FORT MYERS, Fla. — A few notes from around camp today . . .
• Bobby Valentine isn't too concerned about David Ortiz playing first base and suffering an injury. "He's done all the drills since he's been here. Right now he's conditioned to do it," Valentine said. "If in fact during the interleague play it's determined that he should play in the field, I think he should have the reps on his resume so that he feels he's done it before this year and he can do it again. This isn't just to get him his at-bats."
Valentine has spoken to Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez and discussed the idea of Ortiz playing first and Gonzalez playing right field in interleague games.
Starting tomorrow, Gonzalez will take fly balls during workouts.
• Valentine on playing the first game at JetBlue Park: "No one realizes it. But when they're older and vacationing in Florida, they'll all say, 'Hey, I played the first game at the ballpark in Fort Myers.' Or most of them will. This is a memory, a memory in the making."
• Carlos Silva, Aaron Cook and Ross Ohlendorf threw in the bullpen this morning. They're close to being slotted into games. They weren't necessarily injured, but the trainers wanted to ease them into action because of their injuries last season. All three have shoulder issues.
• The Sox held their annual charity dance contest last night, a group of the younger players working with professional dancers. Dan Butler was the winner and had his trophy in the clubhouse today. Bobby V, a champion ballroom dancer when he was in high school, was in the competition. He pinned his loss on his partner, saying their styles didn't mix.
"It wasn't something I was happy with," Valentine said.
• The new MLB playoff format has been a topic of discussion in camp. According to Valentine, wild card teams in Japan get no home games in the opening best-of-five series and start out with one loss. "So that's a real advantage to win the division," Valentine said.
• Valentine threw out the idea of platooning at catcher. "Right now, (Jarrod) Saltalamacchia's batting practice righthanded has been superior to his lefthanded. If that means anything, probably not. But it has really been better."
• Jose Iglesias is hitting leadoff today because they want to see as much of him as they can.
"He might be leading off a couple of games. Just get guys we haven't seen and the jury's out on, play when the game is fresh and turn their third at-bat over a little sooner," Valentine said.
"For my money, when he's a good player at the major league level, his offensive resume has to read more than plate discipline. He has to be able to bunt for base hits in game situations. I don't mean leading of the game and bunting for a base hit. Man on second and no outs, he better be able to bunt for a base hit and get him over or squeeze if necessary if it's a big run and I'm not going to take his defense out of the game. Or hit and run if there's a situation where I need the runners advanced and I don't want to just sacrifice a play. His offense needs to be fine-tuned. If he learns to start his swing a little sooner so he's not jumping at the ball, I believe his discipline will be high. I think. But we'll see.
"He has pretty good skills. I'm surprised at his skills."
• Good question from Sean McAdam of Comcast, who asked Valentine about his philosophy about giving up outs. "I think they're a precious commodity," Valentine said. "Outs are a precious, precious commodity. We only get 27 of them. I've preached that for 25 years. Many times it's necessary [to give one up]. There's always sacrifice for gain, in the game of baseball and in life. It just depends on what kind of gain. I hate to give up outs."
• Bobby V said he has not had a chance to talk to Bill James at length. But he is working closely with director of baseball information services Tom Tippett and director of major league operations Zack Scott statistical breakdowns. "I've given them some projects," Valentine said.
"They're amazing. The information is amazing. Theories are great. I think it's all to the benefit of mankind. It's advancement of knowledge. It's cool stuff. My gut and baseball instincts are based on that stuff."