Bryce Brentz left a fitting going away present. On Friday morning, Brentz went 3-for-5 with a home run for low Class A Greenville in the Drive's win over Savannah. Later that day he got the word that he was moving up to high Class A Salem. He quickly established that he won't be awed by facing more experienced pitchers.
In his first game with Salem on Saturday, he homered. On Sunday, he homered again, giving him 13 for the season.
Brentz's promotion was part of a cascade of Red Sox outfield promotions. Center fielder Che Hsuan-Lin was bumped up to Triple-A Pawtucket from Double-A Portland. Jeremy Hazelbaker went from Salem to Portland. Brentz replaced Hazelbaker in Salem while Henry Ramos was freed from extended spring training to go to Greenville.
"He still gets out of it at times because he's an aggressive swinger, but we're trying to allow that swing to play in the zone to impact the baseball. When he gets a little out of control with his swing sometimes, that's when the swing-and-miss comes in. But when he keeps that effort level where it needs to be, he's a pretty dangerous hitter. This is probably long overdue for him," Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen told the Providence Journal about Brentz.
HEATING UP: When Jason Adam didn't break camp with low Class A Kane County, it said less about Adam's readiness for full-season ball and more about the April weather in the Chicago suburb.
But just like Mike Montgomery, John Lamb and Tim Melville before him, the Royals promoted Adam to the Midwest League as soon as the weather warmed up. Adam made his pro debut last week with a somewhat rocky outing at Cedar Rapids, but on Sunday, he showed why he's arguably the most promising of the Royals' next wave of pitching prospects.
Adam allowed only three hits and no walks while striking out six in eight scoreless innings for his first pro win (a 4-0 blanking of Beloit). Adam faced only two batters over the minimum, and the game took less than two hours.
Despite the fact that the Royals had the top-ranked farm system in baseball entering the season, the Cougars boasted few significant prospects, especially after Brett Eibner was lost to the disabled list with a finger injury. The addition of Adam, Yordano Ventura and third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert (promoted on Friday) has helped rectify that prospect drought.
MOVING UP: Indians lefthander Nick Hagadone was promoted to Triple-A Columbus this weekend. Hagadone, 25, has allowed one run in two innings while striking out two in his first two Triple-A outings. He was 2-1, 1.52 in 24 innings with Double-A Akron.
After struggling with his control in 2010 as a starter, the move to the bullpen has worked out well for the hard-throwing lefty. Hagadone is walking only 2.81 hitters per nine innings this year, way down from the 6.6 walks he averaged last year. With the Indians' surprisingly strong start, Hagadone could end up being a useful member of the big league club's bullpen at some point this season.
SLOWING UP: Rubby de la Rosa's line from his most recent outing is a little bizarre. He struck out five of the seven batters he faced, but left after only two innings.
Dodgers fans need not worry. De la Rosa wasn't injured, and it wasn't a hurried decision to trade him or promote him. It was just a scheduled short stint to keep his innings in check for the season, something the Dodgers have done with other starting pitching prospects in the past.
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