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Red Sox notebook

A look to the future

Kelly, Iglesias show their stuff

Red Sox pitching prospect Casey Kelly faced three hitters in batting practice yesterday. Red Sox pitching prospect Casey Kelly faced three hitters in batting practice yesterday. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / February 27, 2010

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Two possible future cornerstones of the Red Sox were on display on Field 3 in the back end of the Player Development Complex yesterday.

Righthander Casey Kelly threw batting practice to three hitters, including heralded shortstop Jose Iglesias.

General manager Theo Epstein, assistant GM Ben Cherington, player development director Mike Hazen, and advance scout Dana Levangie watched the two 20-year-olds intently.

“That was fun to see,’’ Epstein said.

Iglesias hit several balls well, while Kelly showed excellent command of his fastball and curveball. Both are ticketed for the minor leagues, with Kelly having a chance to start the season with Double A Portland and Iglesias likely to open up with one of the Single A teams.

Kelly and Iglesias got to know each other during the Arizona Fall League, when Kelly was still a part-time shortstop.

“That was a little strange facing him,’’ Kelly said. “The last time I saw him we were in the same infield.’’

Manager Terry Francona said he has been impressed with the level of maturity Kelly has shown in camp. He attributes some of that to his father, former big leaguer Pat Kelly.

“You can tell Casey has been around the game,’’ Francona said.

Batter up
Tim Wakefield threw batting practice to three pretty good hitters - David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis - and had them waving harmlessly at his knuckleball.

Youkilis celebrated when he popped a ball that fell in just past the infield.

“It felt great. I threw a lot of strikes,’’ Wakefield said. “I had a lot of movement on my pitches. I feel like I’m right on track.’’

Francona said he would announce his starters today for the first few exhibition games. Wakefield said he was starting Friday against the Minnesota Twins across town at Hammond Stadium.

Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, and Jon Lester also threw batting practice sessions.

Morgan suspended
The doctor behind Curt Schilling’s famous bloody sock is no longer allowed to practice medicine in Massachusetts.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported yesterday that former Sox team physician Bill Morgan, 57, has indefinitely given up the right to practice while state officials investigate unspecified allegations.

Morgan was with the Red Sox from 2001-04. He was the doctor who stitched together Schilling’s injured right ankle before Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees.

With blood showing through his sock, Schilling pitched seven strong innings as the Sox won the game, and eventually won their first world championship since 1918.

The newspaper reported that Morgan and his attorney, W. Scott Liebert, could not be reached for comment.

A person in Liebert’s Newton office said yesterday the doctor was on vacation.

Olympic fever
Kelly has been paying close attention to the Olympics, hoping to get a glimpse of his cousin, cross-county skier Kikkan Randall.

A three-time Olympian, Randall finished eighth in the individual sprint, the best finish ever for an American woman. Randall skied a strong first leg of the team relay Thursday, finishing 10.4 seconds out of first place. But the US team finished 12th in the 16-team field.

Randall is the first American woman to medal in the world championships, finishing second in 2009.

“She’s a great athlete and I think she wants to stay in the sport and get to the next Olympics,’’ said Kelly, whose mother is from Alaska and comes from a skiing background. “I’m happy for her.’’

Kelly, who grew up in Florida, is no skier. “That’s a hard sport,’’ he said. “I’m sure she’s a much better athlete than I am.’’

Getting closer
Daisuke Matsuzaka could get back on the mound early next week after getting through another throwing session without incident. The righthander arrived in camp with a sore back and has been brought along slowly. Matsuzaka threw the ball with game-like velocity yesterday . . . Third baseman Adrian Beltre, who twisted his right ankle Wednesday, was restricted from some activities on the field but is expected to be fully cleared today . . . Jonathan Papelbon said Thursday he was fully recovered from a sore back. But he left the clubhouse with a large pad on adhered to the area.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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