First Annual Salem Red Sox Recap

The Boston Red Sox farm system is filled with talent, but that does not guarantee success for the minor league affiliates. In Brandon Magee‘s Salem Red Sox recap, he details the ups and downs of the High-A team’s 2015 season.

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Overall Record: 66-73

Home: 31-38  Away: 35-35

First Half Record: 38-32 Second Half Record: 28-41

First Half Placement: 2nd (of 4) in Southern Division – 3.5 GB

Second Half Placement : 4th (of 4) – 17.5 GB

Post Season All-Stars : None

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The structure of the Carolina League makes every team a potential playoff participant each year. With two four team divisions and two halves of the season (with the division winner making the playoffs), half of the league makes the playoffs. Unfortunately, Salem could not repeat the feats of the past two seasons as a post-season berth eluded them.

The First Half

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Opening Day Lineup

Manuel Margot CF

Cole Sturgeon LF

Sam Travis 1B

Oscar Tejeda DH

Aneury Tavarez RF

Wendell Rijo 2B

Tzu-Wei Lin SS

Jake Romanski C

Jordan Betts 3B[/box]

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Opening Week Rotation

Jacob Dahlstrand

Trey Ball

Teddy Stankiewicz

Kevin McAvoy

Daniel McGrath[/box]

Salem’s season could not have started any better, with Jacob Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel combining on 6 1/3 innings of no hit baseball as the Red Sox won a rain shortened game, 2-0. The team’s hot start was short-lived, losing the next four games — all by a pair of runs. Salem’s streaks would continue through the rest of the month, winning three, losing three, winning five of six and then losing a pair to end the month one game under .500 at 9-10. The offense was consistent, scoring three or fewer runs nine times, six or more runs four times and exactly four runs six times. The pitching was similarly consistent, allowing three or fewer runs ten times, five or more runs six times and four runs thrice. Unfortunately, the two parts were too much in sync, as the team was only able to win a single game when the pitching allowed four or more runs.

May started with good news on the scoreboard, winning the first four games of the month, but bad news on the roster front. Opening day starter Jacob Dahlstrand (who had put up a 1.96 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in his four starts) was placed on the disabled list on May 2 and would never return. The streaks would continue, with Salem losing seven of ten, winning four in a row, losing six in a row, winning five in a row and then losing two of three to end the month. They would also lose another starter to injury, as Daniel McGrath who had a 1.80 ERA in his first six starts, was placed on the disabled list on May 17 and would not return to Salem until July.

A 17-14 record for May did put Salem two games over .500 for the season. The offense was a determinant in the wins, as the team went 13-3 when scoring at least four runs. On the other hand, when the pitching staff allowed four or more runs, the team went 4-11.

June saw the Sox continue their streaky ways. The team lost four of five during the first week of the month, then winning three, losing two, winning seven of eight and then losing two of the final three to end the first half of the season. In all eight of the losses during this streak, the pitching staff allowed more than four runs. In ten of the twelve wins, the offense scored four or more runs. The team would finish the first half at six games over .500, but was never truly a factor for the division title.

The Second Half

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Second Half Opening Day Lineup

Jose Vinicio 3B

Tzu-Wei Lin SS

Wendell Rijo 2B

Mario Martinez DH

Forrestt Allday CF

Yoilan Cerse LF

Kevin Heller RF

Jordan Betts 1B

Jordan Weems C[/box]

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Second Half Rotation

Aaron Wilkerson

Ty Buttrey

Trey Ball

Teddy Stankiewicz

Kevin McAvoy[/box]

As the second half began, the Salem Red Sox lost a pair of their offensive leaders in Sam Travis and Manuel Margot who were promoted to AA Portland. In their stead, they gained three South Atlantic League All-Stars in outfielder Derek Miller, infielder Mauricio Dubon and catcher Jordan Procyshen. The team started the second half in similar fashion to the opening half, winning their first two games and then dropping the next six. The team went on an inconsistent run of sorts after the losing streak, winning nine of the next fifteen games. The team won seven of eight games during the streak when the offense scored at least four runs. Salem then entered a losing funk, with a four-game and a six-game losing streak separated by a two game winning streak. The offense was quiet during the streak, as it scored two runs or less in eight of the ten losses and was shut out four times. The team ended July with a 12-18 mark for the month, and a 14-22 record for the second half.

August started out with a win, but Salem quickly progressed back to their losing ways. A three-game losing streak, a four-game losing streak and a seven-game losing streak followed, with only a single win separating the losing. Nothing went right for the Red Sox during the fourteen losses. When the offense had a rare glimpse of life, the pitching failed to hold as the team lost games by the scores of 9-7, 13-6 and 7-5. When the pitching was good, the offense failed, losing games of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. Even the two wins were nail biters, each a one-run game.

Salem would have to wait until the 23rd of the month to have a winning streak, as the team would win three in a row. They would alternate pairs of wins and losses for the rest of the month, ending August with an 8-18 record and a 22-40 mark for the second half. Salem would play all of September on the road which suited them just fine, as they picked up wins in six of seven games, scoring four runs or more in each of the six wins. While the Red Sox were never in contention during the second half, the final week of the season was a nice footnote to end the season on.

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Final Game Lineup

Mauricio Dubon SS

Wendell Rijo 2B

Kevin Heller CF

Mario Martinez 1B

Mike Meyers DH

Franklin Guzman RF

Yoilan Cerse 3B

Zach Kapstein LF

Carlos Coste C[/box]

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Final Rotation

Daniel McGrath

Trey Ball

Ty Buttrey

Teddy Stankiewicz

Kevin McAvoy[/box]

In the upcoming days, we will take a further look at the Salem Red Sox with a review of the offense and of the pitching staff.

*Click here for all of Brandon’s Boston Red Sox minor league recaps.

Brandon Magee is our resident minor league expert, but has also written about, Ben Cherington’s departure, the mishandling of injuries by the Red Sox, interim bench coach Dana LeVangieBROCK HOLT!, undrafted free agents, the home run king Mike Hessman, the Misadventures of Media Magee, and an interview with Trenton Kemp.

Follow Brandon on Twitter @cuzittt.

Check out Ian York’s look at Jacob deGrom.

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