Originally written on New England Sports React  |  Last updated 11/14/14

Pawsox Season Preview

Opening Day was April 5, 2012 and the Pawsox defeated the Buffalo Bisons 4-2 and continued their opening day streak at 7 games won in a row. Justin Germano got the victory with 5 solid innings of work. Newcomer Ciriaco went 4-5 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base. Garret Mock received the save with 2 solid innings to shut the door on the Bisons.

The Pawsox are coming off an incredible year in which they won the Northeast Division for the 1st time since 2003. Manager Arnie Beyeler has quite the roster for another chance to repeat as Division Champs. His returning crew includes Lars Anderson, Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Lavarnway and Jose Iglesias all will make an impact this upcoming year. Some interesting newcomers from AA and other organizations look to make an impact this year such as Alex Hassan from AA Portland, Josh Kroeger from AAA New Orleans (Miami Marlins) and Pedro Ciriaco all will play key roles this year.


The catching duo in Pawtucket has some serious power with both players combining for 26 HR last year and 91 RBIs. Production will come through hot prospect Ryan Lavarnway who looks to show off his skills in the AAA level. Ryan cements himself as a cleanup hitter and provides much needed power to drive in runs.


The infield also has a lot of POP in their bats and their gloves are pretty good as well. The power starts with newcomer Mauro Gomez who last season in AAA Gwinnett hit .304 with 24 HRs and 90 RBIs. He will most likely be DH role since first base is occupied by Lars Anderson who hit 14 HRs and drove in 78 RBIs for the Pawsox last season. Second base will be split between Pedro Ciriaco and Nate Spears with Ciriaco getting more playing time with a great spring training. Ciriaco provides raw speed and a lead off bat and set the table for other players to drive him home. Iglesias is the SS and will be closely watched this year since he lost the position battle to Mike Aviles for SS in Boston. Iglesias glove is his strongest asset and he will give them a great defensive presence in the ballgame. Will Middlebrooks is the next 3rd basemen in waiting, he had a stellar Double A season posting .302 average and hitting 18 HRs and driving in 80 RBIs.  The infield will be exciting to watch as they work their way up route 95 to Boston.


The outfield has a few returners with fan favorite Daniel Nava and Che-Hsuan Lin returning to man the grass of McCoy Stadium. With additions of Jason Repko and Josh Kroeger and call up Alex Hassan they will give the Pawsox much needed offense and defense. Also don’t forget about Ryan Kalish as he battles back from off-season surgery and could have some rehab games before he heads up to Boston. The outfield will continue to make highlight reel catches and roam around the field as they too hope to head up to Boston.


Pitching wins Championships and with this staff the Pawsox assembled this year could be a Major League Rotation. They have 3 quality starters who all have had Major League Experience. Aaron Cook leads this group with the most experience at 33 years of age with 10 years of experience in Colorado. His major league totals are 72-68 with a career ERA of 4.53. He provides veteran leadership to this club and could be called up to Boston for spot starts. Ross Ohlendorf is the next pitcher with quality time in the big leagues. His 5 years of experience in the Majors provides the Pawsox a quality starter who will induce the ground ball and knows how to get guys out. He doesn’t throw hard but he’s a pitcher who locates his pitches and knows how to get batters out. Alex Wilson and Junichi Tazawa both provide quality pitchers out of the bullpen and both also could start games. With Boston’s bullpen woes these two could get the call up to eat innings up at the Major League level. The pitching staff looks to give the Pawsox a solid strength for this upcoming season.


I was caught off guard when Pawsox won the division. This year I won’t be, I really expect them to pull away with the division and hopefully make a deep playoff run. I really will be curious to see how Iglesias hits at the Triple-A level and the future 3rd basemen Will Middlebrooks powers his way to a September call up. I expect Ciriaco to be called up this year to replace Nick Punto as a utility man and provide the Boston Red Sox with a speedy threat to come into a late game and get you that stolen base. Lavarnway should be the next catcher behind Salty and I perceive Shoppach as a rental for this year as Lavarnway gets more polishing and more seasoned at Triple-A. For tickets and special events go to www.Pawsox.com and come see your Future Boston Red Sox at reasonable prices.

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