The Boston Red Sox sent three rookies down to the minors on Monday, bringing the number of players in big league camp down to 57.
Struggling pitcher Drake Britton was optioned to Double-A Portland while prospects Justin Henry and Deven Marrero were reassigned to minor league camp in Fort Myers, Fla.
Britton, a 23-year-old left-hander who is two years removed from Tommy John Surgery, had major control problems in spring training games. In 3 1/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits and walked four batters. His relocation to Portland doesn’t come as a surprise since Britton was never expected to make the team, but the Red Sox wanted to see his progress firsthand in camp.
Marrero was Boston’s first round draft pick last season, so his invitation to camp was somewhat shocking to begin with. The Red Sox hadn’t brought a newly drafted position player to big league camp since catcher Scott Hatteberg way back in 1992. Marrero, a middle infielder with just 64 games of minor league experience, was thrilled to get the opportunity to pick all-star second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s brain throughout spring training. Both players played college ball at Arizona State.
“I think that’s the most surprising thing to me, is how (Pedroia) goes about his business,” Marrero said. “He practices how he plays. I thought he might take a break. He doesn’t. He goes at it hard every second. It’s how I want to model my game after.”
Henry, a utility man that plays both infield and outfield, will join Marrero in minor league camp. Henry was acquired over the winter in a trade with the Detroit Tigers. The 27-year-old appeared in seven Grapefruit League games and was 1-8 at the plate.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)