he ended a 12-11, 13-inning marathon with Lynchburg with a single on August 6th. In his last nine games started, the 22-year-old is 15-for-33 (.454 AVG) with nine runs scored and five RBIs. 
  • HAPPY CAKE DAY: Salem Red Sox first baseman Nick Longhi celebrates his 21st birthday tonight. In 107 games this season as a 20-year-old, Longhi hit .284/353/.393 with team-leading totals in doubles (32) and RBIs (69). He was recently rated by Baseball America as the Best Defensive First Baseman in the Carolina League in their Best Tools survey.

Game Preview: August 15, 2016 vs. Carolina

GAME INFORMATION

Monday, August 15, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 119 of 139 vs. Carolina Mudcats

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Buy Tickets

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

Weather Forecast

Twitter Updates

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Trey Ball (5-5, 3.83 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Clark (1-11, 5.99 ERA)

The Red Sox send prospect lefty Trey Ball to the mound against the Carolina Mudcats looking to keep his recent stretch of strong outings going. In his last two starts, the Indiana native has recorded quality starts, and has allowed a combined three earned runs on nine hits in 12.0 innings (2.25 ERA). The consecutive bounce-back games come on the heels of a wretched month of July, where Ball posted an ugly 8.17 ERA (23 ER/25.1 IP). The Mudcats counter with Ryan Clark, a 2015 draftee who has struggled after skipping the Low-A level and heading right to High-A. The righty’s one win this season came against the Red Sox in a July 7th matchup against Michael Kopech.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Danny Mars, RF
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Mike Meyers, LF
  6. Jordan Procyshen, C
  7. Jayce Ray, DH
  8. Jose Sermo, 2B
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-18
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 29-21, 3.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 23-26, 8.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 16-34, 16.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 31-19
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 28-21, 2.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-26, 7.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 16-34, 15.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • After a three-game sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks this weekend, the Salem Red Sox stand 2.5 games behind the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the second half division race. The winner of the second half crown will host the first game of the first round of the Mills Cup Playoffs in September.
  • Salem enters with a six-game home winning streak, one shy of the Red Sox-era record. They own a 5-2 record against the Mudcats at LewisGale Field this season.
  • The Mudcats, losers of 10 of their last 11, will try to avoid overtaking the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the worst record in the Carolina League. At 45-75, Carolina is 1.5 games better than Wilmington.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • POSTER CHILD: A key to the success of the Salem Red Sox this season has been the contributions from all players on the roster. On the weekend that his poster was handed out to fans, Deiner Lopez embodied that spirit as Salem swept Wilmington in three games. In the series, the switch-hitter went 7-for-11 (.636 AVG) at the plate with three runs scored, two stolen bases, and two RBIs – including the walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th Sunday in a 4-3 triumph. It was Lopez’ second walk-off hit in an eight-day span, as he ended a 12-11, 13-inning marathon with Lynchburg with a single on August 6th. In his last eight games started, the 22-year-old is 13-for-31 (.419 AVG) with seven runs scored and five RBIs.

  • LIFE ON MARS: Despite being held hitless Sunday, Danny Mars has been tearing the cover off the ball for the past month, hitting .412 (49-for-119) over his last 29 games, dating to July 13. The switch-hitting outfielder has collected hits in 24 of those games, and has recorded multiple hits 17 times during the stretch (13 two-hit games, two three-hit games, one four-hit game, one six-hit game). Mars has used the hot streak to raise his batting line from .245/.313/.326 to .294/.354/.404. His .412 average is tops among Class A-Advanced hitters, and is second among all batters in MiLB. Mars’ .294 batting average ranks fourth among active players.

  • RAY OF SUNSHINE: Since being activated off the disabled list on July 28th, Salem outfielder Jayce Ray has hit in all 11 games he has played in. Ray is hitting .425 (17-for-40) with three doubles and nine runs scored. The lefty-hitting outfielder hit in his final game before missing over a month with a hamstring injury, meaning his overall streak stands at 12 games, now the longest active streak in the Carolina League after Francisco Mejia of Lynchburg had his 50-game streak ended Sunday by the Winston-Salem Dash. Ray has not needed a post-game scoring decision change to extend his streak.

  • DEVERS DESTROYS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 29 extra-base hits in 40 games played, including 16 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .343/.392/.622 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, only Scott Heineman of the High Desert Mavericks (High-A, TEX) has totaled as many extra-base hits in that span, though Devers holds a 107-100 advantage in total bases despite playing in a significantly tougher home hitting environment than Heineman. The third baseman was named the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for July by SoxProspects.com.

  • ‘LEFT’ OUT TO DRY: The Salem Red Sox have posted stark splits that suggest the team is far better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching. In a sufficient sample size of over 1,100 AB, the Red Sox have hit .282/.369/.412 against LHP, while against RHP, that slides to .269/.340/.389. That is the MLB difference between hitting like All-Star Adrian Gonzalez against LHP, and hitting like the light-hitting-but-still-useful Chase Headley against RHP. Interestingly, Salem is only 14-16 in games started by LHP, compared to 57-31 vs. RHP.

  • TROUBLE ON THE BASES: The Salem Red Sox have made a habit of being aggressive on the basepaths this season, and while that has reaped numerous benefits throughout the season, it has not come without its drawbacks. The Red Sox have swiped a Carolina League leading 209 bases this season, but have also been thrown out 58 times while attempting to steal, good for a 78% success rate. That rate teeters with the rate at which a team must be successful at stealing bases at for the play to have a net positive outcome, which is 76% success. Any lower success rate costs the team runs in the long term.

Game Preview: August 14, 2016 vs. Wilmington

GAME INFORMATION

Sunday, August 14, 2016 – 4:05 pm

Game 118 of 139 vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

Salem Red Sox Baseball Network

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Matt Kent (8-6, 3.96 ERA) vs. RHP Glenn Sparkman (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

The Red Sox send lefty Matt Kent to the mound to try to clinch a three-game series sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Kent is the current team leader in games started (21), innings pitched (122.1), strikeouts (91), hits allowed (140) and fewest unintentional BB/9 (1.84). The soft-tossing southpaw has been one of the most dependable starters in the rotation, and is second on the club in wins, trailing only reliever Mario Alcantara (9). Glenn Sparkman makes his second start of the year with the Blue Rocks as a minor league rehabber, after having Tommy John surgery last summer. Sparkman was the 2014 Carolina League Pitcher of the Year with the Blue Rocks after posting an 8-3 record with a 1.56 ERA.

RED SOX LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Danny Mars, RF
  3. Rafael Devers, DH
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Mike Meyers, LF
  6. Jose Sermo, 2B
  7. Jordan Betts, 3B
  8. David Sopilka, C
  9. Deiner Lopez, SS

SECOND HALF STANDINGS

Northern Division

  1. Potomac Nationals, 32-17
  2. *Lynchburg Hillcats, 28-21, 4.0 GB
  3. Frederick Keys, 22-26, 9.5 GB
  4. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 16-33, 16.0 GB

Southern Division

  1. Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 31-18
  2. *Salem Red Sox, 27-21, 3.5 GB
  3. Winston-Salem Dash, 24-25, 7.0 GB
  4. Carolina Mudcats, 15-34, 16.0 GB

*Clinched playoff birth through first half division title

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • The Red Sox look to polish off a three-game sweep of the Blue Rocks in the final scheduled contest of the season between the two clubs. Entering play today, the Red Sox still trail the Myrtle Beach Pelicans by 3.5 games for the second half division crown, which will determine the site of the first game of round one of the Mills Cup playoffs.
  • Kent has struggled somewhat in his last two starts, allowing a combined 14 runs (13 earned) while setting individual career-highs for hits allowed in a game (13, 8/3 at WIL), runs allowed in a game (10, 8/3 at WIL) and walks issued in a game (4, 8/9 at MB). The lefty will be counted on as a key piece in the rotation down the stretch, so righting the ship is of the utmost importance.
  • Wilmington will attempt to muster more than the two hits they collected in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss.

SOX LAUNDRY BAG

  • LIFE ON MARS: Despite being held hitless Wednesday, Danny Mars has been tearing the cover off the ball for the past month, hitting .426 (49-for-115) over his last 28 games, dating to July 13. The switch-hitting outfielder has collected hits in 24 of those games, and has recorded multiple hits 17 times during the stretch (13 two-hit games, two three-hit games, one four-hit game, one six-hit game). Mars has used the hot streak to raise his batting line from .245/.313/.326 to .297/.355/.408. His .426 average is tops among Class A-Advanced hitters, and is third among all batters in MiLB. Mars’ .297 batting average ranks fourth among active qualifiers in the Carolina League. Mars is hitting a robust .484/.529/.790 in 15 games (30-for-62, 6 2B, 5 3B, HR, 11 RBI, 10-13 SB-SBA) against Wilmington this year.

  • RAY OF SUNSHINE: Since being activated off the disabled list on July 28th, Salem outfielder Jayce Ray has hit in all 11 games he has played in. Ray is hitting .425 (17-for-40) with three doubles and nine runs scored. The lefty-hitting outfielder hit in his final game before missing over a month with a hamstring injury, meaning his overall streak stands at 12 games, the second-longest active streak in the Carolina League behind Francisco Mejia of Lynchburg (50 games), although Ray has not needed a reversal of a scoring decision to extend his streak.

  • DEVERS DESTROYS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 29 extra-base hits in 39 games played, including 16 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .347/.398/.634 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, no player has hit for more extra base power in that span. The third baseman was named the Red Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month for July by SoxProspects.com.

  • ‘LEFT’ OUT TO DRY: The Salem Red Sox have posted stark splits that suggest the team is far better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching. In a sufficient sample size of over 1,100 AB, the Red Sox have hit .282/.369/.412 against LHP, while against RHP, that slides to .269/.340/.388. That is the MLB difference between hitting like All-Star Adrian Gonzalez against LHP, and hitting like the light-hitting-but-still-useful Chase Headley against RHP. Interestingly, Salem is only 14-16 in games started by LHP, compared to 56-31 vs. RHP.

  • NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN: A major factor in Salem’s dominance of the season series with Wilmington is because of how well the Red Sox have hit Blue Rocks pitching. Salem is batting a cumulative .306/.386/.427 this year against Wilmington Blue Rocks pitching, by far thier best mark against any team in the Carolina League. On the current roster, the Red Sox have eight players who are batting .300 or higher against Wilmington pitching this season. Not surprisingly, the Blue Rocks are allowing the Red Sox to score 6.13 runs per game against them. Additionally, in only 16 games, Salem is 44-for-53 (83%) in stolen base attempts.

  • TROUBLE ON THE BASES: The Salem Red Sox have made a habit of being aggressive on the basepaths this season, and while that has reaped numerous benefits throughout the season, it has not come without its drawbacks. The Red Sox have swiped a Carolina League leading 205 bases this season, but have also been thrown out 58 times while attempting to steal, good for a 78% success rate. That rate teeters with the rate at which a team must be successful at stealing bases at for the play to have a net positive outcome, which is 76% success. Any lower success rate costs the team runs in the long term.

Buccaneers Game Preview: August 13, 2016 vs. Wilmington

GAME INFORMATION

Saturday, August 13, 2016 – 6:05 pm

Game 117 of 139 vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

Salem Buccaneers Baseball Network

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Michael Kopech (2-1, 1.08 ERA) vs. RHP Corey Ray (6-6, 5.55)

The Buccaneers send the electrifying Michael Kopech to the mound tonight to try to clinch a win of the three-game weekend series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Kopech has dominated the Blue Rocks this season – in two starts he has gone 11.0 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits while sporting a 18:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Texan right-hander is the consensus #5 prospect in the Boston organization, and the #2 pitching prospect. The Blue Rocks counter with another Lone Star State native, the embattled Corey Ray. The righty was battere around early in the season, before settling down in June and July. However, in two august starts, Ray has allowed 15 runs (13 earned) in 7.1 innings, and has lost four of his last five decisions.

BUCCANEERS LINEUP

  1. Joseph Monge, CF
  2. Danny Mars, DH
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. Nick Longhi, 1B
  5. Jayce Ray, RF
  6. Jordan Procyshen, C
  7. Reed Gragnani, 2B
  8. Deiner Lopez, SS
  9. Bryan Hudson, LF

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

  • Despite the win against the Blue Rocks last night, the Buccaneers failed to gain any ground on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who defeated the Carolina Mudcats, 7-5 to maintain their 3.5-game division lead. With only 22 regular season games remaining, the chase to host the first game of the opening round of the Mills Cup Playoffs is escalating in intensity. Salem entered the weekend with a prime opportunity to gain ground on the Pelicans, facing the worst team in the Carolina League in the Blue Rocks. Obviously, to gain ground the Pelicans must lose as well as the Buccaneers win.

FROM THE CROW’S NEST

  • SAIL THE SEVEN SEAS (OF MARS): Despite being held hitless Wednesday, Danny Mars has been tearing the cover off the ball for the past month, hitting .423 (47-for-111) over his last 27 games, dating back to July 13 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The switch-hitting outfielder has collected hits in 23 of those games, and has recorded multiple hits 16 times during the stretch (12 two-hit games, two three-hit games, one four-hit game, one six-hit game). Mars has used the hot streak to raise his batting line from .245/.313/.326 to .295/.353/.405. His .423 average is tops among Class A-Advanced hitters, and is third among all batters in MiLB. Mars’ .295 batting average ranks fourth among active qualifiers in the Carolina League. Mars is hitting a robust .483/.524/.793 against Wilmington this year.

  • JAYCE’S LADDER: Since being activated off the disabled list on July 28th, Salem outfielder Jayce Ray has hit in all 10 games he has played in. Ray is hitting .432 (16-for-37) with three doubles and nine runs scored. The lefty-hitting outfielder hit in his final game before missing over a month with a hamstring injury, meaning his overall streak stands at 11 games, during which he has four multi-hit games. Overall in 13 games with Salem this year, Ray is hitting .375/.475/.438.

  • FIRE THE CANNONS: Since the start of July, Rafael Devers has been locked in at the plate, smacking more extra-base hits than any Carolina League player. The 19-year-old prospect has swatted 28 extra-base hits in 37 games played, including 16 doubles, five triples and seven home runs, en route to producing a .352/.403/.642 batting line. In all of Minor League Baseball, no player has hit for more extra base power in that span. Since the beginning of June Devers is hitting .339 (83-for-245), which the best in the Carolina League. The third baseman swatted two home runs Wednesday at Myrtle Beach for his first multi-homer game of the season.

  • PORT SIDE PREDICAMENT: The Salem Buccaneers have posted stark splits that suggest the team is far better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching. In a sufficient sample size of over 1,100 AB, the Buccaneers have hit .282/.370/.412 against LHP, while against RHP, that slides to .269/.339/.388. That is the equivalent at the MLB level between hitting like All-Star Adrian Gonzalez against LHP, and hitting like the light-hitting Chase Headley against RHP. Interestingly, Salem is only 14-16 in games started by LHP, compared to 55-31 vs. RHP.

  • AHOY, MATEY!: The Salem Buccaneers are hitting .305/.385/.425 this year against Wilmington Blue Rocks pitching, by far thier best mark against any team in the Carolina League. On the current roster, the Buccaneers have nine players who are batting .300 or higher against Wilmington pitching this season. Not surprisingly, the Blue Rocks are allowing the Buccaneers to score 6.2 runs per game against them.

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