FORT MYERS, Fla. — There were 19 pitchers on the field today, a pretty large percentage of the spring training roster. Four of the five catchers on the 40-man roster also are on hand.
It's fun to see baseball again, but don't get too caught up in which players are here and which aren't. These are optional workouts and plenty of guys are working just as hard (if not harder) back at their homes. Some players have family matters and other things to attend to before they arrive.
If showing up early translated to success, everybody would do it. Showing up on time and being physically prepared to play is really all that matters.
A few notes:
• Rubby De La Rosa was playing catch with Felix Doubront today. De La Rosa is compact (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) for a righthander, but pops the mitt even just playing catch.
• Jon Lester walked out of the clubhouse today with a fishing pole and tackle box. Daniel Bard did the same a few minutes later. I tried fishing here two years ago. Caught a fish with my first cast then spent two hours looking at the water. Maybe it's time to try again.
• Steven Wright, the knuckleballer, is here early. He has made a quick rise with the Sox, landing on the 40-man roster being acquired from Cleveland for Lars Anderson at the trade deadline last July. At 28, Wright is too old to be considered a prospect. But for a knuckleballer, that's youthful.
Wright is a long shot to make the team out of spring training. But he could put himself in position to get called up from Pawtucket once a need arises. Be interesting to see to what degree Tim Wakefield can help him.
Wright throws a harder knuckleball (like R.A. Dickey) while Wakefield threw more of a floater. But the mechanics are roughly the same.
• Outside of pitchers and catchers, they're aren't too many others here. But outfielder Daniel Nava, as usual, showed up early. "I'm a nerd like that," he said, laughing.
• The Red Sox are not planning to hire an advance scout to replace Dana Levangie, who is now the bullpen coach. Steve Langone, the advance scouting coordinator, will go on the road more often. Levangie also will be involved in preparing scouting reports.
• A helicopter buzzed the field for about 10 minutes while the catchers were taking batting practice. Was half expecting it to land and see Pedro Martinez pop out.
• John Farrell is back in Boston for a few days. He will be at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on Thursday as the Red Sox mark their 60th anniversary with The Jimmy Fund. Larry Lucchino and Will Middlebrooks will be on hand along with Red Sox Spanish Beisbol Network play-by-play announcer Uri Berenguer, a former Dana-Farber patient.