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Wrapping it up from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 22, 2011 10:33 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. A few postgame notes for you:

Terry Francona wasn't too concerned with John Lackey's stat line. "I thought his stuff was pretty crisp," he said. That Lackey got to 98 pitches and feels good is what the Sox cared about.

Lackey had injury issues in spring training with the Angels in 2008 and 2009. Last year, he was ultra cautious all spring. That kept him healthy, but cost him arm strength early in the season.

Lackey has pushed himself hard all spring this year and the evidence is in his velocity and the bite on his breaking pitches. Francona feels Lackey is better prepared for this season as a result.

"He has worked hard and you can see it in his arm strength," Francona said.

J.D. Drew has only two at-bats because he's not feeling well. "His head is a little clogged up," Francona said.

Francona said he has been impressed with Bobby Jenks. The righthander pitched on back-to-back days for the first time and said it was the best he has felt all spring. "That's encouraging," Francona said.

Adrian Gonzalez has had 16 plate appearances so far. He'll catch up a bit tomorrow when he heads to the minor league complex.

Under the loose rules of minor league exhibition games. the Sox can have Gonzalez get one at-bat every inning or even have him switch from one game to another. "He can get whatever he needs," Francona said.

Gonzalez will DH. The rest of the players in camp have been told to take the day off.

The Sox will have Clay Buchholz starting in Jupiter against the Marlins on Thursday with Andrew Miller, Rich Hill and Scott Atchison behind him. Notable position players making the long journey include Mike Cameron, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Kalish, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ortiz.

The Sox still have 40 players in camp counting RHP Junichi Tazawa, who has been rehabbing at the minor league complex.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox wrote a well-reasoned take on the Tim Wakefield situation. I think Ken captures it perfectly.

Finally, a very happy birthday to Ron Johnson, who turns 55 tomorrow. He received the present he wanted today when his daughter Bridget arrived at camp with her new prosthetic leg.

That's it for tonight. Thanks to everybody for reading.

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