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Francona's daily briefing

Posted by Chris Forsberg, Boston.com Staff  February 23, 2009 12:45 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Terry Francona held a tidy six-minute Q&A with the media today, the main focus being on the live batting practice sessions thrown by pitchers Jonathan Papelbon and Brad Penny.

"It's nice to see them get on the mound, they've been a little bit, probably two turns behind everyone else," said Francona. "They'll come back on Thursday, face hitters again over at the stadium, do it on a back field, and that will get them in line to throw in a game."

Francona explained why both pitchers are being brought along slowly.

"With Paps, being a long spring, I don't know that we need to speed him up that much," said Francona. "With Penny, it's a little slower progression. I think the destination is the same, but we're getting there a little different. We went every third day instead of every second day, just to allow him an extra day to recover. When you look at the larger picture, it makes sense."

Francona reiterated that Penny has not experienced any sort of setback.

"No, he's doing great," said Francona. "He's a good worker, done all that we've asked of him. This is just a program we came up with before he started here."

The Red Sox seem to be targeting March 3 for the first time Papelbon will see game action, while Penny is on target to start a spring game on March 5.

Nearly the entire Q&A focused on pitching with some talk about Justin Masterson as well. Francona closed by noting that Tuesday's workout could be slightly shortened as the team prepares to move up the road to City of Palms Park for the start of spring games on Wednesday.

Check out the video at the top of this entry for the full session.

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