Marrero cousins teaming up for Pawtucket
There was a little extra incentive for Chris Marrero to re-sign with the Red Sox in the offseason.
After signing with the organization as a minor league free agent in August 2015, the 27-year-old outfielder couldn’t pass up the opportunity to continue playing with his cousin, shortstop Deven Marrero.
“It’s like playing with my brother on the same team,” said Chris. “Other than that, the Boston organization has been treating me well, first class with everything, and I definitely wanted to come back.”
Growing up in Florida, Deven, Chris, and Chris’s brother, Christian, spent almost every day either playing baseball, practicing on weekends, or hitting in the cages at each other’s houses after school.
All three Marreros worked their way up to the pros, and since last August, Deven and Chris have played together at Triple A Pawtucket. Chris re-signed with the Red Sox in November and, like Deven, is signed through the end of this season. Christian is with Reading of the Eastern League in the Phillies organization.
“We’ve lived next to each other pretty much our whole lives,” Deven said. “I saw him every day and his brother, Christian, every day. It’s always been baseball and it’s always been love between us.”
“We loved it, our parents loved that we always loved the game, and we just cherished the moments we had together when we were just hitting and playing,” added Chris. “And it was fun growing up just learning from each other as well.”
Deven, 25, was selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2012 draft with the 24th pick. The Arizona State product made his major league debut last season, playing in 25 games over three stints with Boston, hitting .226 with one home run and three RBIs.
This season, Deven is hitting .209 with 15 RBIs and five stolen bases with Pawtucket.
“I’ve kind of been grinding the first couple months, trying to work on a couple things, trying to get more consistent with a couple things,” Deven said. “But we’ve still got a lot of season left, and I’m just trying to get better and better every day so I can be more consistent when I get up to the big leagues.”
Chris was selected 15th overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2006 draft. He made his major league debut in 2011, appearing in 31 games for the Nationals, hitting .248 with five doubles and 10 RBIs. He had another brief stint in the big leagues in 2013, going 2 for 16 in eight games with Washington.
Chris is hitting .281 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs for Pawtucket this season. He has spent time in left field, at first base, and at DH.
“The season’s been going well,” he said. “I’ve been healthy, so you’ve got to thank God for that, and the team’s been doing well. We’ve got a good group of guys that get together and get along well.
“As for me, I feel like I’ve been doing well, but there’s always room for improvement.”
While the Marreros are focused on contributing for the PawSox — who got above .500 with a walkoff win Wednesday night — playing in the majors remains the goal.
“I think every player in Triple A is working to get back to the big leagues,” Chris said. “It’s just doing whatever we can do to help the team win here and trying to open ourselves up to have a spot up there and try to contribute up there with the Red Sox. There’s nothing else we can do but do what we do here.”
For Deven, returning to the majors with his cousin would just sweeten the deal.
“Our goal is definitely to get to the big leagues,” he said. “That would be pretty special because we’re on the same team here, so there’s always a possibility, and that’s what we’re working hard for, that’s what we strive for, and that’s been our dream ever since we were little.”
LaMarre making his case
Pawtucket center fielder Ryan LaMarre extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single Wednesday night. The athletic 27-year-old has shown a combination of raw power and speed at Triple A, though there are times when his desire to drive the ball renders him pull-heavy and vulnerable to swings and misses. Still, his overall performance has been strong — .316/.369/.463 in 37 games — and if the Sox want to get Rusney Castillo regular at-bats, LaMarre’s skill set and defensive versatility would make him a natural call-up option . . . In Double A Portland, righthander Ty Buttrey commenced his new life as a reliever Tuesday, allowing one unearned run on a hit and a walk in two innings in which he struck out one. Buttrey has long been viewed as a potential reliever, but the Red Sox had him develop his pitch mix over the first four years of his pro career in a starting role. After he struggled to an 0-6 record and 6.08 ERA through nine starts this year, the time for a shift was deemed appropriate.
In High A Salem Tuesday, Yoan Moncada went 2 for 4 with a double (his eighth in his last seven games, giving him 21 for the year) and a steal. In what are likely his final days in the Carolina League, Moncada is hitting .299/.421/.475 with a minor-league-leading 34 steals (in 40 attempts) while ranking in the top 10 in all of the minors in doubles and walks (40) . . . Also in Salem, lefthanded reliever Bobby Poyner worked 1⅔ perfect innings Tuesday that included three strikeouts, his second appearance since his promotion. Poyner moved up to Salem after posting a microscopic 0.30 ERA with 35 strikeouts and three walks in 29⅔ innings in Single A Greenville. Between the two levels, lefties are 2 for 28 (.071) against the 23-year-old.