WORCESTER — Ceddanne Rafaela may speak four languages, but right now, the up-and-coming Sox prospect is doing all the talking with his bat.
Last week, the 22-year-old who knows Dutch, English, Papiamento and Spanish, set a Worcester Red Sox record by hitting a home run in five consecutive games. And even though the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Rafaela didn’t hit a round tripper in Sunday’s loss to the Syracuse Mets, the speedy outfielder went 3 for 5 with two RBIs.
Since his call-up from Double-A Portland last month, the No. 2 prospect in the Red Sox organization is batting .328 with 11 home runs, 29 RBIs and 23 runs in 31 games with Worcester.
“He’s a little guy, you see him, and he’s just not a big-stature guy, but he’s got power to all fields,” WooSox manager Chad Tracy said last month. “He can go from right field to left field. So getting him to pick out pitches that he likes to hit so he can utilize that tool often (makes him) an exciting player for sure.”
Red Sox rehabbers continue their comeback in Worcester
Rafaela isn’t the only player fans should keep an eye on over the next two weeks when the WooSox (19-13 second half, 58-49 overall) start a 13-game homestand that begins Tuesday and lasts until Aug. 20.
Trevor Story continues his comeback from offseason elbow surgery and will use his entire 20-day rehab assignment before rejoining the Red Sox. That means those in attendance at Polar Park on Tuesday and Wednesday could get the chance to see the 30-year-old infielder play in Worcester before his return to Boston.
It’s unclear, however, if Chris Sale will spend any more time with the WooSox this week. On Sunday, the 34-year-old left-hander made his second rehab start with the Triple-A club and pitched well — throwing 53 pitches (38 strikes) and allowing just two hits while striking out seven across 4-1/3 innings.
In two starts with Worcester, Sale has pitched 6-1/3 scoreless innings, giving up four hits, two walks and striking out 10. His start on Sunday could be his final tuneup with the WooSox before returning to Boston.
“If they want me coming back two innings as an opener, I’m in. If they want me to build up to six innings, I’m in. If they want me coming out of the bullpen in the seventh inning, deal,” Sale said on July 27. “So I want to come in here do my work, do everything I can to get healthy as quickly as possible, and it’s up to them how they want to use me.”
Tanner Houck is another Red Sox player on a rehab assignment with Worcester, and the right-handed pitcher started Saturday in his first rehab game since suffering a facial fracture on a comeback line drive on June 16. Houck threw 46 pitches (27 strikes) and allowed two runs on three singles while walking three and striking out three. He is in line to possibly start on Thursday.
And following a live batting practice session on Saturday, right-handed pitcher Garrett Whitlock (right elbow) should start his latest rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Schedule for upcoming WooSox games at Polar Park
Polar Park will be a popular place the next two weeks, with school still out, the team in a playoff race and the Hall of Famer set to visit the home of the WooSox.
Here’s the schedule of this week’s events at the ballpark:
Tuesday (6:45 p.m.): Taco & Tequila Tuesday, presented by Tequila Herradura; Italian Heritage Night.
Wednesday (12:15 p.m.): First Responder Wednesday, presented by National Grid, when first responders receive four free WooSox Loop tickets when presenting their credentials at the Ticket Office; STEM Day, presented by AbbVie.
Thursday (6:45 p.m.): Throwback Thursday, featuring an appearance by Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, who will sign autographs and take photos with fans in the Sherwood’s Diner during innings 3 through 6; Charlton Town Takeover; Chevy Youth Clinic at Polar Park at 10 a.m.
Friday (4:45 p.m. start of a doubleheader due to a July 2 rainout in Buffalo): UniBank Fireworks: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Best of the British Invasion; Southbridge Town Takeover.
Saturday (4:05 p.m.): PawSox Heritage Day; Scout Sleepover; postgame Sunset Catch on the Field, presented by Dunkin’.
Sunday (1:05 p.m.): Home Run for Life, presented by UMass Memorial Health; Bark in the Park, presented by Southwick’s Zoo, featuring a pregame doggy parade on the field; Fallon Health Sunday Funday, when Future Starters take the field with the WooSox; Kids Run the Bases, presented by HP Hood.
— Contact Tommy Cassell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tommycassell44.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: What to watch as WooSox return to Polar Park for 13-game homestand