DURHAM, N.C. — The sum of the phrase “the 2012 Pawtucket Red Sox” is much bigger than the 25-man roster at manager Arnie Beyeler’s disposal for tonight’s Triple-A National Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
With injuries, call-ups, trades and other roster maneuvering, the PawSox needed a proverbial village of ballplayers to get through a challenging season, make the International League playoffs and clinch the Governors’ Cup.
All told, 69 players suited up for the PawSox – one shy of the franchise record set on two occasions (1995, 2006). Whether their role was big or small, their time in Pawtucket lengthy or brief, everyone who put on a PawSox uniform can say they were part of an outfit that was the class of the International League, and among the best in AAA baseball.
As ex-Pawtucket hurler Justin Germano tweeted, “Congrats to my boys on the PawSox for winning the Governors’ Cup! Happy I was able to be a part of it.” PawSox reliever Will Inman replied to Germano’s congratulatory message, which resulted in Germano joking back, “Tell Goody (Carl Goodreau, McCoy Stadium clubhouse manager) that my ring size is a 10.”
With all that in mind, we’ve provided a list of all 69 members of this year’s team, in alphabetical order, along with a nugget or two about each one. There’s plenty of recognizable names along with ones whose time with the PawSox may have been fleeting, but they all have played a part in a historic season.
1). Lars Anderson, 1B/OF – Onetime top prospect spent the first four months of the season with the PawSox before being shipped at the July trading deadline to Cleveland.
2.) Scott Atchison, RHP – Veteran arm posted two rehab stints with Pawtucket, the first one taking place in July and resulting in the 36-year-old getting shut down with forearm tightness. Atchison was the winning pitcher in Game Two of the first-round series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
3.) Andrew Bailey, RHP – The prime player acquisition of Ben Cherington’s first offseason as Boston’s general manager, Bailey totaled 3 1/3 scoreless innings over three appearances during a rehab pit stop in August.
4). Daniel Bard, RHP – The onetime eighth-inning bridge to Jonathan Papelbon arrived in Pawtucket in early June hoping to work out the mechanical flaws that plagued him during his ill-fated stint as a member of Boston’s rotation. He didn’t exactly inspire confidence in his time with the PawSox (7.03 ERA in 31 appearances). Showing they still have faith in the 27-year-old, Bard returned to the BoSox on Aug. 30.
5). Pedro Beato, RHP – Joined the PawSox on Aug. 17 after Boston dealt Kelly Shoppach to the New York Mets. The 25-year-old spent most of the year with Triple-A Buffalo. A member of the 40-man roster, Beato figures to get called up to Boston sometime this week.
6). Ronald Bermudez, OF – Is currently with the PawSox though not on the 25-man roster. Appeared in 17 games with Pawtucket.
7). Bryce Brentz, OF – This heralded prospect has been one of Pawtucket’s top offensive performers during the playoffs (.333 average with six extra-base hits and five RBI). Has amassed 514 at-bats between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket this year.
8). Clay Buchholz, RHP – Made a rehab start at McCoy Stadium the day before the All-Star break.
9). Billy Buckner, RHP – Has won his past five starts including a splendid postseason performance against Scranton where he tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings in Game Three.
10). Dan Butler, C – Became Pawtucket’s starting catcher after Ryan Lavarnway was summoned to Boston in early August. Lauded for his receiving and game-calling skills. Scored both of Pawtucket’s runs during Game Two of the Charlotte series, one of which was the result of a home run.
11). Chris Carpenter, RHP – The player Boston received in the Theo Epstein compensation saga, this hard-thrower struck out 17 in 15 2/3 Triple-A innings.
12). Pedro Ciriaco, INF – His season really took off when Jose Iglesias sat out most of June with a back injury. Was selected to the Triple-A All-Star Game but did not participate after getting promoted to Boston on July 6.
13). Carl Crawford, OF – His July rehab stint was filled with both production (.333 average in three games) and speculation as to whether his left elbow would be able to hold up. Eventually he underwent Tommy John surgery and was shipped to the Dodgers in a salary-dumping blockbuster trade.
14). Aaron Cook, RHP – A strong April with the PawSox (3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts) resulted in the Red Sox calling him up for big league rotation duties.
15). Ivan De Jesus, 2B – One of the players the Red Sox received in the mega-deal with the Dodgers, De Jesus was a hitting machine in his seven-game stint with Pawtucket (.385 average).
16). Jose De La Torre, RHP – Has emerged as a reliable and trusty late-game option as De La Torre is 3-for-3 in save opportunities during the playoffs. Shuttled between Double-A and Triple-A in Cleveland’s system before coming over on July 24 as part of the Brent Littlebridge deal.
17). Ryan Dent, SS – Taken 62nd overall in the 2007 Draft by Boston, Dent reached Triple-A for the first time in 2012.
18). Brandon Duckworth, RHP – A popular player in the clubhouse, Duckworth chose to leave the PawSox in late July for an opportunity in Japan. Won 17 games in his 1 ½ seasons with the PawSox.
19). Jacoby Ellsbury, OF – One of 17 Boston Red Sox players to rehab with Pawtucket, Ellsbury went 1-for-8 in two games.
20). Luis Exposito, C – Started the season with the PawSox before getting designated for assignment on April 15. The Orioles claimed the 25-year-old two days later.
21). Josh Fields, RHP – A strikeout machine (78 strikeouts in 58 1/3 regular-season innings), Fields joined the PawSox on Aug. 3 and immediately slid into the role previously held by Junichi Tazawa. The only difference is that Fields has had more of an opportunity to close games with Pawtucket (four regular-season saves plus one in the playoffs).
22). Nelson Figueroa, RHP – Taking a page out of Derek Lowe’s playbook, he was the winning pitcher in both of Pawtucket’s series-clinching games (Lowe won all three of Boston’s series clinchers during the 2004 postseason). Spanning the playoffs, the 38-year-old Figueroa has won 14 games, seven apiece with Scranton and Pawtucket.
23). Justin Germano, RHP – Earned International League All-Star status a strong first half (nine wins and 2.40 ERA in 17 games). Was able to use his stint with Pawtucket to his advantage as Boston honored his July 1 opt-out date. The 30-year-old joined forces with the Chicago Cubs on July 19 after getting designated for assignment.
24). Mauro Gomez, 1B – A dominant force in the middle of the order, Gomez slugged his way to the International League MVP award, finishing in the top 10 in hitting (.310), homers (24) and RBI (74). He produced those stellar numbers in just 100 games.
25). Alex Hassan, OF – Pawtucket’s starting left fielder on Opening Day appeared in 94 games in his first Triple-A campaign. The 24-year-old hasn’t played since mid August after suffering a left knee laceration. 26). Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF – One of several Portland reinforcements that landed in Pawtucket during the stretch run, Hazelbacker put up big numbers with the Sea Dogs (19 homers, 33 stolen bases).
27). Jon Hee, INF – One of the unsung heroes of the season due to his ability to stabilize the infield following the losses of Ciriaco and Jose Iglesias. He also contributed at the plate and even made two pitching appearances for Pawtucket.
28). Chris Hernandez, LHP – A control pitcher who would have started Game Four of the Governors’ Cup finals, Hernandez posted a 3.59 ERA in eight regular-season games (seven starts) with Pawtucket.
29). Rich Hill, LHP – Made eight relief appearances – all in a rehab capacity – while compiling a 1.13 ERA and 10 strikeouts.
30). Brock Huntzinger, RHP – Appeared in two regular-season games following his promotion to Triple-A on Aug. 29.
31). Jose Iglesias, SS – Glove wizard showed signs of taking steps forward offensively this season as the 22-year-old saw increases in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS compared to his 2011 output. Major issue going forward is health as he once again missed substantial time.
32). Will Inman, RHP – One of the few players that played wire-to-wire with the PawSox, Inman posted an under-the-radar 2.23 ERA spanning 35 regular-season appearances.
33). Ryan Kalish, OF – In a season following an injury-marred 2011 campaign, Kalish batted .261 in 27 games with four homers and 14 RBI.
34). Jeremy Kehrt, RHP – Appeared in two games (one start) with Pawtucket in late June.
35). Josh Kroeger, OF – Spent three months with Pawtucket before getting released on June 27. Was hitting just .244 in 64 games.
36). Andy LaRoche, 1B – Signed as a free agent on June 29 after opting out of his deal with Columbus, La Roche became Pawtucket’s primary first baseman following the departures of Anderson and Gomez. Hit seven HRs in 50 regular-season games with the PawSox.
37). Will Latimer, LHP – Posted a 6.30 ERA in five appearances.
38). Ryan Lavarnway, C – A full-time starter for the first time in his pro career, Lavarnway was the only PawSox player of the four selected to appear in the Triple-A All-Star contest. His power numbers dropped off from his 2011 production, but he earned praise for improved defense and his handling of the pitching staff.
39). Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Strong defender who hit just .247 in 113 regular-season games. On the 40-man roster, it will be interesting to see if Boston decides to call Lin up.
40). J.C. Linares, OF – A professional hitting machine, Linares hit .316 with 16 homers and 62 RBI between Portland and Pawtucket.
41). Mike MacDonald, RHP – Made one start with Pawtucket on Sept. 2 against Scranton.
42). Doug Mathis, RHP – Followed the same path as Duckworth in which he started the season in Pawtucket’s starting rotation before departing for Japan. Won seven games for the PawSox.
43). Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP – The king of the rehab, Matszuaka wound up making 11 starts for Pawtucket. For comparison’s sake, last Friday was Matsuzaka’s ninth start in a Red Sox uniform.
44). Darnell McDonald, OF – Rehabbed an oblique strain with the PawSox in late May. All three of his homers in a Scranton uniform came against the PawSox.
45). Will Middlebrooks, 3B – Started off hot (nine homers in April) and did not look back. Continued strong play upon reaching Boston and eventually wrestled the starting job away from Kevin Youkilis.
46). Mark Melancon, RHP – The only part of Melancon’s season that wasn’t disappointing was the two months he spent with Pawtucket (0.83 ERA in 21 appearances).
47). Andrew Miller, LHP – The former phenom turned reliever had control issues with Pawtucket (14 walks in 11 innings), yet went on to pitch effectively with Boston.
48). Garrett Mock, RHP – Appeared in 35 games before getting traded to Houston on Aug. 3
49). Clayton Mortensen, RHP – Practically a human yo-yo, Mortensen shuttled between Pawtucket and Boston numerous times. The constant jostling didn’t hamper his performance as the reliever was named Pawtucket’s top pitcher of 2012 (1.91 ERA in 24 appearances).
50). Daniel Nava, OF – Enjoyed a career revival and returned to the majors for the first time since 2010. Hit .452 in eight games in May with Pawtucket before getting summoned to Boston.
51). Ross Ohlendorf, RHP – Made 10 starts before exercising his June 1 opt-out date. Signed with the Padres.
52). Tony Pena Jr., RHP – His value came in his ability to bounce from the rotation to the bullpen and vice versa. Twelve of his 32 regular-season appearances were starts.
53). Scott Podsednik, OF – One of the more unheralded stories of the season, Podsednik joined the PawSox in early May. Wound up batting .281 with Pawtucket after getting off to a dreadful start to his season while with Lehigh Valley (.197 in 23 games).
54). Mark Prior, RHP – The former Chicago Cubs ace pitched to mixed results in his two months on the comeback trail with Pawtucket (38 strikeouts and 23 walks in 25 innings). High walk total resulted in the PawSox releasing him on Aug. 17.
55). Jason Repko, OF – Remembered for his highlight-worthy catch that occurred on the second to the last day of the regular season, Repko dealt with injuries and inconsistent playing time on his way to hitting .225 in 47 regular-season games.
56). Mike Rivera, C – Journeyman was a reliable backup to Lavarnway and later to Butler. Appeared in 43 regular-season games and has made two starts during the playoffs.
57). Reynaldo Rodriguez, 1B – Joined the PawSox after Anderson was traded away. Suffered a broken hand that ended his season on Aug. 20.
58). Cody Ross, OF – His rehab spanned two games.
59). Nate Spears, INF – In his second season with Pawtucket, Spears emerged as a steady and reliable contributor who wound up appearing in 108 regular-season games, good for second most on the team.
60). Chorye Spoone, RHP – Started the season in Pawtucket’s bullpen where he posted a 2.79 ERA in 14 games. Was eventually sent to Portland before hooking on with New Hampshire, the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate.
61). Matt Spring, C – Like Bermudez, Spring is currently with the PawSox in an emergency capacity. Went 3-for-9 in two games.
62). Zach Stewart, RHP – One of the players the Red Sox received in the Kevin Youkilis deal with the White Sox, Stewart went 3-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 11 regular-season starts. His best start in a PawSox uniform came during Game Two of the Charlotte series when he tossed six shutout innings.
63). Junichi Tazawa, RHP – Somewhat of a wild card at the season’s onset, Tazawa emerged as key bullpen piece in Pawtucket before moving on to Boston. The most noticeable sign that he was well past Tommy John surgery was reflective in the velocity he gained, his fastball rising from the low 90s to the 95-96 range that Tazawa resided at the time of his July promotion. With the PawSox, he struck out 56 in 42 1/3 innings.
64). Justin Thomas, LHP – One of 13 pitchers to make five or less appearances with Pawtucket, Thomas got into two games before Boston designated him for assignment.
65). Tony Thomas, 2B/OF – The changeover on the roster paved the way for Thomas to get on the field much more than originally anticipated. He played 46 games at second base but also made eight appearances in the outfield.
66). Danny Valencia, 3B – Came over last month in a trade with Minnesota and solidified the hot corner for the PawSox. Has slugged two homers in the playoffs.
67). Alex Wilson, RHP – Was moved to the bullpen after making three starts. Went 4-3 in 37 relief appearances with a 3.36 ERA.
68). Steven Wright, RHP – The knuckleballer came over from the Indians at the trade deadline. Originally placed in Portland, he made four starts in the regular season for Pawtucket and was the winning pitcher of Game One of the Governors’ Cup finals after limiting the Charlotte Knights to two runs
69). Kevin Youkilis, 3B – One of the few periods of calm in an otherwise tumultuous ending to his tenure in Boston came when Youkilis hit .364 in four rehab games with the PawSox.