Lyndsey Armacost // Y-D Red Sox
SOUTH YARMOUTH ? In just over a week of play, the Y-D Red Sox have already had three wins, suffered four losses, seen 205 at bats, had 44 hits, and scored 19 runs. It is hard to imagine that we have yet to see the Sox?s full roster. With the College World Series continuing through the end of June, the Red Sox are without eight of their contracted players.
The three pitchers, two infielders, two catchers, and one outfielder coming from Vanderbilt, TCU, Arkansas, LSU, and Florida will surely help the struggling Red Sox when they finally get to the Cape. In the meantime, all eight players are in Omaha chasing the College World Series Championship Title.
Vanderbilt Commodores Ben Bowden and Will Toffey will both be Red Sox after the defending title champions see their CWS journey end.
Bowden, a Boston native, has appeared in two games in this NCAA tournament, facing 14 batters in 2.2 innings of work. He has only allowed three hits and given up two walks while striking out six batters. Toffey has started every game this tournament for the Commodores at third base. His defensive abilities will strengthen the Sox?s depth at the infield positions but his offensive efficiency has been a problem for the young freshman in this NCAA tournament.
Toffey, also a Mass. native, has gone 5-for-22 in this tournament and has struck out nine times in just six games. He has also walked twice and recorded five RBIs. Bowden, Toffey, and the Commodores will play the winner of a TCU LSU matchup in the CWS Semi-Finals on June 19th.
The Red Sox will also have Florida Gators J.J. Schwartz, Alex Faedo, and Dalton Guthrie wearing red, white, and blue by the end of June. When the Gators flood Red Wilson Field within the next two weeks, the Sox will gain a catcher in Schwartz, a pitcher in Faedo, and an infielder in Guthrie.
Schwartz, one of two catchers to be added to the Sox roster, has put on an incredible CWS performance. Schwartz is 12-for-24, hitting an impressive .500, in the Gators? six games. He has nine runs, 11 RBIs, five walks, and only two strikeouts. Schwartz will likely join the starting lineup upon his arrival to Yarmouth to play behind the plate or occasionally play designated hitter, which has been a rotation of players so far this season.
Guthrie has also started every game of the tournament for Florida, playing third base for the Gators. Guthrie has hit .278 in the NCAA tournament so far in his 18 at bats. With only one strikeout and three walks, three RBIs, and four runs, he is good at getting on base and is efficient when he does make contact with the ball.
The last Gator joining the Red Sox roster is Alex Faedo, a right-handed pitcher who is also just finishing his freshman season. Faedo has only appeared in one game so far in the tournament, starting in a regional game against Florida Atlantic. Faedo pitched six full innings for the Gators, allowed three hits, and one earned run. Faedo walked one batter and struck out six. He posted a season ERA of 3.36 in his freshman campaign.
Brian Howard will also be added to the Sox pitching rotation when TCU?s World Series run is over. Howard recently faced LSU in a 10-3 victory for the Horned Frogs. Despite the victory, he had a disappointing outing, allowing three hits and two runs in just one inning. In TCU?s Super Regional win over Texas A&M, Howard pitched two innings and only allowed one hit. Howard is currently posting a 3.52 ERA on the season.
LSU Tiger Mike Papierski will also be joining the Red Sox in Yarmouth and is one of two catchers to be added to the roster. Papierski had a .214 season batting average in 2015 with 9 hits in 42 at bats with two doubles and one home run. Papierski has gotten very limited play in the World Series, playing in only two games for the Tigers, both late substitutions. He has only recorded one at bat in the tournament, resulting in a strikeout. LSU will play against TCU in the losers bracket at 8 p.m. on Wednesday June 17th. The winner of which will face the Bowden, Toffey, and the Commodores.
The last addition to the Sox lineup will be outfielder Luke Bonfield from Arkansas who will be reunited with his college teammate Nathan Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who is currently ineligible to play in the NCAA, did not travel with his team to Omaha. Arkansas was knocked out of the double-elimination tournament on Monday night with a 4-3 loss to Miami(Fla.). Bonfield did not appear in a single game of the tournament. The New York Mets selected the outfielder in the 21st round of the 2014 draft.
It is unclear what these additions will mean for the current Red Sox players and the starting lineup. With the temporary contract players most notably including Brady Conlan, Nick Ruppert, Kyle Kempf, and Ryley Maceachern, it will be interesting to see how Manager Scott Pickler adjusts his roster going forward.
Despite all that has happened so far for the Red Sox, it is important to remember that this team has a long season ahead of themselves. While Y-D is looking forward to adding eight impact players to their roster come the beginning of July, it is important to recognize and support their success right now while they are on college baseball?s biggest stage.
*Update(6/17 4 p.m.) ? J.J.Schwartz has opted out of his contract with Y-D and will not report to the Cape in order to play with Team USA.