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Observations from the first day of Sox camp

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 12, 2013 06:19 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — A few things jotted down in the notebook today . . .

• Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, and Deven Marrero were together for batting practice on Field 2 at one point. Ben Cherington and a number of other team officials were on hand to watch and surely dream of the future a bit.

Bogaerts looks the part of an All-Star. He's athletic and has that fluid Robinson Cano-type of swing, albeit from the right side. He's fun to watch in the cage.

Marrero said he was "totally surprised" the Red Sox invited him to camp. He was drafted last June out of Arizona State and never expected that call. "I'm just here to learn and pick the brains of the veteran guys," he said. "It's exciting."

Marrero, Bradley, and Bogaerts have lockers next to each other in a corner of the clubhouse. All three were sitting there this morning looking at the older players coming in.

"I have to admit, this is pretty cool," Bradley said.

• David Ortiz isn't fully healed from the Achilles' tendon strain he suffered last July. But he did take batting practice and looked comfortable. Ortiz then jogged out to the outfield to shag flies.

It may sound like a long recovery period for Ortiz. But Achilles' injuries usually take a while to heal and let's be honest, there's a lot of Big Papi. He's not that nimble when he's feeling great.

• Hard not to feel for Alex Hassan, the outfielder from Milton, Mass., who fractured a bone in his left foot last month. Hassan fouled a ball off his foot while working out at Duke and was told at first it wasn't anything serious. Then an MRI found a crack near his arch and he was placed in a walking boot to take some weight off it.

He's hopeful of getting on the field in a few weeks. For now he's working out in a pool.

• Saw 53 of the 59 players who are on the roster, and that's with infielders and outfielders not having to report until Thursday for their physicals. Those missing so far: Pedro Ciriaco, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, Mauro Gomez, Ryan Kalish, and Shane Victorino.

• This team does not have enough outfielders. Once you get past Victorino, Gomes, and Jacoby Ellsbury, it gets thin fast. There's Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, Mitch Maier, and assorted prospects who aren't ready yet.

• Facing hitters is the only test for a pitcher that really matters. But Daniel Bard sure looks like, well, Daniel Bard in the bullpen.

• John Farrell is honest and direct when he answers questions, which is a good thing. He's also letting his coaches coach and that's a good thing, too. Last year's camp was way too much about Bobby Valentine. That was a product of the media (yes, I'm guilty as charged) and Bobby's comfort in the spotlight.

• The biggest thing that strikes you about this team is how different it is. There's a new manager, new coaches, and so many new players. Of the 15 players who had the most plate appearances last season, only nine are in camp. Of the 15 pitchers who threw the most innings, only nine of them are back as well. That's a lot of change over one offseason.

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

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