Barnes: Draft day 'hectic' with UConn still in action

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Barnes: Draft day 'hectic' with UConn still in action

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

Before right-hander Matt Barnes can sign his first major league contract and begin his professional career in the Red Sox' organization, he and his UConn Huskies teammates have other matters they must take care of. They must get past the University of South Carolina this weekend in the NCAA super regional if they are to make a trip to Omaha in the College World Series. The last time the Huskies appeared in the CWS was 1979.

Barnes, the Red Sox No. 1 pick in this years draft, found out hed been selected on Monday by the Sox, with the 19th overall pick while the Huskies were beating Clemson.

Monday was a pretty hectic day between the regional and the draft, Barnes said. I had a lot of time with my parents and talked to them because, if anything needed to be taken care of, my parents were going to have to speak on my behalf. But my coaches and teammates were also really understanding. They let me be by my phone during batting practice and during the game in case anybody needed to get a hold of me. But once it came game time we had a couple of teammates who werent allowed to be in the dugout due to NCAA rules. They were standing outside and they were relaying messages to me about who was getting drafted, and every half inning Id go over and talk to them about that.

All in all, it was hectic, but it was a great day. Im very fortunate to be drafted by the Red Sox on Monday and to top it all off, we got the 'W' against Clemson and now were staying down here in South Carolina.

Barnes, one of 10 Huskies drafted this year, was surprised when he learned it was the Sox who had picked him. He knew they had watched his starts, and that general manager Theo Epstein was at one, but had not spoken with them directly.

I even asked my dad whether or not he had talked to them, Barnes said. I knew that they were interested, but I hadnt talked to them previously leading up to. So, I didnt know for sure that they were taking me until my name was called.

Barnes, who turns 21 on June 17, is 6-feet-4, 203 pounds with a fastball in the 91-93 range. He posted a record of 11-4 with a 1.62 ERA in 16 starts spanning 116 23 innings this season for the Huskies. He was a unanimous choice as the Big East Pitcher of the Year, the first UConn player to earn the honor since former major leaguer Charles Nagy received the award in 1988 and 1989. Barnes won the Big East pitching Triple Crown, leading the conference in wins (11), strikeouts (97) and ERA (1.20) during the regular season, walking just 26 batters in 105.0 innings and limiting opponents to a .163 batting average. He has 241 career strikeouts, just two behind UConn all-time leader Ed Baird, who set the record in 1966-68.

Barnes, who grew up a Yankees fan, sees the humor in being taken by their rivals.

Its definitely ironic. But as much as Ive always been a Yankees fan, Ive always respected the Red Sox, he said. So Im very excited for the opportunity to play for the Red Sox and I know that theyll take care of me just fine.

He wasnt drafted out of Bethel (Conn.) High three years ago. Hes used the time since then to develop, as a person, as a player. Playing at UConn, in the Cape Cod League, and for Team USA has helped him mature, refine his pitching and develop his confidence.

Barnes is glad to have the draft behind him, allowing him and his teammates to focus on the NCAA tournament and a possible trip to Omaha. Hes not sure how quickly he will sign the Sox.

Obviously, we still have hopefully a couple of weeks at UConn, he said. I have some time left here and once the season is over with UConn, I'll sit down with my parents and talk about it. Well talk to the Red Sox, see what they want to do. I pitched a lot of innings at UConn so far this year. So they might want me to take a little time off or they might want me to come out and get going. Thats something thats probably going to come up once the UConn season is over. When that comes up well deal with that then.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Holt (concussion) still not symptom-free, target weekend series vs. Angels

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Holt (concussion) still not symptom-free, target weekend series vs. Angels

ST. PETERSBURG, FL. - Brock Holt's return to the Red Sox is going to have to wait a little longer.

The Sox had held out some hope that Holt might be ready to rejoin the club here for the start of a three-game series. But Holt, who is recovering from a concussion suffered in early May, is still not symptom-free while on a rehab assignment at Triple A Pawtucket.

The target now is for Holt to return Friday when the Red Sox begin a homestand that will take them up to the All-Star break.

"He'll come off and hopefully join us for the weekend series with the Angels,'' said John Farrell. "(He had a) good day (Sunday), but just didn't feel like he's ready to take that next step, so we have to respect that. He'll get full number of at-bats (Tuesday) and Wednesday, before we get back home.''

Farrell said Holt is still experiencing some post-concussion symptoms as he plays in games.

"This is a very unique (case),'' said Farrell. "We've talked a lot about his form of a concussion and we felt like the best way for him to be capable of being back with us is to push forward and stress the intensity, the level of play. Because the symptoms aren't going to go away just by sitting around. This is a matter of being active and being aggressive with it, so hopefully everything calibrates within his system. That's the recommendation of the medical staff.''

Farrell said Holt continues to feel some imbalance and light dizziness.

"There are those slight, disoriented feelings that's we working through,'' Farrell said. ''We're talking about the inner ear speaking to the brain and that's only going to continue to improve but stressing it -- not by sitting back. The fact that he was set out on a rehab assignment with some of those symptoms was part of overall recommendation.

"I wish we could say this is a straight-line end result from a timing standpoint, but we're seeing that it's not.''

 

Monday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Sox hope to extend Tampa Bay's misery

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Monday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Sox hope to extend Tampa Bay's misery

The Red Sox may be stumbling through the month of June, but they're flying high compared to their opponent tonight.

The Sox are in St. Petersburg, Fla., to take on the free-falling Rays, losers of 11 straight. They'll be sending Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound in hopes of continuing Tampa Bay's misery, at least for the next three games.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Bryce Brentz LF
Sandy Leon C
Marco Hernandez 3B
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Eduardo Rodriguez P

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Tim Beckham SS
Evan Longoria 3B
Logan Morrison 1B
Desmond Jennings CF
Oswaldo Arcia RF
Taylor Motter LF
Nick Franklin DH
Curt Casali C
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Blake Snell P

Red Sox recall infielder Mike Miller, ship Cuevas back to PawSox

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Red Sox recall infielder Mike Miller, ship Cuevas back to PawSox

The Red Sox made another pitcher-for-infielder roster swap today, sending William Cuevas back to Pawtucket and bringing up Mike Miller as his replacement.

The Sox had summoned Cuevas from the PawSox over the weekend when they ran through their bullpen in Friday night's come-from-behind victory over Texas and he pitched twice against the Rangers, holding them to two hits over 2 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday and Sunday. Deven Marrero had been shipped out when Cuevas arrived, leaving the Sox with only one backup infielder (Marco Hernandez).

Now they have two again, with Miller making his first trip to the major leagues. He's been primarily a second baseman for Pawtucket, though he's also seen action at short and third. Miller -- the team's ninth-round selection in the 2012 draft -- had a combined .251 average in 46 games for the PawSox and six games for Double-A Portland.

However, his stay with the Red Sox will likely be as short as Cuevas'. Brock Holt may soon be ready for reactivation, after having missed more than a month because of a concussion, and he could take Miller's roster spot when he returns.