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Morning notes from Fort Myers

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  February 29, 2012 10:07 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. Good morning.

The team is working out on the stadium field this morning, taking grounders. Once again, infielders are hitting grounders to other players.

Yesterday, outfielders were practicing cutoff plays and taking balls off the Wall.

A few other items:

Aaron Cook threw BP today. He's been a little bit behind because the staff wants him to take it slow so his shoulder doesn't have a setback.

Carl Crawford was seen bunting, a further sign that he's getting really close to swinging and closer to recovery from wrist surgery.

Rich Hill has begun throwing changeups and next week will begin throwing curveballs. He's really progressing in his Tommy John rehab.

One amazing note, speaking of Tommy John surgery, Jim Kaat, who has been sharing wisdom with the pitchers, said he tore his ulna nerve late in his career, but because there was no Tommy John surgery available, he just let it heal on its own.

Hill really enjoyed Kaat's tips on pickoffs and counts and changing speeds.

"He got everybody's attention I think because he didn't come in and try to say that the old way was better. He just talked to us about what he did and why it worked for him. I think guys really appreciated that," Hill said.

Bobby Valentine continues to run around everywhere. He indeed seems to be in three or four places at once.

Andrew Bailey says he's on the upswing from his lat strain. He threw from 200 feet today and is likely to throw a bullpen as early as tomorrow.

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