Farrell lauds Zach Stewart's 'versatility'

802022.jpg

Farrell lauds Zach Stewart's 'versatility'

BOSTON -- Maybe you don't know much about Zack Stewart, the pitcher the Red Sox acquired from Chicago in the Kevin Youkilis trade, but John Farrell does.

Stewart made his major-league debut under Farrell in Toronto last year, pitching three games for the Jays before being dealt to the White Sox with Jason Frasor for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahan. (Strange note: It's been less than a year, but none of the players involved in the trade are still with the teams they were dealt to. Stewart's with the Red Sox, Frasor was traded back to Toronto in January, and both Jackson and Teahan signed as free agents with the Nationals.) Stewart's career numbers aren't much -- 3-8 record, 5.92 ERA in 31 games (12 as a starter) -- and Farrell's scouting report to Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran is . . . well, you decide.

"He's a pitcher with three effective pitches -- sinker, slider, changeup," said Farrell, the ex-Red Sox pitching coach who's now the Blue Jays manager. "A very good athlete who repeats his delivery and will throw a lot of strikes; and he's got the ability and the versatility to either pitch out of the bullpen or spot start on occasion."

Speaking of a ballplayer's "versatility" is roughly on par with speaking of a blind date's "good personality", so take that for what it's worth. One thing Farrell was positive about, though, was Stewart's makeup.

"When he came to us last year and made his debut, he handled the emotion or the adrenaline of it, or the major-league environment, in a positive way," Farrell said. "The game didn't seem to speed up on him. So I would anticipate that coming in here, when that opportunity arises, that he would handle the adrenaline rush in a good way."

Stewart's in Pawtucket, serving as organizational pitching depth.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

cleveland-indians-andy-marte-killed-12217.jpg

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

kansas-city-royals-yordano-ventura-killed-12217.jpg

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.