Kevin Gray's On Baseball: Salem NH's Poore shows poise against Sox
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- FOR a 19-year-old taking the mound against the Boston Red Sox, lefty Nick Poore showed an abundance of confidence and stuff at JetBlue Park.
More than 8,000 fans were watching and NESN cameras were rolling as the Boston College freshman entered in the fifth inning Saturday night. Poore, a Salem High graduate, worked two scoreless innings and threw an array of at-the-knees fastballs to strike out Nick Punto.
Poore, unaware Punto won the World Series with the Cardinals last year, gave the 34-year-old veteran nothing to hit.
“I started throwing fastballs down and away, and then I went low and inside for the strikeout,” said Poore, who also fanned Daniel Butler and Juan Carlos Linares.
It appeared Punto, vying for a job at shortstop, had more jitters than Poore, a 5-foot-11 southpaw.
“I thought I was going to be real nervous but when I got out there. I felt like it was any other game and just got really focused and blocked everything out,” he said.
Poore, who grew up in Littleton, signed to play for the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League this summer.
RED SOX general manager Ben Cherington of Meriden is keeping a close eye on ex-Fisher Cats lefty Jesse Carlson, who signed with Boston after spending eight seasons in Toronto's organization.
“He had one really good year in Toronto (in 2008). He's mostly a matchup-lefty. Low arm angle and good slider. He gives lefties fits when he's going well. That's an area where we haven't always had a lock-down guy. We'll see what he can do this spring. Glad to have him in the organization,” Cherington said.
Carlson served up a two-run homer to former Red Sox farmhand Aaron Bates in a “B” game against the Twins on Thursday.
Second baseman Brad Emaus, the Mets' opening-day starter last season, was another off-the-radar pickup for Cherington this winter. Emaus rose through the minors with the Blue Jays and fizzled when given an opportunity by the Mets in 2011. Cherington acquired the 25-year-old through a trade with the Rockies. Emaus can provide depth at second or third base in the minors.
“Brad's a good offensive player. For whatever reason, he was running out of opportunity with the Rockies,” Cherington said. “We got him into camp, and we'll get a chance to know him better this spring. We're hopeful he can help us, more likely, at the minor-league level to start. He's a guy that's always hit. We'll see if that translates to Boston.”
TWINS PITCHER Terry Doyle, a Salem High graduate, worked two scoreless innings against Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte on Sunday. Sam Fuld of Durham, N.H., did not play … In Bradenton, former Fisher Cats outfielder Anthony Gose put on a display of speed and athleticism for the Blue Jays. Gose singled against the Pirates and later scored from a second base on a squib grounder.
Staff writer Kevin Gray covers pro baseball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. His email address is email@example.com. Read his blog at graymatter11.com.
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