Double-A Portland’s Henry Owens kicked off the minor league season in style Thursday, throwing six hitless innings against Reading before the game was called due to rain.
Owens, probably Boston’s top prospect now that Xander Bogaerts is in the majors, was matched up against the Phillies’ best pitching prospect, fellow left-hander Jesse Biddle.
Owens, who went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in six starts after a late-season promotion to Double-A last year, was probably done after six regardless, given that it was the first day of the season and he had thrown 86 pitches. He struck out nine and walked two in the gem.
Second basemam Mookie Betts, another one of Boston’s top prospects, went 4-for-4 with a homer from the leadoff spot to lead the offense in the 5-0 victory.
As Bill wrote last night, Robinson Canó — bashed for his lack of hustle just a few days ago — busted it out of the box last night and strained his hamstring. That has now landed him on the injured list. Adeiny Hechavarria took over at second base after Cano’s last night and is starting there in today’s game versus the Nationals. No timetable has been given for Canó, but one usually misses at least a couple of weeks with hamstring pulls, sometimes longer.
Also going on the shelf for the Mets is Jeff McNeil, who hurt his hamstring on Tuesday. J.D. Davis will cover for him until he comes back. Michael Conforto is the next regular outfielder who should return to the fold. He has still not been given an offical comeback date after hitting the injured list with a concussion, but it was reported yesterday that he has been symptom free for a few days, which is a good sign.