Roger Brown on Baseball: Salem grad Terry Doyle, now a Sea Dog, hitting the 'reset' button
MANCHESTER -- TERRY DOYLE'S professional baseball career has taken some sharp turns in the last couple of years. Some were for the better, some were for the worse.
Doyle, who played varsity baseball and basketball at Salem High School, was released by the Chicago White Sox organization in 2012, and he spent the rest of last season pitching in Japan. He signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in November and things looked promising when he got off to a strong start with Pawtucket this season, but Doyle began to struggle with his control in May and spent the bulk of the last two months in the bullpen. He was sent to Double-A Portland earlier this month.
"The goal is to get to the big leagues, and every guy has a different path to get there," Doyle said before Monday night's game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. "Some guys go up quickly, some guys go through trades. My path has been slow and steady. Hopefully in the next year or so I can get up to the big leagues and live the dream.
"It's tough because I came into this year having a good year last year and thinking that I was going to be able to get up to Boston and help the team win up there. First month or so is where I shined and threw well, but the opportunity didn't come. Then the last two months or so I've struggled.
"I didn't have any control or command the last month or so. Out of nowhere I just couldn't figure out where the ball was going."
Doyle, 27, was 5-6 with a 5.60 ERA in 18 appearances (11 starts) with Pawtucket. He's 0-2 with Portland, but has pitched better than his record would indicate. He threw eight innings in a 2-1 loss to New Britain, and tossed a complete game in a 5-2 loss to Binghamton on Saturday.
Doyle, who helped the Salem baseball team win the Class L championship as a junior, isn't scheduled to pitch in the Sea Dogs' three-game series with the Fisher Cats.
"When they told me I was coming down to Double-A it was kind of bittersweet because they were going to let me start again," Doyle said. "Hopefully I can have a good month or so and get ready for next season.
"I haven't really had much failure since I started pro ball, so when I struggled at Pawtucket it was new to me. Mentally I kind of got defeated a little bit. Coming down here is kind of like a fresh start for me. Reset everything and just start the season over again."
OUTFIELDER Melky Cabrera continued his major league rehabilitation assignment with the Fisher Cats on Monday night. He spent two games with Class-A Dunedin before arriving in Manchester. Cabrera, 28, is expected to be with the Fisher Cats for all three games against Portland.
Toronto placed Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list June 28 with tendinitis in his left knee. He hit .278 with three home runs and 29 RBIs in 78 games with Toronto this season.
"I feel good," Cabrera said. "Three games here and maybe one game in Buffalo and come back maybe Friday or Saturday.
"My knee is good now. Maybe 90 percent. I'm ready."
THIRD BASEMAN Garin Cecchini and pitcher Anthony Ranaudo were back with the Sea Dogs on Monday. Both played in the All-Star Futures Games, which was held Sunday at Citi Field in New York. Ranaudo is tied for the league lead with eight victories. New Hampshire catcher A.J. Jimenez also played in the Futures Game. … The Sea Dogs entered Monday's contest having lost nine of their last 11 games. … The New England Ravens AAU team was recognized before Monday's game. The Ravens, who are based out of Rindge, will participate in the AAU 14-U national championship in Florida from July 19-25.