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Watch: John Farrell on missed opportunities against Orioles

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 31, 2014 08:13 PM
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox manager John Farrelll spoke about Monday's disappointing 2-1 Opening Day loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards.

"Everyone is going to focus on that final out made," Farrell said after the game. "but there was a number of opportunities that we did create but just didn't cash in."

Farrell was asked about catcher having A.J. Pierzynski bat in the top of the eighth inning with Jackie Bradley Jr. representing the tying run at second base and Jonny Gomes still on the bench.

"A.J.'s going to put the bat on the ball," Farrell said. "He had I think a 2-for-5 against [Oriole reliever Zach] Britton in previous at-bats against him. Left-handed, right-handed, A.J.'s going to put up a good at-bat. Still, we had a number of opportunities. The two out base-hit was elusive."

Farrell was also asked about pinch running Bradley for Mike Napoli in that eighth inning, which turned into JBJ up at the plate in the ninth.

"That's going to be one that you open yourself up to," Farrell admitted. "Knowing that [Orioles closer Tommy] Hunter was going to be closing things out, as lefthanders have had much more success against him, there was a willingness to do it a little bit more in that situation but we're trying to scramble to scratch out a run and tie things up so… not second guessing the move."

Farrell was asked if it was tough to leave Gomes on the bench for the game knowing his flair for the dramatic.

"Again, I liked where we were matchup wise," Farrell said. "Righthanded, lefthanded, A.J.'s our starting catcher, the way he and Jon [Lester] were working together, I wasn't going to look to disrupt that so stayed with it."

Three takeways from Opening Day

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 31, 2014 07:54 PM
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The Red Sox greeted Grady Sizemore (38) in the dugout after he hit a solo home run in the fourth inning of Monday's opening game against the Baltimore Orioles.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
When the Red Sox signed Grady Sizemore back in January, there were few – if any – real expectations. There couldn’t be. It had been more than two years since he played a game, more than five years and as many surgeries since he was a star with the Indians.

But between then and Monday’s season opener in Baltimore, things changed. Sizemore played exhibition games. He ran into walls. He faced big-league pitching. He cleared all the hurdles health-wise. He won the job as the Red Sox center field to start the season.

And finally – when Shane Victorino was placed on the disabled list prior to the game Monday – he found himself as a potentially important piece of what the Sox will do early in the season. And with that there suddenly comes real expectations.

FULL ENTRY

Red Sox rally comes up short and Orioles take season opener, 2-1

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 31, 2014 06:00 PM
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Jon Lester picked up the loss in the Red Sox opener in Baltimore AP
BALTIMORE -- Jon Lester's nemesis got the best of him again. And new Orioles closer Tommy Hunter shut down the Red Sox rally in the ninth inning to close out the 2-1 victory for Baltimore in the season opener at Camden Yards.

Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz crushed a first-pitch homer to left field to give Baltimore a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning... just as it was announced that Junichi Tazawa was warming for the Red Sox.

It was the third career homer Cruz has hit off Lester. He's 11-for-24 against the Sox lefty in his career including an opening day HR off Lester in 2011 when Cruz was member of the Rangers.

Lester left the game after seven innings, giving up six hits, two runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts. He threw 104 pitches.

The Red Sox were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in this opener.

Comeback kid Grady Sizemore tied the game up at 1-1 in the fourth inning when he drilled a 3-1 pitch from Chris Tillman over the wall and off the fence in right field.

Sizemore's last two home runs were at Camden Yards -- before today, he hit the last one on July 15, 2011. Sizemore has now homered in three of his six career Opening Day starts. He also went deep in 2007 and 2008 as a member of the Indians.

The Orioles got on the scoreboard board first in the second inning. Jon Lester's troubles began with a walk to Nelson Cruz and a bloop base hit to center by Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. Delmon Young then grounded into a double play -- Dustin Pedroia to Mike Napoli to Xander Bogaerts -- but Cruz scored on the play.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, David Ortiz singled through the shift into right and Mike Napoli followed by ripping a double to left, but Ortiz was ultimately stranded at third when Mike Carp struck out swinging to end the threat.

Sizemore belted a single in his first at-bat in the second inning, his first major league hit since Sept. 22, 2011. Mike Carp singled before Sizemore but the Red Sox came away empty as Xander Bogaerts and A.J. Pierzynski flied out and Will Middlebrooks was caught looking at strike three to end the inning.

Starters Jon Lester (63) and Chris Tillman (79) combined to throw 142 pitches in the first four innings. Tillman was done after five innings, giving up the one run on the Sizemore homer, seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

Grady Sizemore gets back in the swing of things with home run

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 31, 2014 05:11 PM
BALTIMORE -- He's been away from the game for two years, but Red Sox center fielder Grady Sizemore is making his presence felt in Baltimore in his first game back to the majors on his comeback journey.

Sizemore tied the Opening Day game up at 1-1 in the fourth inning when he drilled a 3-1 pitch from Orioles starter Chris Tillman over the wall and off the fence in right field.

Sizemore's last two home runs were also at Camden Yards... before today, he hit the last one on July 15, 2011. Sizemore has now homered in three of his six career Opening Day starts. He also went deep in 2007 and 2008 as a member of the Indians.

Sizemore belted a single in his first at-bat in the second inning, his first major league hit since Sept. 22, 2011. He make his first out as a member of the Red Sox when he led off the sixth inning with a ground out to short.

With Jackie Bradley Jr. on second base and one out in the eighth inning, Sizemore struck out swinging.

Sizemore, a three-time All-Star, has not played a major league game since Sept. 2011. He had seven surgeries over a four-year period before signing an incentive-laden $750,000 contract with the Red Sox in January.

Sizemore batted .333 in spring training while Jackie Bradley Jr. batted just .158 with a team-high 17 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. Bradley was called back from Pawtucket after outfielder Shane Victorino went on the disabled list with hamstring strain.

FULL ENTRY

Red Sox lineup gets shuffled after Victorino trip to DL

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 31, 2014 02:16 PM

The news of the day is that the Red Sox placed outfielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a right hamstring strain. Manager John Farrell said before the game today the MRI on Victorino revealed a Grade 1 right hamstring strain and the club would have a better read on the injury in 7-10 days to see how it responds to treatment.

FULL ENTRY

Poll: Will the Red Sox repeat as champs this season?

Posted by Glenn Yoder, Boston.com Staff March 31, 2014 01:15 PM

What are the Red Sox' chances of repeating this season? Cast your vote and let us know.

Let the games begin: Red Sox ready to face Orioles on Opening Day

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 31, 2014 07:14 AM
BALTIMORE -- What a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time, fans were hoping for any type of rebound from the Red Sox 69-win season under manager Bobby Valentine in 2012 and Jackie Bradley Jr. was all the rage, being named to the Opening Day lineup.

This year, the Red Sox head into Opening Day as the defending World Series champions and comeback veteran Grady Sizemore has taken the center field job from JBJ after Jacoby Ellsbury skipped town to suit up for the Yankees.

At 3 p.m. today, the Red Sox will send lefty ace Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75) to the mound to begin the defense of the World Series title at Camden Yards in Baltimore, where you can always expect to find a sea of Red Sox fans in the stands. A year ago in the Bronx, Lester, who will be making his fourth consecutive opening day start, picked up the win in the season opener as the Sox pounded the Yankees 8-3 before going on to lead Boston to their third World Series title in 10 years.

"One through nine, obviously very powerful. A lot like the rest of the East," Lester said. "One of the biggest things with this club is you try to keep them in the ballpark as best you can. That's where they do a lot of their damage."

A year ago, Lester got the win as the Red Sox thumped the New York Yankees 8-2 in the season opener. It was an uplifting start for a team coming off a last-place finish, and now Lester hopes to provide a similar boost for a squad opening defense of its title.

"It's like we talked about last year during the playoffs - you want to set the tone for the rest of the guys," said Lester, who is 15-3 lifetime against Baltimore. "You don't want to be that weak link in the chain. You want to go out there and get these guys off on the right foot."

Since beating St. Louis in the World Series, the Red Sox lost center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Stephen Drew in free agency. It's also quite possible that right fielder Shane Victorino will miss the opener with a strained right hamstring. Victorino returned to Boston on Sunday for an MRI and will undergo an exam Monday morning before the team decides whether to put him on the disabled list to start the season.

New catcher A.J. Pierzynski will also make his debut with the Red Sox today along with Sizemore.

"We recognize fully that last year is behind us, and everyone is looking forward to (Monday) and beyond," Farrell said. "Shane's situation is going to be one of the challenges thrown our way. We don't know what's going to come up against us. As long as we remain resilient and face those challenges as we did a year ago - as a team - I feel like we'll be in a very good place as we go through this journey in 2014."

The rejuvenated Orioles will send Chris Tillman (16-7, 3.71 ERA) to the hill. At 11-8, the Orioles were the only team in the AL East with a winning record against the Red Sox (97-65) last season.

"This is always a challenge to come into Baltimore, or playing them in Fenway," Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday. "This is a very good team. We've had a chance to see their regular lineup in spring training, and it's deep and powerful. Just another example of how difficult this division can be. This will be a good test for us right out of the gate."

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (0-0)
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Carp LF
Sizemore CF
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Middlebrooks 3B

Pitching: LHP Jon Lester

ORIOLES (0-0)

Pitching: RHP Chris Tillman

Game time: 3:05 p.m.

Location: Camden Yards, Baltimore

TV/Radio: NESN, WEEI

Notes: Follow today's game on Boston.com beginning at 3 p.m. with our live blog.

A fond farewell to Extra Bases

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 30, 2014 01:01 AM

BALTIMORE — Greetings from Baltimore, where the Red Sox season start the season on Monday afternoon.

Wanted to mention that the content you're used to seeing here has been shifted to BostonGlobe.com and the continually updated Red Sox page on that site.

You will get daily lineups, pitching matchups, in-game news, all the latest updates and regular opinion pieces including a random thoughts column on the team every week or so.

On Sunday, for instance, there were pre-game lineups and notes, the news on Jon Lester's contract talks being paused, a story on the roster being set and a report on Shane Victorino's injury.

The Globe staffed all 30 Red Sox spring training games this season and we'll be there for all 162 games of the regular season and beyond. No outlet offers more on-line coverage of the team.

BostonGlobe.com will offer 10 free articles a month. To subscribe, it's 99 cents for the first month then $3.99 a week. That's 57 cents a day.

For that price, you get the content from the daily paper and fresh updates all day long. There are Globe Insider benefits, too.

The Boston Globe iPad app is excellent and feels like reading the actual paper. For fans who want to stay plugged in to the team all day, hopefully you'll see this as a good option.

Extra Bases will remain but the content will be provided by Boston.com and not the staff of the Boston Globe. The Globe sports section was recently voted among the top 10 nationally.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the season. If you have any questions, please feel free to email and I'll answer them as best I can.

Live updates: Twins at Red Sox

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 29, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates from the final game of spring training as the Red Sox host the Minnesota Twins. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Live updates: Red Sox at Twins

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 28, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates and analysis from Florida as the Red Sox play the Minnesota Twins. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Jerry Remy: 'I have a right to make a living and go on and do my job'

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 28, 2014 09:45 AM
Jerry Remy
Jerry Remy spoke to WEEI about returning to the broadcast booth on Friday. Wendy Maeda / Globe Staff

Red Sox Nation will make the ultimate decision whether Jerry Remy will be able to continue to be a part of NESN's Red Sox broadcasts according to Remy himself this morning.

A day after Remy spoke to the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy about his plans to continue as color commentator on NESN Red Sox broadcasts even as his son Jared prepares to go on trial in October in the murder of Jennifer Martel, he took to the airwaves to answer a few questions.

"I can understand the people that are upset with [the decision to remain in the booth]," Remy said when he called into WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" show Friday with the Red Sox Opening Day in Baltimore just a few days away. "I understand that and I expected that. I knew for a long time that there was a story that was going to come out that was not going to be kind to us by any means, but that was all taken into consideration before I made my decision back in February that I was going to come back. So I did come back to spring training, I felt very comfortable doing the games, that was important to me to be able to be in the booth and have some peace in doing the games and there was never any question that I was going to go into the season. People made a big deal about coming home for a week when there were reasons for that, it was prearranged and I'm just ready to go on to Baltimore now and begin the season. I don't know what else could possibly come our way, I have no idea. I don't see how it could get worse than it's been this week but with the support of the Red Sox and NESN, my decision has been made to go on. Hopefully in time, those who don't like the idea will come around, but if not, I certainly understand how people feel."

Remy was asked what kind of support he was getting from fans in general.

"It's a small taste," Remy said of the feedback he's received this week. "Being around the ballpark in Fort Myers was a very positive experience for me from the people. The majority of them were wishing me well, thinking about me and all that stuff so that made me feel good. I understand the other side. I certainly get it. It's what I expected when I made my decision before and I just feel that I have to go on with my life in some form and this is what I still enjoy doing. Look, if I didn't enjoy doing what I'm doing now, if I was at the end of my rope and said I've had enough broadcasts, I'd have been gone in a second but it's a job that I love. I still love it as much as I did 26 years ago when I started it. I feel like I have a right to make a living and go on and do my job. Ultimately, I work for very, very smart people. They will make the ultimate decision on whether this is the right thing or the wrong thing. I hope it turns out to be the right thing."

Remy was asked if he regretted enabling Jared by financially supporting him throughout his son's troubled years.

"Yes, of course we did," Remy said. "What are we guilty of? We're guilty of getting him lawyers when he was in trouble. We were well aware what was going on with Jared and we tried our best to do everything along the way to get him as much help as he possibly could. And then for a stretch it seemed like he had his life in order and then of course everything caved in and we felt as parents... did we enable him? Yes, we paid for lawyers, we paid for a psychiatrist, we paid for the help that we thought he needed. I think a lot of families would have done the same thing. Others would not have. Others would have thrown him out into the street, but that just wasn't our way. When you look back on it, was it the right thing to do? I don't have an answer to that. I really don't have an answer for that."

When asked if he was paying for Jared's lawyer now with the pending murder trial, Remy replied simply: "Yes."

Remy was asked if ever considered putting an end to the financial and emotional support that he provided to his son.

"It was not an option, he was our son, he's our son and we tried to do the best that we possibly could for him," Remy said. "Unless you go through something like this, like I said, people have different ways of dealing with their own personal families and I was in a position where I felt that we could deal with it in a proper way and get him the proper help ... believe me, we tried everything we possibly could and stuff about buying cars and this and that you look back and you say, 'Maybe we should have did [sic] things differently,' but the fact is he was a kid that couldn't hold onto a job. He couldn't do this, he couldn't do that, and one thing you've got to keep in mind through all this is that we wanted the best for our granddaughter, too. He was living with Jennifer and our granddaughter was there and we didn't want to see her thrown out on the street and begin her life in a horrible way and now obviously it's horrible now. But that's just the way we felt, that's the type of people we are. Some people can accept that and some people still can't accept it so looking back I don't know if I would do things differently, I really don't. We did the best that we possibly could. We thought we were loving parents and we thought we were trying to do what we could to get this kid on the right track and we failed. We failed. It's that plain and simple. There's no better way to describe it than we were not successful in that and if people don't understand that well there's nothing I can do to change their mind. That's their prerogative."

Remy said he always felt there would be more trouble with his son.

"We always felt that it was a disaster waiting to happen, something around the corner and that's why we always tried to get him as much possible help as you can. Sometimes it takes two to tango and a lot of times the tango wasn't there... I can't say if I had to go back and do a certain thing different that I would. It's been awful, absolutely horrible. It's horrible for two families and it's not something that I wish on anybody that has to go through this with children because when you have children, and you guys do, you know how you feel about them and you try to do the right thing. And the right thing doesn't always turn out right."

When Remy was asked if he considered getting Jared a public defender in lieu of paying for an attorney to defend him, Jerry Remy said his financial resources would come into play.

"Well, here's the deal with that. If you do that, people say ... supposedly I've got a ton of money and you wouldn't be able to get a public defender because you're supposed to be able to afford his defense, so you're caught between a rock and a hard place so he has representation. He deserves that. Whether it makes it to trial or not, I don't know. We'll see what happens. It may not even make it to trial. We don't know what's in his head."

Remy was asked if he knew why the women involved with Jared may not have done all they could to aid the process of getting Jared jailed for his actions.

"No, I don't understand it," Jerry Remy said. "I will say one thing about the [Globe] story, you have to consider some of the sources in the story that came out. With that said, they all had the option of moving forward. There's no holding back from this end of the family on anything to do with anything from his personal life. There was none of that. And had any one of them wanted to move forward, as some did, there was no reluctance on our part to have them do that and they had every right in the world to do that so it's exhausting and I don't know really what's more to say about it except that it's been a terrible time, a terrible tragedy, we'll never get Jen back and do we reflect on ourselves as parents and what we could have done? Of course we do. And we do it daily. But somehow we have to find a way to move forward and the way I'm trying to move forward is to do what I do and I think it's important for me to do that to show my grandson and eventually my granddaughter that you've got to fight a little bit and you gotta continue on and as I said, Red Sox Nation will make the ultimate decision. They will make the decision, believe me. I said I work for smart people, they'll know. And if they know, they'll say, 'See ya.'"

Remy would not delve into what details he believed to be false in the Sunday Globe story by Eric Moskowitz.

"I'm not going to get into the whole story and get into what's false and what's not false but I can tell you that a lot of the things that came out in there were not accurate," Remy said. "Consider the sources. I'm not blaming the writer at all. He had a job to do. But there's a lot more that we know than he knows. So I would just leave it at that."

Remy was asked to comment on the fact that Jared saw little jail time during his troubled years while judges repeatedly were soft on their punishment toward his son.

“I don’t understand the legal system," Remy said. "I understand it a little bit better now, obviously, for the last couple of months than I did before. Could some of them have been tougher? Probably so. He did spend 81 days in jail. And we thought that was a wake-up call for him. And for a while it was. But their decisions on how they come to their decisions, I really don’t know about. That’s lawyer-judge stuff. If I’m guilty of anything, it was getting him a lawyer. Then going through the process, and we accepted whatever the result was. Should one of them have put him away for a longer period of time? Only they can answer that.”

Remy was asked about comments made recently by Kristina Hill, the friend and neighbor of Jennifer Martel’s who called into WEEI’s "Mut & Merloni" show this week and said the Remys discouraged Martel from extending the emergency restraining order against Jared the day before she was killed.

“Nonsense,” Remy said. “She can call the station and talk for 45 minutes if she wants but it’s nonsense. We did everything in our power to try to help Jennifer be safe. We encouraged her to leave. We offered her a safe haven. I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of some of these accusations, but I can tell you that Phoebe and I did everything we possibly could to make her safe and to encourage her to leave, to get out, to offer her a place to stay. It just didn’t work out that way.”

The Martels and Remys reached an agreement to settle a custody battle over the Jennifer and Jared's 5-year-old daughter Arianna on Tuesday. Jerry Remy was upset with some recent commentary implying that he would allow Jared to be in contact with Arianna.

“I read a column yesterday that comes out and says we’re bad parents and we shouldn't even be allowed to see our granddaughter because what will we do, have pictures of our son all over the house?" Remy said. "We’re not stupid. That kind of thing, it’s that kind of reporting that is disgusting to me, because what are we going to do, bring our granddaughter into our house, show her pictures of Daddy? Give me a break. We’re going to have her on the phone with him from the can? Give me a break. We’re going to take her for visitations to jail? Give me a break. We’re not stupid either. It’s those kind of things that upset me a little bit.

“The other stuff is fact. The other stuff is what it is. But when you start saying things like that. You can call us the worst parents in the world, I can accept that. You can call me an enabler, I can accept that. But when you start talking about how we’re going to treat our granddaughter toward her father and say foolish, stupid things like that, that is absurd. That is something we would never, ever expose her to. He has shown no desire. When he calls, he makes sure he calls on times when she’s not visiting. There’s been no contact, there will be no contact. Those are the kind of things that get under my skin a little bit. The rest of it is just what it is.”

Remy also said he had nothing to do with Jared being able to return to his job at Fenway Park in January 2006 after serving 81 days in Middlesex Jail.

"I can tell you that I didn't go and request the job back for him," Remy said.

In addition, Remy was asked if he was aware that his financial support to Jared was potentially funding his son's steroid abuse.

"There's no question he was on steroids," Remy said. "Did I ever see him take steroids? No. But I'm also not foolish. ... There was a certain amount of money going to him to live. And how he used that money, I have no idea. Obviously, when you look at it, I'm sure some of those dollars were going for steroid use... among other things. But I'm not silly enough to say he wasn't using steroids. Obviously he was. It was something he started right after high school and we had many talks about it, why it's not good and why you shouldn't be doing this and all that but that was his outlet of covering up all his other weaknesses. That was his outlet of feeling like he was something special being a body builder. Did I support that? Well, we gave him money to live. How he used that, I imagine some of it was used for steroids."

You can listen to the entire Q&A with "Dennis and Callahan" here.

Spring Training Game 29: Red Sox at Twins

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 28, 2014 08:15 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (10-16-2)
Victorino CF
Herrera 2B
Pierzynski C
Napoli DH
Gomes LF
Carp 1B
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Brown RF
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront, RHP Brandon Workman, LHP Drake Britton, LHP Tommy Layne, RHP Brayan Villarreal

TWINS (8-15-3)
Bartlett RF
Mauer DH
Plouffe 3B
Willingham LF
Colabello 1B
Pinto C
Hicks CF
E. Escobar 2B
Florimon SS
Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: NESN.

Notes: The series is tied 2-2 with two games to play. According to the Red Sox media notes, the teams are playing for the Chairman's Cup. The Twins media notes say it's the Governor’s Cup. It used to be the Mayor's Cup. Whatever you want to call it, the Red Sox have won six of the last seven. ... Doubront could stand to pitch well. His last two starts — 8 IP, 20 H, 15 ER, 5 BB, 8 K — were ugly. The lefty is slated to start Game 3 of the regular season.

Sox place Breslow, Wright on disabled list

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 10:28 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox tonight placed left hander Craig Breslow and righthander Steven Wright on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.

Breslow was listed as having a mild left shoulder strain. Wright is recovering from January surgery on a sports hernia.

This marks the second season in a row Breslow will start the season on the DL with a shoulder injury. He was out until May 5 last season with tendinitis. Breslow pitched well after his return and the Sox seem to be taking the same approach, although with less time away.

Bresow could be activated as soon as April 5 and miss only four games.

The Sox are expected to make their remaining cuts on Friday. They have 33 players on the active spring training roster.

With Breslow out, a spot opens up in the bullpen. Brandon Workman would seem to be the primary candidate with Francisco Cordero, Tommy Layne, Brayan Villarreal and Drake Britton also in the mix.

If the Red Sox decide to have Workman pitch in the Triple A rotation, they could go with Britton as third lefthander.

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway, infielder Mike McCoy and outfielder Corey Brown are headed to Pawtucket barring injury. The Sox also have to decide whether to take Grady Sizemore or Jackie Bradley Jr. as their center fielder. It would be an upset at this point if Sizemore was not the choice.

Workman, Britton, Lavarnway, Sizemore and Bradley are 40-man roster players. Adding Cordero, Layne, Villarreal, McCoy or Brown would require an additional roster move.

Live updates: Twins at Red Sox

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 27, 2014 06:35 PM

Live updates from Florida as the Red Sox take on the Minnesota Twins. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Click here for mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

2013 World Series film on ESPN tonight

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 06:10 PM


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Looking to get geared up for the season? ESPN is showing an hour-long version of the 2013 World Series film at 9 p.m. tonight.

Set those DVRs.

Jon Lester named Opening Day starter

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 27, 2014 03:56 PM
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Red Sox manager John Farrell took a seat in the Red Sox dugout at JetBlue Park Thursday afternoon, spilled out a few nuggets of information, then admitted it was a “slow day in the Fort.’’

For the most part, that’s the way it’s been here this spring. The Sox played the Twins (who else?) in their final spring night game Thursday and will wrap up with two more against the Twins (who else?), Friday at Hammond Stadium and Saturday afternoon at JetBlue.

We learned Thursday that Jon Lester is going to be the Sox’ Opening Day starter in Baltimore Monday afternoon. This has been obvious for several weeks, but the Sox didn’t make it official until Thursday. Farrell capped off his announcement, saying, “And the Earth is round.’’

The Red Sox were also expected to make some cuts Thursday as they adjust the roster for Opening Day. However, the down-to-the-wire selection of Grady Sizemore or Jackie Bradley Jr. as starting center fielder is expected to be announced Friday. Sizemore is expected to get the nod with JBJ starting the season in Pawtucket.

There was a shred of news regarding the Sox outfield and leadoff spots. The Sox are reluctant to use Sizemore in the leadoff spot and Farrell said he like the former Indians All-Star batting in the five- or six-hole. The manager indicated Daniel Nava would probably bat leadoff against righthanded pitching, which leaves Shane Victorino or Jonny Gomes as possibilities against lefty starters.

Victorino (sore left side) has played in only eight big league exhibition games, but Thursday played nine innings and got three hits in six at-bats in a minor league game against Twins farmhands. Farrell said Victorino would play against the Twins big leaguers Thursday, adding, “I think he’s ready to go.’’

The Sox prefer keeping Victorino in right, but plan to use Victorino in center, possibly late in games if/when Sizemore needs a break.

Kalish makes Cubs Opening Day roster

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 01:47 PM

There was good news in Arizona today for former Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish. He made the Chicago Cubs.

The athletic 25-year-old outfielder had a solid rookie season for the Red Sox in 2010 and was a big part of the team's plans. But Kalish was injured diving for a ball early in the 2011 season while playing for Triple A Pawtucket. A series of shoulder and neck surgeries followed.

Kalish played in only 93 games (majors and minors) from 2011-12 and sat out all of last season. The Red Sox dropped him off the 40-man roster after the season and he signed with the Cubs.

Chicago's front office — former Red Sox executives Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod in particular — gave Kalish a chance and he took advantage of it in spring training. He has six steals in seven attempts and hit .275 in 15 games.

Red Sox will wear 'Boston' jerseys on April 21

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 01:25 PM

The Red Sox will acknowledge the 2013 Boston Marathon tragedy and the city’s response before the game against the Orioles on April 20.

On April 21, Patriots Day, the team will wear jerseys with "Boston" across the front as a tribute to the city.

Also:

• The Red Sox have three bobblehead giveaways this season: David Ortiz on April 7 (Rangers, 7:10 p.m.); Dustin Pedroia on April 30 (Rays 7:10 p.m.) and Pedro Martinez on Sept. 9 (Orioles, 7:10 p.m.).

• The 2004 Red Sox will be honored on May 28 (Braves, 7:10 p.m.) with a pre-game
ceremony.

Sea Dogs Welcome Back Dinner is April 1

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 01:02 PM

The annual Portland Sea Dogs Welcome Back Dinner to benefit the Opportunity Alliance is set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Portland Expo.

Tickets are now on sale. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children (up to age 14). Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Opportunity Alliance at 207-874-1175.

Former Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon will be at Hadlock Field on April 28 when the Sea Dogs take on Reading at 6 p.m. Nixon's appearance is part of the Sea Dogs' celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Red Sox 2004 World Championship.

Nixon will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and will be available to sign free autographs on photos provided by the Sea Dogs from 6-7 p.m.

Tickets for the game and all Sea Dogs home games may be purchased by calling (207) 879-9500 or online at the team's website.

Report: MLB, players union close to new deal that will increase PED penalties

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 27, 2014 12:55 PM
According to a report in USA Today, Major League Baseball and the players association are on the verge of agreeing to a new, tougher drug policy that is expected to be finalized early next week.

The new drug policy would be the most stringent drug program in MLB history and would increase a first-time offense for a drug violation from a 50-game suspension to an 80-game suspension. A second offense would result in a 162-game suspension, up from the current 100-game penalty. A third offense will result in a lifetime suspension from the league.

According to the USA Today report, the new agreement will also implement widespread carbon isotope testing, with the goal being to dramatically increase the detection of a synthetic testosterone. Fourteen MLB players were suspended last season for receiving performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis, the South Florida wellness clinic, but none of those players failed a drug test.

In addition, the report states that players who tested positive because of inadvertent drug use, will now have their suspensions reduced from 50 games to 25.

Giants reliever -- and former property of the Red Sox -- Guillermo Mota was suspended 100 games in May 2012 for Clenbuterol, saying it was included in his cough medicine. ​
Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended 50 games in June 2012 for Clostebol Metabolite, which he insists contained foot cream.

Spring Training Game 28: Twins at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 12:53 PM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (9-16-2)
Nava LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Sizemore CF
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Middlebrooks 3B
Bradley Jr. RF
Pitching: RHP John Lackey followed by RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Junichi Tazawa, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Edward Mujica.

TWINS (8-14-3)
Dozier 2B
Mauer 1B
Arcia RF
Willingham DH
Kubel LF
Plouffe 3B
Suzuki C
Hicks CF
Florimon SS
Pitching: RHP Kevin Correia followed by RHP Jared Burton, LHP Brian Duensing, LHP Glen Perkins.

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

Location: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: WEEI

Notes: At 9-16-2, the Red Sox have the worst record in spring training. They are 2-8-1 in their last 11 games. ... The Sox play the Twins in the final three games of the spring. ... Lackey's goal will be to get to 95-100 pitches today. In three spring training starts and 12.1 innings, Lackey has a 9.49 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. ... The Sox have 27 home runs in 27 games. ... Still no Shane Victorino (left side) in the lineup. He will play in minor league game today to preserve the ability to back-date a possible stint on the disabled list.

Some baseball prop bets to chew over

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 12:39 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Here are some Red Sox prop bets via Bovada:

Dustin Pedroia batting average: over/under .299
Dustin Pedroia RBIs: over/under 79½
David Ortiz home runs: over/under 27½
David Ortiz RBIs: over/under 95½
Mike Napoli HRs: over/under 25½
Shane Victorino batting average: over/under .275
Shane Victorino stolen bases: over/under 24½
A.J. Pierzynski home runs: over/under 14½
Will Middlebrooks home runs: over/under 25½
Jon Lester wins: over/under 14½
Jon Lester strikeouts: over/under 179½
Clay Buchholz wins: over/under 13½
John Lackey wins: over/under 12
Jake Peavy wins: over/under 10½
Koji Uehara saves: over/under 35½

Put the house on Buchholz over 13½ and Pierzynski over 14½.

Also of note: Jacoby Ellsbury 14½ home runs and 45½ stolen bases. Tempting unders there if you are a gambling man.

David Ortiz Children's Fund Gala will be June 15

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 12:33 PM

The second annual David Ortiz Children’s Fund Gala will be June 15 at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston. Please note the date change.

The event will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. The Fund, in partnership with MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the World Pediatric Project, provides critical pediatric healthcare to children in New England and the Dominican Republic.

Tickets are available for the island-inspired evening, where guests will have the opportunity to mix with Boston’s biggest names in sports and entertainment. There will be a Dominican-themed cocktail reception, live Latin music and dance entertainment as well as a three-course seated dinner, all hosted by Ortiz.

Guests will have access to an exclusive silent and live auction featuring memorabilia and experiences.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $350 per person or $650 per pair through April 30 then $400 per person or $750 per pair starting May 1.

VIP Tickets (which include an autographed David Ortiz baseball and a photo opportunity with Ortiz) are $900 per person through April 30, $950 per person starting May 1.

To reserve tickets, to go davidortiz.eventbrite. Tables and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Alexis Walberg of Radegen Sports Management at (212) 727-2142 or AWalberg@radegen.com.

The David Ortiz Children’s Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The Fund has currently netted over $1.75 million and provided over 200 children with live-saving heart surgery in the Dominican Republic.

Red Sox merchandise a hot seller

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 27, 2014 12:25 PM

Winning the World Series, it seems, has a very positive effect on merchandise sales. Who could have guessed?

According to Fanatics.com, the largest online retailer of officially licensed team merchandise, the Red Sox are the top-selling MLB team since Jan. 1 with the Yankees, Dodgers, and Cardinals following.

Sox merchandise is up 230 percent from last year. Derek Jeter is the top-selling player, but David Ortiz is second and Dustin Pedroia fourth. Mike Trout is third.

A Red Sox Nation shirt is the top-selling item since Jan. 1.

Lester tunes up in Single A game

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 26, 2014 04:20 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The crowd of about 30 people who watched Red Sox ace Jon Lester pitch a minor league game on a wind-swept practice field on Wednesday afternoon included his wife, Farrah, and two young sons along with teammates Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy.

"It's harder when you don't have a stadium and the crowd," said Lester, who threw 94 pitches over six innings in his final game of spring training. "Biggest thing is [staying] healthy."

The Red Sox were playing the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park off in the distance, the same team Lester will face on Opening Day this Monday. So the decision was made to have the lefthander pitch for Single A Salem against the Fort Myers Twins of the Florida State League. He allowed one run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

The run scored in the first inning on a broken-bat single. Lester then retired 14 of the next 16 batters he faced, seven by strikeout.

Lester will be making his fourth consecutive Opening Day start, the longest streak for a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez started seven in a row from 1998-2004.

Lester will become one of six pitchers in team history (since 1914) to start four or more games on Opening Day, joining Martinez, Clemens, Dennis Eckersley, Bill Monbouquette and Mel Parnell.

"Any time that you're given that right or given that honor, like I've said every year, it's a huge honor to be able to do that, especially for this organization," Lester said. "Each year is different, each year means a little bit more, a little bit less or whatever. The biggest thing is it's just a huge honor."

Lester said there were no updates on talks with the Red Sox on a contract extension. General manager Ben Cherington said earlier this week that he hoped the process would be resolved one way or another by Opening Day.

But Lester again said he would be willing to continue talks into the season if a deal was workable.

"If we're close, we'll carry it over. I don't think that's a distraction," he said. "But things are nowhere near being done, that's a good thing for both sides. You can come and say what needs to be said about it and put it on the back burner. ... I think it's a positive we're still talking.

Lester took notice of Detroit starter Max Scherzer turning down an offer of six years and $144 million.

Lester is 30 and is 100-56 in his career with a 3.76 ERA. Scherzer is 29 and is 73-45 in his career with a 3.67 ERA. Lester has made 220 career starts and Scherzer 165.

"Personally, if that's me, that's hard to walk away from," Lester said. "But he's betting on himself. Maybe he really deep down wants to be a free agent. We don't get to do it very often. Maybe that's his ultimate thing. I don't know."

Also:

• Chris Capuano pitched five innings for Single A Greenville and was close to perfect. He didn't allow a hit, walked two and struck out 10.

• Daniel Nava played center field for six innings for Triple A Pawtucket in a game at the Minnesota complex. He was 3 for 6 with a home run and four RBIs. He took four at-bats righthanded and two lefthanded.

• David Ross caught Lester and was 3 for 6 in the game with a double.

Live updates: Orioles at Red Sox

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 26, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates and commentary from Fort Myers as the Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Ortiz gets some work in; Victorino out again

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 26, 2014 11:05 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lots going on as the Red Sox prepare to wrap up camp on Saturday. Let's catch you up:

• David Ortiz is not in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Orioles. He will spend extra time in the cage with hitting coaches Greg Colbrunn and Victor Rodriguez. Ortiz is 2 for 35 this spring with 12 strikeouts.

Manager John Farrell says he's not worried, pointing out that Ortiz didn't play in spring training at all last season before going 4 for 18 in six games with Triple A Pawtucket. Ortiz then hit .500/.513/.917 in April with 15 RBIs in nine games.

"Not concerned at all," Farrell said.

• Shane Victorino (left side) would be playing if today were a regular season game, Farrell said. But the Sox are being careful.

"He was cleared to play today. But I felt like where we are in camp, another day, just precautionary, is where we're at," Farrell said.

Victorino is expected to play on Thursday, but that could be in a minor league game so the Red Sox could retain the ability to backdate a stay on the disabled list.

Victorino has played in only eight games his spring because of injuries. But Farrell is pushing on with him.

"He's going to be our right fielder on Opening Day, I can tell you that," he said.

• Lefthander Rich Hill was released by the Red Sox then re-signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Triple A Pawtucket. The Milton native reported to camp on March 6 following the death of his infant son but has pitched well.

• Daniel Nava will play center field for Triple A Pawtucket today at the Minnesota complex. The Sox are preparing him in the event he needs to play that position.

• The Sox will make the majority of their cuts on Thursday. But Farrell said the decision between Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore will go into Friday.

Farrell said that in his opinion, Bradley is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game in terms of getting a jump on the ball.

• Outfielder Corey Brown did not opt out of his contract and will play for Triple A Pawtucket.

• Alumni news: John McDonald made the Angels as a backup infielder. ... Righthanded reliever Scott Atchison made the Indians. ... Daisuke Matsuzaka is one of three pitchers the Mets are considering as their No. 5 starter. ... Ryan Kalish is in the mix to make the Cubs as a backup outfielder. He has had a good camp after missing much of the last two seasons with injuries.

Red Sox get a patriotic gift

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 26, 2014 09:08 AM

sasblazers.jpg

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jonny Gomes purchased stars and stripes sport coats for all his teammates and gave them out today.

(No, the Red Sox will not be wearing them to the White House).

A few of the players tried them on and looked like the Ryder Cup team for a while. David Ortiz's was too big but he walked around with it on. Big Papi looked a little like Apollo Creed.

The company that makes the product, Loudmouth Golf, offered Gomes one for free. But he worked a group deal.

Spring Training Game 27: Orioles (SS) at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 26, 2014 07:46 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (9-15-2)
Sizemore CF
Pedroia 2B
Carp 1B
Napoli DH
Gomes LF
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Lavarnway C
Bradley Jr. RF
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster followed by LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Tommy Layne, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Francisco Cordero.

ORIOLES(12-8-3)
Weeks 2B
Lough LF
Markakis DH
Davis 1B
Clevenger C
Urrutia RF
Flaherty 3B
Casilla SS
Berry CF
Pitching: RHP Miguel Gonzalez.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: The Sox are tied with the Phillies and Astros for the worst record in the Grapefruit League. In the Cactus League, the Rangers are 9-15. ... Jon Lester is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game at Fenway South today instead of facing the Orioles, the team he will face on Opening Day on Monday in Baltimore. ... Webster is 0-2, 5.25 in four starts in spring training. ... Today is the second of a planned three in a row for Sizemore.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 26, 2014 07:35 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — There are four games left in spring training and the Red Sox will not be leaving Fort Myers.

The Sox host the Orioles today then play the Twins three days in a row with Friday's game six miles down the road at Hammond Stadium.

The Sox leave after the game on Saturday then have a voluntary workout at Camden Yards on Sunday.

Today's Globe links:

For Grady Sizemore, the opportunity to start in center field hinges on the next three days. His comeback continues.

The notebook has Shane Victorino dealing with an injury and Clay Buchholz pitching well.

Another step foward for Sizemore

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 25, 2014 06:10 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke at length before Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Rays about the decision whether to start Grady Sizemore or Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field.

Farrell laid out the different scenarios under consideration and talked about how the verdict would affect other parts of the roster.

“There’s still a lot of internal discussion on who our starting center fielder is going to be,” he said.

Then, in the sixth inning, Sizemore hit a fastball to right field that cleared the fence, the bullpen, and the outfield boardwalk at Charlotte Sports Park before striking the walkway of a building about 430 feet away.

One long home run doesn’t necessarily put Sizemore on the roster for Opening Day. But it was another sign that he is a few days of good health away from claiming a job after missing two consecutives seasons with injuries to his knees, back and left elbow.

Sizemore is scheduled to play Wednesday and Thursday before sitting out Friday and playing on Saturday.

“We’re looking at these next three days as a physical test,” Farrell said before the Sox beat the Rays, 4-2. “Can’t say that we’re looking at quality at-bats or on-base [percentage] in those three games. The one thing that we can get some feedback on is, ‘Does he come out of three consecutive days in good shape physically?’ ”

If Sizemore doesn’t pass, the job would go to rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. There is no provision for having both players on the roster unless one of the other outfielders goes on the disabled list.

“That’s probably either/or at this point,” Farrell said. “We’re focusing one or the other.”

Sizemore is 10 of 33 over 10 games in spring training. The home run off lefthander Cesar Ramos was his first since July 15, 2011.

That it came in an exhibition game didn’t dim Sizemore’s smile.

“It felt good,” he said.

There are other issues to consider as the Red Sox assemble their roster. Putting Sizemore on the team would require the Sox have a serviceable backup for one or two games a week.

Shifting right fielder Shane Victorino to center field is one solution. Or the Sox could try Daniel Nava.

Neither option is especially palatable. The Sox would prefer to keep Victorino in right field, where he won a Gold Glove last season while Nava is a corner outfielder who has started one major league game in center.

Victorino has played in only eight games this spring because of injuries and sat out Tuesday with soreness on his left side.

“Part of what is factored is knowing what I have to manage in terms of games played and availability [and] what is the back-up plan for those other days? Is there variability with other guys in their day-to-day availability?” Farrell said. “I wish I could say there was just one thing that we’re pinning a decision on. But there are a number of factors in play.”

The decision will come by Friday. The Sox have an afternoon game on Saturday at JetBlue Park then leave for Baltimore.

Bradley has done little to make the decision more difficult. He was 0 for 4 on Tuesday and is 9 for 52 (.173) in 17 spring training games with 16 strikeouts. But Bradley is durable and healthy, something the Red Sox could use in what will be a busy April schedule.

See The Boston Globe or BostonGlobe.com on Wednesday for much more on this story.

Wrap up: Red Sox 4, Rays 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 25, 2014 06:06 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 4, Rays 2.

RECORD: 9-15-2.

BREAKDOWN: Will Middlebrooks homered to left field in the third inning against Tampa Bay No. 5 starter Jake Odorizzi and Grady Sizemore had a two-run shot in the sixth when facing Cesar Ramos. Xander Bogaerts (2 for 4) added an RBI single.

THUMBS UP: After Clay Buchholz allowed two runs over six innings, relievers Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica retired nine of the 10 batters they faced.

THUMBS DOWN: Corey Brown pulled up chasing a ball off the bat of Ben Zobrist in the ninth inning and it fell in for a double. There was some miscommunication with Sizemore.

MEDICAL REPORT: Right fielder Shane Victorino (sore left side) missed the game and went through a workout at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers instead.

AROUND THE BASES: Manager John Farrell said final roster decisions would come on Friday with some cuts coming before that. … The start of the game was delayed 18 minutes because of a rainstorm. … Middlebrooks (2 for 3, hitting .317) has only three strikeouts in 41 at-bats. … Uehara has appeared in five spring training games and retired 15 of the 16 batters he has faced. … Veteran Jonny Gomes took the 45-minute bus ride just to get one at-bat as a pinch hitter and struck out in the eighth inning. … He didn’t get in the game but minor league infielder Matt Gedman was on the roster. He is the son of former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman and played last season for Single A Salem.

NEXT GAME: The Red Sox host a split-squad Orioles team at JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. There is no television or radio coverage.

Watch: 2014 Red Sox season preview

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff March 25, 2014 03:24 PM

The Sporting News previews the 2014 Red Sox season.

Red Sox headed to White House on April 1

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 25, 2014 01:22 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — President Barack Obama will honor the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox at the White House on April 1.

The event will be at 11:15 a.m.

As part of their trip to Washington, D.C., the team is planning to visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The Sox open their season against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Monday afternoon.

Live updates: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 25, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates from Florida as the Red Sox face the Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Victorino out of Red Sox lineup

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 25, 2014 12:04 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Shane Victorino is out of the Red Sox lineup with pain in his left side that occurred after Sunday's game against the Rays.

He had treatment on Monday and has since taken batting practice and played catch from 150 feet.

"He feels no residual effects, so, precautionary, we held him out of the lineup today and hopefully he's back in the lineup tomorrow," manager John Farrell said. "I wouldn't say it's the oblique. Just some general left side soreness."

Farrell said the Red Sox could keep Victorino in minor league games the rest of the week. That would allow the team to backdate his stint on the disabled list if that becomes necessary.

"That's a possibility just to be sure we don't jeopardize any further delay if that were to come up," Farrell said. "We're looking at all those possibilities."

Until this latest setback, Victorino was doing well physically over the last two weeks. He did not play in a game until March as he recovered from surgery on his right thumb and worked on strengthening core muscles that bothered him last season.

Victorino has played in eight games and had 22 at-bats.

"I thought he was coming along," said Farrell, who believes Victorino will be ready for Opening Day in Baltimore on Monday.

A few other notes:

• Jon Lester will throw 95-100 pitches in a minor league game on Wednesday rather than face the Baltimore Orioles, the team he will face on Opening Day on Monday. Allen Webster will return from minor league camp to face the Orioles.

• Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow is scheduled for minor league games on Thursday and Saturday and is likely to start the season on the disabled list. For the second year in a row, he has needed extra time to build arm strength.

• John Lackey, Felix Doubront and Jake Peavy will start the final three games of the exhibition season.

• Outfielder Corey Brown said he can opt-out of his minor league contract on Thursday. He is planning to talk to his agent soon.

Ortiz got what he wanted in new deal

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 25, 2014 09:42 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz said Tuesday he received what he asked for with his $16 million on a one-year extension.

“That’s what I asked for,” Ortiz said. “I know I could have asked for more. There are a lot of players producing less making more. I think I’ve been fair. I didn’t want to be unreasonable."

Ortiz said he never asked for the vesting options. He said they were proposed by the Red Sox and he went along with them.

“We’ll see how that works. I’m healthy now. I know I can play a full season. I have to earn the money in those years by staying healthy,” Ortiz said.

The Red Sox put together a very unique contract. There are no top-five hitters in baseball who have plate appearances attached to their salary, but Ortiz’s deal does.

“That was a great deal by the team to get a hitter of that caliber for that type of deal. How would David Ortiz have done with the short porch at Yankee Stadium?” asked an American League GM.

It’s no secret that the Yankees would have likely been in pursuit had Ortiz not re-signed and if he still had a productive season. The Red Sox certainly knew that.

Ortiz will earn a base of $11 million in 2016, but can hike his salary up to $16 million if he makes 600 plate appearances. The Red Sox hold an option for 2017 at $10 million with the same elevators as 2016.

The contract is once again a win-win for the Red Sox, who put together some interesting contracts the past two years, even getting Dustin Pedroia to sign for $110 million for eight years and front-loading the contract.

The Red Sox are also trying to work out a creative deal with Jon Lester, whose final numbers should make him the highest-paid Red Sox. Lester’s minimums are likely five years at $20 million per.

David Ortiz to the Hall of Fame? It may be easier than you think

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 25, 2014 08:45 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When David Ortiz was signed to a contract extension on Sunday, Red Sox owner John Henry was quoted on the press release saying, "We are so proud to have this ambassador of our game with us as he continues on this road to Cooperstown.”

On Twitter and elsewhere, it was immediately pointed out that Ortiz was once tied to the use of performance-enhancing drugs and such players have so far been denied induction in the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

True enough. But Henry's statement may yet prove prophetic. Here are some theories why:

(First, a few disclosures. John Henry also owns the Globe and I'm a BBWAA member with Hall of Fame voting rights. Just so we're clear.)

• If Ortiz plays two more seasons, he would not be on the ballot until 2020. In those seven years, the group of BBWAA members who are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame will have changed considerably.

Ten years of membership is required before voting rights are awarded. By 2020 or 2021, the voting bloc will be younger, perhaps considerably so. Those voters, having grown up watching baseball in the Steroid Era, would seem more inclined to vote for players tied to PEDs.

The BBWAA also has added more internet writers to its rolls in recent years, a trend that will only continue to rise. This group, too, is more likely to judge a player by the context of his era and his statistics than by a vague moral code written decades ago.

There is also debate within the BBWAA about narrowing the field of voters because, frankly, we have too many people voting who haven't laid eyes on a baseball game in 15 years.

• In the next seven or eight years, a player like Jeff Bagwell or Mike Piazza is likely to be elected. Neither has been formally tied to PEDs, but they have been denied votes based solely on suspicion. Bagwell received 54.3 percent of the votes last season and Piazza 62.2.

Once those players and others like them get in, mustering up reasons to keep others out will be more difficult.

• It seems inevitable that eventually a member of the Hall of Fame will be tied to PED use. When that day comes, the idea that a room in a museum in upstate New York is some sort of sacred shrine to morality will lose a lot of its luster.

The Hall has assorted bigots, felons, wife-beaters and cheaters. A few PED users probably won't cause the walls to collapse. Once all the hand-wringing is over with, claiming the moral high ground will be a lot harder.

• When Ortiz makes the ballot, research of his PED ties will reveal that he was on a list of players found to have tested positive in 2003 before the start of baseball's formal drug program. That substance is to this day unknown. The list was leaked to the New York Times six years after the fact, likely to embarrass Ortiz.

The MLB Players Association has said the number of players on that list exceeded the number of positive samples. The union also has said that some legal supplements available at the time could have triggered a positive test result.

So while Ortiz is tied to drug use, it's hardly a lockdown case. He was on a list for taking something that was leaked to a newspaper. In a court of law, that wouldn't be much to go on.

I think Ortiz probably took some kind of PED and knew what he was doing. The same was true of hundreds of players in that era. But in the decade since, baseball has made progress in changing that.

• That no designated hitter has yet been elected is a hurdle. But Ortiz is the best DH in the history of the game and was a significant part of three World Series champions. His playing credentials stand up.

• Finally, contemporaries of Ortiz will soon be elected to the Hall, Pedro Martinez being one of them. They're going to campaign for his induction and their words will be heard.

I'm not suggesting Ortiz makes it on the first ballot. But the climate in seven or eight years will be a lot different than it is now. What seems tainted now may seem quaint then.

Spring Training Game 26: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 25, 2014 08:25 AM

After Monday's rainout, let's try this again. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (8-15-2)
Nava LF
Pedroia 2B
Carp DH
Napoli 1B
Sizemore CF
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Middlebrooks 3B
Bradley Jr. RF
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Edward Mujica, RHP Junichi Tazawa, RHP Koji Uehara.

RAYS (15-5-2)
DeJesus CF
Myers RF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Joyce LF
Rodriguez SS
Molina C
Escobar DH
Pitching: RHP Jake Odorizzi, RHP Joel Peralta, LHP Jake McGee, RHP Josh Lueke

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN.

Notes: The Sox have five games left, so this is only the second time in six seasons the Sox will have a losing record in spring training. ... The Sox do not play the Rays in the regular season until April 29. ... The Sox are 0-5-1 in their last six games.

Live updates: Red Sox at Orioles

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 24, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates and analysis as the Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Farrell pleased Ortiz contract issue over

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 24, 2014 12:15 PM

SARASOTA, Fla. – Red Sox manager John Farrell is grateful David Ortiz has signed a contract extension and will remain in the middle of his order for at least two more years.

“It looks like he’s going to finish his career with the Red Sox. It’s amazing to me that he performs at the level he does. He’s critical to our offense nightly. The potential of him going elsewhere has been put to rest. Great thing for everyone involved,” Farrell said Monday before the Red Sox’ spring game vs the Orioles.

Farrell praised Ortiz’s influence in the clubhouse.

“You walk by and he’s got a group around him. When he speaks, people listen. He’s had so much success and a set of experiences that players look for him as a sounding board and to gain confidence. He walks in and all eyes go to him.”

Farrell agreed Ortiz may be a better pure hitter in his old age.

“I would agree to that. What he’s done against lefthanded pitching, and maybe that was when Adrian (Gonzalez) was here there was a lot of conversation about that. Watch his routine. It’s not a mistake he hits the ball the other way vs. lefties. He’s got an understanding of what opposing lefties are doing against him. Looking back to 2010, the performance vs. lefties was nowhere near to what it had grown to in 11 and 12.”

Farrell doesn’t think Ortiz will need more time off.

“I hope not,” Farrell said. “He surpassed the consecutive games played last year and he felt great. He played with energy and had fun. Nothing to suggest to date that we would be looking at less games played. We have interleague to contend with, but we hope he’s in our lineup every day.”

The Red Sox are still having an internal debate about Brandon Workman and whether he’s better off in Pawtucket as starter every fifth day or in Boston’s bullpen?

The Red Sox likely will have one bullpen opening if Craig Breslow starts the season on the disabled list.

“Um ... well ..,” is how Red Sox manager John Farrell started his answer. “The delay suggests no [the debate hasn’t ended], only because of what our needs might be. Could he occupy a spot in the rotation? Yeah I think he could. I’m of the firm belief he can be in our starting rotation. Starter innings as opposed to middle relief innings are much more valuable and guys who can do that, there are less of them than guys who can pitch out of the bullpen.

“But right now we have five starters,” added Farell.

Workman started out slowly but has upped his game recently.

“He’s gotten better with command with shape to his cutter, good curveball, he’s getting the ball down in zone more consistently. With each outing his execution is more consistent,” Farrell said.

This is Workman’s first camp. He was in minor-league camp last season and started the season in Double-A Portland.

“Coming into camp, he probably knows there’s a competition for something where he’s got to perform to where he finished last season. You try to put their concerns at ease, but they know something is on line every time he goes out there,” Farrell said.

Farrell said there wasn’t any change in Grady Sizemore’s schedule, but because of different scenarios, it might have been portrayed wrong to the media. Sizemore has today off and then begins his three-day run of games Tuesday.

Farrell assured the media there had been no setback.

Farrell also said he’s trying to get Mike Carp time at third, Daniel Nava more time in center (he played there Sunday in an intrasquad game). He also wants to get Shane Victorino time in center field.

Red Sox waiting out the rain in Sarasota

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 24, 2014 10:18 AM

SARASOTA, Fla. — It's raining here at Ed Smith Stadium, home of the Baltimore Orioles. It's not known yet whether the weather will jeopardize today's game.

The Red Sox plan their David Ortiz press conference at noon today here. Ortiz agreed to terms on a one-year, $16 million extension Sunday. It includes two club options that could vest based on good health.

Ortiz had the fourth-best OPS in baseball last season (.959) behind Miguel Cabrera (1.078), Chris Davis (1.044) and Mike Trout (.988).

Ortiz is 2 for 35 with 12 strikeouts in spring training games this season, but doesn't seem concerned.

In other news:

• Jake Peavy will pitch in a minor league game back in Fort Myers, while Drake Britton will start for the Red Sox against the Orioles.

• Grady Sizemore was scheduled to play in his second consecutive game, part of a three-day schedule weather-permitting, but instead he will take today off and play three straight starting Tuesday.

• The Orioles are still holding Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar, a third baseman taken from the Red Sox. Almanzar was taken originally to protect against Manny Machado likely starting the season on the disabled list.

Almanzar is hitting .200, but he's second to Chris Davis on the Orioles with nine RBIs. The likelihood is he gets returned to the Red Sox, unless the teams can work out a deal where the Orioles can send him back to Triple A. The Red Sox have two young third basemen in Will Middlebrooks and Garin Cecchini.

• The Orioles traded former Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez as the Tigers continue to acquire every shortstop not named Stephen Drew.

Projecting the Red Sox roster, Version 2.5

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 24, 2014 08:30 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The original plan wasn't to do another one of these until later in the week. But recent events suggest a revision is needed.

So let's take another run at projecting the Red Sox roster that will take the field a week from today in Baltimore.

Here is Version 1.0 from Feb. 25.

Here is Version 2.0 from March 17.

Now to the latest version:

STARTING PITCHERS (5)
LHP Jon Lester
RHP John Lackey
LHP Felix Doubront
RHP Jake Peavy
RHP Clay Buchholz

Explanation: John Farell hasn't announced the rotation yet. But this is how they are lined up. Lackey and Doubront haven't been especially sharp in recent starts but they each have a start left to tighten it up. Farrell is going a little against tradition by having the starters throw 95-100 pitches in their final start of the spring instead of tapering back. That could lead to stronger early starts.

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)
RHP Koji Uehara
RHP Junichi Tazawa
LHP Andrew Miller
RHP Brandon Workman
RHP Edward Mujica
RHP Burke Badenhop
LHP Chris Capuano

Explanation: The Craig Breslow mystery is slowly clearing up. The lefthander is pitching a minor league game today so the Red Sox will maintain their ability to backdate his stay on the disabled list. There were a lot of denials early in camp, but something seems to be going on with his shoulder. This is more than somebody needing extra time.

CATCHERS (2)
A.J. Pierzynski
David Ross

Explanation: No changes. It's pretty remarkable that the Sox will have three major-league ready backups in Dan Butler, Ryan Lavarnway and Christian Vazquez at Triple A Pawtucket. They should do Lavarnway a favor and trade him.

DESIGNATED HITTER (1)
David Ortiz

Explanation: Now that he has a contract extension, perhaps Big Papi will improve on his dreadful spring training. He is 2 for 35 with 12 strikeouts. Confidence isn't lacking, however. Ortiz predicted a few days ago that he would hit .350 in April.

INFIELD (5)
1B Mike Napoli
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
3B Will Middlebrooks
2B-SS-3B Jonathan Herrera

Explanation: Bogaerts and Napoli haven't hit much this spring. But that's not a big deal. The coaches are pleased with the progress Bogaerts has made defensively. The only thing the Red Sox want from Stephen Drew now is to sign with another team so they can get a draft pick.

OUTFIELD (5)
RF Shane Victorino
CF Grady Sizemore
LF Jonny Gomes
LF-RF-1B Daniel Nava
LF-1B Mike Carp

Explanation: Sizemore has passed every physical test so far and earned a place on the roster. The Red Sox might as well take advantage of his good health now because it might not last.

But there will be obstacles to overcome. On those days when Sizemore is rested, Victorino can certainly play center field. But Gomes has started only 10 games in right field over the last three years and Carp two in his career. Nava had 51 starts in right field last season but had a -4.6 UZR when he was out there.

There has been talk of Nava playing center but that would be taking a risk.

The Sox have five outfielders but it's not a defensively versatile group. Jackie Bradley would be a better fit, but there's no room for him. Bradley can be optioned and that's the easiest thing to do right now. His time will come.

Spring Training Game 26: Red Sox at Orioles

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 24, 2014 08:00 AM

Here are the lineups.

RED SOX (8-15-2)
Nava RF
Gomes LF
Ortiz DH
Middlebrooks 3B
Carp 1B
Lavarnway C
Bradley Jr. CF
Herrera SS
McCoy 2B
Pitching: LHP Drake Britton followed by LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Francisco Cordero, LHP Tommy Layne.

ORIOLES (12-7-2)
Markakis RF
Hardy SS
Jones CF
Davis 1B
Cruz LF
Wieters C
Young DH
Schoop 3B
Weeks 2B
Pitching: LHP Brian Matusz.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Sarasota, Fla.

TV/Radio: None

Notes: This is the fifth of six matchups vs. the Orioles in the spring ... Britton has pitched 8 2/3 innings over five appearances this spring. Today is his first start ... Clay Buchholz is expected to start Tuesday vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte ... Lefthander Craig Breslow is scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game today.

Red Sox announce deal with David Ortiz

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 23, 2014 10:49 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox announced late Sunday night that they have signed David Ortiz to a one-year extension for 2015 with a club/vesting option for 2016 and a club option for 2017.

If the final two years are picked up, Ortiz would be 41 at the end of the contract. The extension, sources said, is worth close to $16 million for 2015.

The vesting option or 2016 will be based on plate appearances.

“With this agreement, we have near certainty that David Ortiz will finish his career in a Red Sox uniform, which is something we have all wanted and that we are all proud of,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement released by the team. “It is difficult to describe David’s contributions to our city both on the field and off the field, and we are so proud to have this ambassador of our game with us as he continues on this road to Cooperstown.”

Ortiz and general manager Ben Cherington will meet with reporters in Sarasota before Monday's game against the Orioles to discuss the deal.

Ortiz, 38, has led the team to three World Championships and has been an All-Star nine times in his 11 years with the Red Sox.

Ortiz hit .309 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI in 137 games last season. The designated hitter's.564 slugging percentage ranked third among all major league qualifiers behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera (.636) and Baltimore’s Chris Davis (.634).

Last October, Ortiz started all 16 games en route to Boston’s third World Series championship, hitting .353 while topping postseason leaders in home runs (5), total bases (36), walks (16), and times on base (34).

Ortiz is 69 home runs shy of 500 in his career. This new contract could put him in a position to reach that milestone.

Red Sox agree to extension with David Ortiz

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff March 23, 2014 05:34 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. - David Ortiz has agreed to a one-year extension with the Red Sox worth about $16 million, a source close to the talks confirmed.

Ortiz had been seeking an extension since the offseason.

The deal, which kicks in in 2015 will match him with Mike Napoli as the highest paid Red Sox player for 2015. The deal is a raise over the $15 he makes this season.

Ortiz' agent, Fernando Cuza, met with the Red Sox this afternoon and hammered it out with Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino.

The hangup, even entering today's talks, had been the raise. The Ortiz side was seeking for far more but settled for the modest increase.

The deal could be announced officially tomorrow. It is believed the contract includes vesting options for 2016 and '17.

Live updates: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 23, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates from Fort Myers as the Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Hill among Red Sox roster cuts

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 23, 2014 10:33 AM
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox had another round of roster moves Sunday morning. Catcher Daniel Butler, who is on the 40-man roster, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Lefthander Rich Hill and righthanders Jon Ely and Dalier Hinojosa, who are all non-roster invitees, were reassigned to minor league camp.

The Red Sox also announced the release of non-roster lefthanded reliever Jose Mijares, who had the right to opt-out of his deal if he was not going to make the team. Mijares had a 5.14 ERA and 1.57 WHIP over seven innings.

Butler, one of five catchers on the 40-man, could be called up if needed, manager John Farrell said.

“I had a good feel for what he is. And continues to show that every time he walks on the field,” Farrell said. “And was we mentioned to him on the way out, if the need were to arise. We’ve got one of three catchers that we feel are a foul tip away, to come up and replace someone if that need were to happen. So Daniel’s clearly in that mix.”

Farrell said he was impressed with the job Hill did to catch up to other pitchers in camp. Hill did not report until March 6 after the Feb. 24 death of his infant son, Brooks, who was born Dec. 26.

“It’s going to take a little more time to get back to the arm strength that we typically know him at to have,” Farrell said. “So innings are starting to dry up a little more now that the starters are getting deeper, so that was the move made.”

Hinojosa, a first-year player from Cuba, will pitch out of the bullpen for Pawtucket.

Ely, who hasn't pitched this spring because of injury, will remain in Fort Myers in extended spring training.

The Sox have not yet targeted a date to have the roster at 25. The Sox now have 35 players in big league camp, including 30 players from the 40-man roster, and five non-roster invitees.

Also:

• Lefthander Craig Breslow will pitch in a minor league game on Monday. It will be his first appearance in a game this spring, after being delayed because of last season’s increased workload.

Because he is not pitching in a major league game, the Red Sox retain the ability to back-date a DL stay for Breslow,

• Jake Peavy is scheduled to start Monday. Instead of traveling to Sarasota to face the Orioles, though, he will pitch in a minor league game at the complex. The Sox are scheduled to host the Orioles' Single-A teams.

• Jon Lester will do the same on Wednesday when the Sox host an Orioles split-squad team at Fenway South. He will start in a minor league game, when the Sox are scheduled to host the Twins’ Single-A teams. Although it still has not been officially announced. Lester is on schedule to start Opening Day in Baltimore.

• Asked if the Sox were still looking for roster additions, Farrell replied:

“I like the team we have. I think we have a very good team. And yet Ben [Cherington] will never rest on ways that could upgrade the roster, but my thought is we’re heading into Monday’s’ opener with the guys that are here in camp.”

• Grady Sizemore is starting in center field, batting leadoff Sunday. It is the first of three scheduled consecutive days for him. He has not played as many as three days in a row since July 2011.

Spring Training Game 25: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 23, 2014 08:00 AM

Here are the lineups.

RED SOX (8-14-2)
Sizemore CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross C
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront followed by RHP Brandon Workman, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Brayan Villareal

RAYS (14-5)
Forsythe 3B
DeJesus DH
Myers RF
Jennings CF
Rodriguez 1B
Joyce LF
Hanigan C
Nix 2B
Olmedo SS
Pitching: LHP Matt Moore

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI

Notes: The Sox are 1-2 vs. the Rays this spring, and they play one more time after today (Tuesday in Port Charlotte) … Entering the final week of spring games, the Rays have the best winning percentage (.737). The Indians are second at .727 ... Doubront looks to recover from a poor outing vs. the Yankees in his last start. He gave up 7 runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings ... Koji Uehara struck out the side on 12 pitches in a minor-league game Saturday.

Wrap up: Braves 6, Red Sox 3

Posted by Globe Staff March 22, 2014 06:20 PM

SCORE: Braves 6, Red Sox 3

RECORD: 8-14-2.

BREAKDOWN: The Braves roughed up John Lackey for 10 hits and five runs. He allowed two home runs, to Andrelton Simmons in the third inning and a two-run shot by Dan Uggla in the fifth. Freddie Freeman doubled in a run in the first inning, and Chris Johnson knocked in the first of the Braves’ three runs in the fifth with a sacrifice fly. Mike Napoli (single), Xander Bogaerts (double), and Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in runs for the Red Sox. The Braves made two errors in the seventh, contributing to two Boston runs.

THUMBS UP: Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each had two hits. ... Lefty Tommy Layne (1 1/3 scoreless innings) continues to be impressive, having not allowed a run in eight innings this spring.

THUMBS DOWN: For the second straight outing Lackey allowed five runs, this time over 4 2/3 innings. He did get up to 83 pitches. ... Bradley saved his day with a late single, but he’s now hitting .191. ... Will Middlebooks went 0 for 3. ... Daniel Nava had two base-running mistakes, getting caught stealing once and picked off. He also struck out twice and went 1 for 4 from the leadoff spot.

MEDICAL REPORT: Center fielder Grady Sizemore is feeling fine after his latest baseball activity. He took Saturday off, but Sunday he will begin a stretch of three straight games.

AROUND THE BASES: The Sox have won only once in their last eight games . . . Former MLB pitcher Scot Shields attended the game with his family and met up with former Angels teammate Lackey . . . Attendance was 10,186 at Champions Stadium . . . A.J. Pierzynski calls Orlando home. He lives about 10 minutes from the stadium and spent Friday night at his home . . . The Sox now have gone five straight games without a home run. They had hit 23 homers to lead the American League entering Saturday’s games.

NEXT GAME: The Sox play the Rays at JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Felix Doubront is scheduled to oppose Matt Moore. The game will be on NESN and WEEI.

Bruising day for Lackey, who laughs it off

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 22, 2014 06:15 PM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The last thing you want to see in spring training is one of your star pitchers diving for grounders and getting stung on the leg with a line drive.

But John Lackey could laugh about it afterward.

In the third inning Jordan Shafer's bunt was fielded by Lackey in a diving play where he scooped the ball to first base with his glove. He nearly had a collision with Dustin Pedroia on the play but Pedroia backed off.

"I asked him (Pedroia) if he liked that one. He was pretty fired up," Lackey said.

"If I'd have gone in there and collided, I would have taken the worst of it," Pedroia said.

"Yes you would have," agreed Lackey.

Freddie Freeman then hit the liner off Lackey's thigh.

"I feel fine," Lackey said. "He got me in the thigh. There's some meat there."

On the play, catcher A.J. Pierzynski called for the trainer.

"A.J. was just being funny," Lackey said. "Nothing happened on that."

Lackey was also stung for five runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed home runs to Andrelton Simmons and a two-run shot to Dan Uggla. It wasn't his best outing and now over his last two games he's allowed 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings.

"I felt fine," insisted Lackey. "I definitely thought I threw the ball better this time compared to the last time. I definitely had a good bullpen session in between, felt like my slider was better. The last one I threw to Uggla wasn't a good one. But I got up to 80-something pitches."

Rather than throttle down as most pitchers do in their last outing, Lackey will continue to throttle up. It was part of the master plan by John Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves to start Lackey slowly and build him up right until his first start.

"I'll just keep going for real," Lackey said. "I have a night game next time so I'll get after it a little bit more. I'd like to go into the season not being on a pitch count. Just normal. It's spring training. I'm not concerned about the numbers just trying to build arm strength."

Lackey thinks he won't hit full throttle "for a few more weeks to be honest with you. I'll be good enough to compete."

Despite the rocky outing, Lackey was comfortable working with Pierzynski.

"It's been pretty easy," Lackey said. "I haven't shook him off once. We incorporate a new pitch each time. Calls a good game. He's a good hitter so that helps him game-calling."

Also:

• The Red Sox had three baserunning mishaps, two involving Daniel Nava on a caught-stealing and a pick-off. One came on the front end of what looked like a botched double-steal

"Nava gave two shuffles (with his feet)," explained Red sox manager John Farrell. "When a baserunner crosses over with the intention of taking off, that's what [Shane Victorino] was reading. As we talked about before with Daniel, we're trying to get him to be more aggressive on the bases and for him to test those limits a lot more."

• Farrell was again pleased with the work done by righthander Francisco Cordero, who allowed one hit in his one inning.

"Cordero has done an outstanding job using all his pitches. He's made the most of the opportunities," the manager said.

• Farrell refused to officially announce Jon Lester as the Opening Day starter, but he added "count the days, it's not a secret."

• Farrell indicated that he thought the team's game plan of easing pitchers into their spring training workload has worked famously. The starters all seem to be sharp and ready for the start of the season.

Farrell also said he'll lay out a game plan for the starters for the final few days of camp.
"I like the way our starters have come along early. The work plan has physically agreed with them," Farrell said.

• Farrell spoke about lefty reliever Craig Breslow going forward. He said Breslow threw to hitters on Friday and "yesterday was a really good day. He was strong, good command of his stuff, but we have to be realistic. Last year you had to take him out of the mix on a given day because he always wants the ball. He would have benefited more by a few more days of rest. We'll have to make that decision for him."

If Breslow doesn't start the season it could open up a spot for Brandon Workman, Cordero, lefty Tommy Layne (who has eight scoreless inning in spring training) or Rich Hill.

• Grady Sizemore has the day off, but he'll play three days in a row starting Sunday.

• David Ortiz was also given the day off. His contract extension seems to be drawing to a conclusion with a possible announcement soon. Jon Lester's contract talks are progressing but not as close as have been characterized the past couple of days according to a source close to the talks.

• Finally, there's talk about the Braves possibly moving out of here soon. Atlanta could consider the Fort Myers/Naples area as a new destination.

Live updates: Red Sox at Braves

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 22, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates and commentary as the Red Sox take on the Atlanta Braves at Champions Stadium at Disney World. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile optimized version of the live blog.

Red Sox head to Disney World to take on the Braves

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 22, 2014 12:26 PM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Red Sox play the Braves at Disney today.

This is home for A.J. Pierzynski who lives about 10 minutes from here. He'll get two at-bats today and be gone. John Farrell said most of the regulars - Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Will Middlebrooks - would get three to four at-bats.

Pierzynski said he's making good progress getting to know the staff.

"It's coming along really well," he said. "What helps is that it's a veteran staff and there's a lot of communication back and forth. I've also faced a lot of these guys so that really helps as well."

Farrell refused to officially announce Jon Lester as the Opening Day starter, but he added "count the days, it's not a secret."

Farrell indicated that he thought the team's game plan of easing pitchers into their spring training workload has worked famously. The starters all seem to be sharp and ready for the start of the season to this point. John Lackey makes his last full start of the camp today. He'll throw 80-85 pitches.

Farrell also said he'll lay out a game plan for the starters for the final few days of camp.
"I like the way our starters have come along early. The work plan has physically agreed with them," Farrell said.

Farrell spoke about Craig Breslow going forward. He said Breslow threw to hitters on Friday and "yesterday was a really good day. He was strong, good command of his stuff, but we have to be realistic. Last year you had to take him out of the mix on a given day because he always wants the ball. He would have benefitted more by a few more days of rest. We'll have to make that decision for him."

If Breslow doesn't start the season it could open up a spot for Brandon workman or Francisco Cordero or even Rich Hill.

Grady Sizemore has the day off, but he'll begin a three days in a row stint starting tomorrow.

David Ortiz was also given the day off. His contract extension seems to be drawing to a conclusion with a possible announcement soon.

Finally, there's talk about the Braves possibly moving out of here soon. There's also talk about the Braves considering the Fort Myers/Naples area as a new destination.

Spring Training Game 24: Red Sox at Braves

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 22, 2014 08:00 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (8-13-2)
Nava 1B
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Napoli DH
Pierzynski C
Bogaerts SS
Bradley Jr. CF
Middlebrooks 3B
Brown LF
Pitching: RHP John Lackey followed by RHP Dalier Hinojosa, RHP Francisco Cordero, LHP Tommy Layne

BRAVES (8-16-2)
Schafer CF
Simmons SS
Freeman 1B
Johnson 3B
Uggla 2B
Doumit C
Terdoslavich RF
Costanza LF
Wood LHP
Pitching: LHP Alex Wood followed RHP Jordan Walden, RHP Cory Gearrin, RHP Juan Jaime

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Kissimmee, Fla.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI

Notes: The Sox defeated the Braves, 4-1, on March 7 in their only previous meeting this spring … Lackey has allowed 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings, along with eight runs, all earned, this spring ... Wood has pitched 14 innings this spring and has not allowed an earned run. ... The Braves have lost six of seven.

Wrap up: Red Sox 2, Phillies 2 (10)

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 21, 2014 07:09 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 2, Phillies 2.

RECORD: 8-13-2.

BREAKDOWN: The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning on an opposite-field double by A.J. Pierzynski. Jonny Gomes (walk) and Will Middlebrooks (single) scored. The Phillies scored twice in the eighth inning. Tony Gwynn Jr. homered off Brayan Villarreal before a bad-hop single, an outfield error, and a bloop single led to another run.

THUMBS UP: Jon Lester threw 5 2/3 shutout innings, giving up four hits with one walk and five strikeouts … Lefty Jose Mijares finished the game with two solid innings to preserve the tie.

THUMBS DOWN: Gomes (0 for 3) is hitting .184 in spring training with one extra-base hit … Jackie Bradley Jr. didn’t help himself in the center field competition by going 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

MEDICAL REPORT: Shane Victorino will leave the friendly confines of Fort Myers for the first time when he joins the team in Kissimmee for the game against the Braves Saturday. It will be his seventh game since returning from thumb and groin issues.

AROUND THE BASES: The Sox are 1-5-1 in their last seven games … Rich Hill has appeared in three games since arriving in camp March 6 and has thrown 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He is likely to start the season with Triple A Pawtucket but has put himself in position to get a quick call-up once a need arises … The Sox and Phillies will not meet in the regular season for the first time since 2007.

NEXT GAME: The Sox play the Braves in Kissimmee at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. John Lackey is scheduled to face lefty Alex Wood. The game will be on NESN and WEEI.

Sizemore a starter? Looking that way

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 21, 2014 07:03 PM

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Red Sox aren’t ready to name Grady Sizemore their center fielder for Opening Day, not with eight days remaining in training camp. But manager John Farrell did nothing to discourage that idea Friday.

“We have a good reason to believe at this point that he is a likely candidate to become an everyday player with durability on his side at some point,” Farrell said before the Sox played to a 2-2 tie against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Red Sox are still following a progression to build Sizemore up after he missed two full seasons with injuries. But the 31-year-old former All-Star is 9 of 25 (.360) in eight games and running well.

“The most encouraging thing is that he has not hit the proverbial wall,” Farrell said. “The medical information is guiding us. Every piece of feedback from the medical staff is positive with the end thought that he’ll become an everyday player.”

Sizemore is scheduled to start Sunday and play three consecutive days before resting Wednesday and playing Thursday and Friday. That suggests he is being prepared to start against the Baltimore Orioles on March 31.

Farrell acknowledged the Sox would have to schedule regular days off for Sizemore, who hasn‘t played more than 71 games in a season since 2009. But so far he has passed every physical test.

“We look at the way he’s playing the game," said Farrell. "Everything is reactionary at this point. There are no measured steps. He’s playing instinctually. We don’t see him favoring anything in the knees or otherwise. He’s got some good times down the line.”

Sizemore’s timing at the plate — he has struck out once in 26 plate appearances — is another factor.

“It’s pretty amazing given the time missed," said Farrell. "It just speaks to his athleticism and a low-maintenance swing."

Also:

• The Phillies refused to allow the Red Sox a DH, so Jon Lester also had two plate appearances. He struck out looking at three pitches in the third inning after being told not to swing, then was out trying to bunt for a hit in the sixth.

Lester was proud of his bunt attempt, saying he didn’t want to give away another at-bat.

“At least I got it down,” he said. “I just didn’t want to do what I did the first time.”

When Lester came to the plate in the third inning, he told catcher Wil Nieves to have Cliff Lee throw three fastballs because he has no intention to swing.

• A group of players and the coaching staff will spend the night in Orlando instead of returning to Fort Myers. The Sox play the Braves in Kissimmee on Saturday afternoon.

Jackie Bradley Jr., Will Middlebrooks, and A.J. Pierzynski are among those staying over. Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, and Shane Victorino will join them on Saturday. John Lackey is the starter.

• Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow threw 20 pitches of live batting practice back in Fort Myers and remains scheduled for his first game Monday. He could get three games next week. It seems far-fetched that Breslow would be ready for Opening Day.

“We have to be realistic,” Farrell said.

If Breslow is not ready, righthander Brandon Workman could find a place on the roster.

• Three players participated in minor league games at Fenway South. David Ortiz was 0 for 3 in the Triple A game, twice grounding into double plays. David Ross was 1 for 5 with three strikeouts bouncing back and forth between the Double A and Triple A games. Righthander Edward Mujica faced five batters and threw 15 pitches in the Double A game.

Lester: Contract talks 'headed in right direction'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 21, 2014 04:50 PM

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Red Sox ace Jon Lester threw 5 2/3 shutout innings against the Phillies on Friday, then spoke candidly when asked if a new contract could be signed before the start of the regular season.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “I know they’ve been pretty busy dealing with [David Ortiz] and all that. It’s a negotiation. No matter how optimistic people are about it, it’s a tough process. We’ll keep grinding it out and see where we get.”

Lester feels progress has been made.

“I think so. I think we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.

The lefthander's confidence is such that he is willing to continue talking to the team once the season starts.

“That’s something you need to discuss when you get to that point. If you’re at the 5 yard line and you’re kind of closing in on a thing, yeah, let’s just spill it over. But if we're so far apart that it still doesn't matter then I think we'll sit down and talk about it and see what the best interest is for both sides on that. But as of right now, things are progressing and I guess we'll just keep hashing it out.”

Lester suggested nothing is imminent, but described the sides as having “good dialogue.”

Lester’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, could not be reached for comment. They have been in Fort Myers several times to meet with the Sox. The Levinsons negotiated an eight-year, $110 million extension with Dustin Pedroia last season.

This deal could more complicated given the value of starting pitching on the current market. Lester has said he is willing to take a discount to stay with the Red Sox. But he could command a deal in the range of five years and $110 million.

Live updates: Red Sox at Phillies

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 21, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates as the Red Soc play the Philadelphia Phillies in Florida on March 21. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile optimized version of the live blog.

Red Sox nearing deal with Ortiz

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 21, 2014 12:30 PM

CLEARWATER, Fla. — For several weeks, David Ortiz has expressed confidence that he would reach agreement on a one-year contract extension with the Red Sox. Now, with spring training winding down, an announcement is expected in the coming days.

Sources said Ortiz is seeking $15 million for 2015, essentially the same deal he has for the coming season.

Ortiz hit .308 with 30 home runs and 103 RBIs last season. He followed that by hitting .353 in the postseason with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 16 games.

“Everything is going the right way,” Ortiz said Thursday. “I’m not worried.”

Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, has had at least three in-person visits with Red Sox officials during spring training and was at JetBlue Park on Thursday.

The 38-year-old Ortiz said in December and again in February that he wanted to finish his career with the Red Sox and was looking to play two more seasons before considering retirement.

Ortiz has hit .300 with a .952 OPS and 114 home runs over the last four seasons and remains a formidable presence in the middle of the lineup.

Ortiz grumbled about his deal several times over the winter, saying he would consider moving on to a new team if a deal could not be reached. But such talk quieted down after Cuza’s first meeting with the Red Sox on Feb. 21.

"I know where he's coming from. He wants to finish his career here and we should try to make that happen,” Sox principal owner John Henry said in February.

Henry also owns the Globe.

Good morning from Clearwater

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 21, 2014 09:50 AM

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Good morning from Bright House Field, the best spring training park in Florida.

The Red Sox put a surprisingly good team on the bus for the long ride here. But as we draw closer to Opening Day, the regulars need at-bats. This also figures to be a long outing for Jon Lester, who pitched four innings in his last start.

The NCAA tournament started last night and the Globe sports section has complete coverage of Harvard's big win last night and a preview of UMass' game against Tennessee today.

Links to our baseball stories:

For Jackie Bradley Jr., lessons learned last season are coming into play as he experiences a different side of spring training.

The notebook has David Ortiz not too concerned about his slump.

Spring Training Game 23: Red Sox at Phillies

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 21, 2014 08:20 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (8-13-1)
Bradley Jr. CF
Gomes LF
Middlebrooks 3B
Pierzynski C
Brentz RF
Carp 1B
Herrera SS
McCoy 2B
Lester P
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester followed by LHP Rich Hill, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Jose Mijares.

PHILLIES (6-14-2)
Gwynn CF
Rollins SS
Utley 2B
Howard 1B
Byrd RF
Mayberry LF
Cedeno 3B
Nieves C
Lee P
Pitching: LHP Cliff Lee followed by RHP Jonathan Papelbon, LHP Antonio Bastardo, LHP Jake Diekman.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Bright House Field, Clearwater.

TV/Radio: MLB Network

Notes: The Phillies beat the Sox, 4-1, at JetBlue Park on Saturday with Lee beating Lester. ... Lester will be starting his third game. He has allowed one run on three hits over seven innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. This is the penultimate start for Lester in spring training. He is scheduled to pitch again on Wednesday before going on Opening Day. ... After today, the Sox have eight games remaining before the season starts. ... Papelbon, the former Red Sox closer, has pitched in five games this spring.

Wrap up: Yankees 3, Red Sox 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 20, 2014 10:21 PM

SCORE:Yankees 3, Red Sox 2.

RECORD: 8-13-1.

BREAKDOWN: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz allowed three runs on five hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out three. Francisco Cervelli homered for the Yankees in the second inning. Ichiro Suzuki had a two-run single in the fifth. “I was down in the zone for the first four innings then left a couple up in hitters’ counts,” Buchholz said. Buchholz, who has two starts left, said his shoulder feels strong but he's still working on command of his changeup.

THUMBS UP: Dustin Pedroia had a two-run double in the sixth inning to break up a shutout by Yankees starter David Phelps. … Mike Napoli played a solid game at first base, ranging off the bag to make a play on Yangervis Solarte in the fifth inning. He also came off the base to save a throw from Xander Boagerts in the fourth inning and tag Cervelli. … Chris Capuano threw three scoreless innings.

THUMBS DOWN: Xander Bogaerts was 0 for 3 and is down to .176 in 14 games.

AROUND THE BASES: The Sox have lost five out of six. ... Grady Sizemore (1 for 4) played all nine innings for the first time. He will be off Friday and Saturday before playing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The schedule then has him off Wednesday and playing Thursday and Friday. That would seem to suggest Sizemore is being prepared for an Opening Day start. ... Farrell said he has been impressed with Chris Capuano. He has allowed one run in his last nine innings. The lefty seems sure to start in the season in the bullpen as a long reliever.

NEXT GAME: The Sox have a long bus ride on Saturday to face the Phillies in Clearwater at 1:05 p.m. Jon Lester will oppose Cliff Lee. The game is on MLB Network.

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Yankees

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 20, 2014 06:35 PM

Live updates and commentary from Spring Training as the Red Sox welcome the Yankees to JetBlue Park. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

As rules change, Red Sox make adjustments

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 20, 2014 06:13 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday he has a good handle on the two biggest changes coming to baseball this season, the expanded use of instant replay and the new collision rule at home plate.

Both rules have been adjusted a bit, particularly the collision rule.

"When you boil it all down, if the runner deviated his base path, that's where the player can be ejected. But if the catcher is standing at home plate blocking the plate, that catcher can be run over," Farrell said.

The rule essentially eliminates the runner going out of the base line to hit the catcher, the kind of play that injured Buster Posey in 2011. Posey was in front of the plate on that play and the runner, Scott Cousins, changed course to crash into him.

Posey suffered a fractured left fibula and torn ankle ligaments.

"The Posey Rule," Farrell said. "The rule's a good one for eliminating a potential severe injury."

Cousins was signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox over the winter but not invited to spring training. He has played in six major league games this spring and spoke to Farrell about the play with Posey.

"As these two changes have been rolled out, there's been follow-up and clarification," Farrell said. "You can run over a catcher. As more questions have been asked, there's been more clarification."

Initially the Red Sox runners were told to always slide into the plate. Now that has been adjusted.

Ortiz not concerned with spring training stats

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 20, 2014 05:09 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz is 2 for 30 in spring training with 10 strikeouts and is hitless in 15 consecutive at-bats dating to March 10.

But Big Papi isn't too concerned.

"I'm swinging fine. I'll be ready," he said this afternoon.

Ortiz didn't get a single at-bat in spring training last season as he recovered from an Achilles' tendon injury. He was then 4 for 18 in six Triple A games before hitting .440 (22 of 50) with 12 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in his first 13 major league games en route to one of the best seasons of his career.

Sox manager John Farrell isn't worried about his designated hitter.

"I'm not concerned with David, what he's done through 30 at-bats," he said. "You watch the BP, the bat speed is clearly there, the power is there. He's seeing pitches. He's going to get more everyday at-bats starting on Sunday through the remainder of camp. I have no concern with David."

Also:

• The Red Sox optioned infielder Brock Holt and righthander Rubby De La Rosa to Triple A Pawtucket and reassigned infielder Brandon Snyder to minor league camp.

De La Rosa will be used as as starter with Pawtucket. He was limited to 91.2 innings last season as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery but the restrictions have been lifted.

Farrell said the Red Sox have adjusted the position of De La Rosa's hands in his delivery and encouraged him to throw more curveballs to increase the variety of his pitches. "We feel like those two adjustments will help him not only command his fastball better but give him some more off-speed to attack a given hitter with," the manager said.

"With Rubby it's not a matter of stuff. It's a matter of more consistent location."

• Koji Uehara (30 pitches) and Junichi Tazawa (22 pitches) threw live batting practice earlier today instead of simply throwing in the bullpen. A.J. Pierzynski stepped in to take a few swings. "A little bit more of an intense work day," Farrell said.

• David Ross will take some extra at-bats on Friday in a minor league game. "We're making the most of the opportunities on the other side," Farrell said.

• The Phillies will not allow the Red Sox to use a DH on Friday, so Jon Lester will bat ninth.

Pierzynski, Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Lavarnway, Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, and Jackie Bradley are among those making the trip.

The Sox play in Clearwater on Friday and Orlando on Saturday. A group of backup players and coaches will stay overnight on Friday.

• Lefty reliever Craig Breslow will throw live batting practice on Friday and get in his first game on Monday.

• Grady Sizemore is playing tonight and will be off on Friday. He will play in a minor league game on Saturday before starting on Sunday and Monday.

• Farrell hasn't officially announced the rotation to open the season yet, just in case something happens. But how the starters are lined up — Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Jake Peavy, and Clay Buchholz — is how it will stay for the regular season.

• Jacoby Ellsbury remains out of the Yankees lineup with right calf tightness. He has not played since last Friday. The Yankees gave him an MRI, which was negative.

Ellsbury was supposed to take batting practice in Tampa today but was held out to get the MRI.

"I'm sure he'll take BP tomorrow. We just wanted to make sure he was OK," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

It hasn't been determined when Ellsbury will return.

"We want to get him out there and get ready for the season. As soon as we can get him out there we'll get him out there," Girardi said. "I don't think he needs that many [games]. If he gets three or four that's enough. We can accelerate with games in the minors. Whatever we think is best, we'll do."

Spring Training Game 22: Yankees at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 20, 2014 02:15 PM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (8-12-1)
G. Sizemore CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Bogaerts SS
Ross C
Herrera 3B
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz, LHP Chris Capuano, LHP Tommy Layne, LHP Drake Britton.

YANKEES (12-9-2)
Suzuki CF
Ryan SS
Nunez 3B
Teixeira 1B
Cervelli C
S. Sizemore 2B
Solarte LF
Almonte RF
Wheeler DH
Pitching: RHP David Phelps, LHP Vidal Nuno, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama.

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

Location: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: NESN, ESPN, YES / WEEI-FM.

Notes: The Yankees beat the Sox, 8-1, in Tampa in Tuesday. ... The Sox have lost four of their last five games. ... Buchholz is making his fourth start of the spring. He has allowed one run on five hits over eight innings with two walks and five strikeouts. ... Phelps is making his fifth start of the spring. He has a 2.63 ERA over 13.2 innings.

Wrap up: Pirates 4, Red Sox 2

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 20, 2014 09:17 AM

SCORE: Pirates 4, Red Sox 2.

RECORD: 8-12-1.

BREAKDOWN: Making his second start this spring, Jake Peavy went 4⅔ innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts. He threw 74 pitches, 47 for strikes. The lone run he gave up came on Travis Ishikawa’s home run leading off the fifth. The Pirates had nine hits, including three off Burke Badenhop, who gave up one run in two innings. Making his third start, Pirates lefthander Wandy Rodriguez went four innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

THUMBS UP: Will Middlebrooks was back in the lineup after missing the last two games and four of the last five with a hyperextended right middle finger. He went 1 for 3 with a run. He also was charged with an error on Jose Tabata’s grounder in the third inning, but was part of a nice double play to end the seventh when he tagged out Michael Martinez going to third and raced to second to tag Jaff Decker . . . Andrew Miller faced one batter, striking out Travis Snider looking on three pitches to end the fifth.

THUMBS DOWN: David Ortiz went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. He is hitting .067 (2 for 30) this spring with 10 strikeouts . . . Dalier Hinojosa, who took the loss, falling to 0-2, gave up two runs on two hits, a walk, and a balk in one inning.

MEDICAL REPORT: Lefthander Craig Breslow, who has been brought along slowly because of last season’s heavy workload, threw a bullpen session Wednesday. He is scheduled to throw live batting practice for the first time on Friday and could get into a game on Monday.

AROUND THE BASES: Former Sox players Tim Wakefield, now a player development consultant, and Jason Varitek and Pedro Martinez, who are now special assistants to the general manager, were in camp on Wednesday. They were in uniform and spent part of the day on the back fields watching the minor league games . . . Catcher David Ross turned 37 on Wednesday.

NEXT GAME: The Red Sox host the Yankees Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Clay Buchholz will be opposed by fellow righthander David Phelps in a game that will be on ESPN, NESN, and WEEI (93.7).

Burke Badenhop hopes to stay put for a while with Red Sox

Posted by Globe Staff March 19, 2014 10:32 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tall and skinny, by his own admission he doesn’t much look or act like a baseball player. Given the season, there’s another profession that comes to mind.

“Well, I’m 6-5, 200 pounds. I look more like probably somebody that should be doing your taxes this time of year,” said Burke Badenhop.

Badenhop, a 31-year-old righthander, 31, likely could do your taxes. He graduated magna cum laude from Bowling Green with a degree in economics. Actually, he is a baseball player.

It’s something he’s gotten accustomed to having to prove to people, including his teammates. The Red Sox acquired Badenhop in a November trade with the Brewers. The Sox are his fifth organization — fourth in as many seasons — since he was drafted by the Tigers in the 19th round in 2005, along with the Marlins and Rays. He’s gotten used to introducing himself. Lefthander Andrew Miller — at 6 feet 7 inches the one player in camp taller than Badenhop — and righthander Edward Mujica are the only teammates he knew previously.

“The first time was tough, the next time wasn’t as bad, and the third time is just old hat,” Badenhop said. “I was saying the other day to my wife how weird it would be to come back, like if I was back with the Brewers this year, not being the new guy, not having to learn everybody.”

Of course, there’s a silver lining.

“No. 1, you have a job. I’m very lucky,” he said. “I like to joke around that nobody wants me but everybody wants me. So, to be valued by teams in different ways, that’s definitely a silver lining. And to be able to go out and play baseball and do what I do and not really change necessarily who I am or what I do to try to keep pitching.

“I’m not for every team. I might have to do different things on different teams. But I think what I’m suited to do best is what these guys want me to do.”

In 280 major league games, including 10 starts, Badenhop has an 18-20 record and 3.98 ERA. A ground-ball pitcher, over the last two seasons, his first two full big league seasons, he has appeared in 129 games, posting a 3.25 ERA, with a 3.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Badenhop has made five appearances this spring. In the first three, spanning three innings, he did not allow a run. Last Saturday, the Phillies touched him for three runs on four hits, and Wednesday night against the Pirates, he went two innings, yielding a run on three hits.

Badenhop has been pretty much what the Red Sox anticipated.

“A guy that’s going to pitch to contact, put the ball on the ground,” said manager John Farrell. “Even in his last outing there were some balls that found a hole, infield base hit. The linescore didn’t look maybe as typical or as he wanted. But we see the same type of action every time he comes to the mound. He’s been very dependable.”

Badenhop’s role is not yet defined.

“I see him early coming in, minimizing, either with the lead or a game on the line, early in the game when starters are struggling a little bit,” said pitching coach Juan Nieves. “Also, the usage of Mujica and [Junichi] Tazawa are critical. If they’re not available, then he moves up a little more in the line. But a multiple-inning guy definitely if we’re up by a lot, hopefully never down by a lot. So, I think those are specific places he could be, either situational or a multi-inning guy.”

The Sox will be looking for certain things from Badenhop between now and the end of camp.

“The consistency of being able to sink the ball,” said Nieves. “Never giving in, never leave pitches floating in the zone. His location is more [important] than stuff. Some guys you think, oh, stuff, let it lead. I think he’s more of a command guy. There’s a purpose for every pitch because you rely on command.”

Badenhop got a taste of the American League East with Tampa Bay in 2012 when he posted a career-high 66 appearances. He is looking forward to a return to the division.

“I think this will be a whole new beast because in Tampa you’re ever playing the underdog. And here you’re top dogs,” Badenhop said. “I never really got the recognition. People look and say, ‘Oh, you played for Milwaukee.’ But it’s like I actually got to the big leagues this year. They’re like, ‘Congratulations.’ I’ve been doing the same thing the last six years, but this year’s different. And, obviously, it is."

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Pirates

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 19, 2014 06:35 PM

Live updates from Ft. Myers as the Red Sox take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 19. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Will Middlebrooks returns to Red Sox lineup

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 19, 2014 05:25 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After a cool, overcast morning, it has turned out to be a beautiful afternoon in Fort Myers. Here are a few pregame notes:

• Will Middlebrooks is back in the lineup. He hyperextended his right middle finger on Thursday against the Twins. He attempted to play Sunday at the Rays, but only lasted two innings in the field. He said his finger is feeling good, still a little sore but it doesn’t hurt. He said his grip, which had bothered him when attempting throws more than at the plate, is much better.

“Went through a full day of activity yesterday,” manager John Farrell said. “Threw quite a bit both in terms of his throwing program and taking ground balls. So he’s back in tonight. He’ll probably go tonight and then both games on the road Friday and Saturday.”

• Farrell said the regular Red Sox lineup could be on the field every day beginning Sunday.

• Lefthander Craig Breslow threw a bullpen session Wednesday. He is scheduled to throw live batting practice to major league hitters on Friday and could get into his first game on Monday.

• Closer Koji Uehara has yet to pitch in a save situation this spring, and actually has yet to pitch after the eighth inning. Farrell may look to change that soon.

“I think there’s a lot of merit to start to get particularly the relievers’ minds thinking along with the game and anticipating when their time is coming inside an outing,” Farrell said.

•  Farrell would like to get a look at others in center field, including Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava, as well as Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley, Jr. But, he may have to get somewhat creative, keeping in mind there is a position competition going on and that regulars will be playing deeper into games.

“Shane will probably get some reps [in center] mid next week,” Farrell said. “We’re still getting him built up to the number of innings and at-bats inside a given game. We still have a competition in center field, have to be cognizant of that and that means the majority of the reps are going to come between Jackie and Grady.

“So we might see Daniel Nava in center field game on a Triple A game, just to get some reps out there as well. So those are all things that are being factored in, and being sensitive to a sincere competition going on in center.”

• The Red Sox are tied with the Cubs for the major-league lead with 23 home runs in 20 spring games. The Sox had just 17 home runs in 35 Grapefruit League games last year.

• Wednesday is the Sox’ sixth of seven spring games with the use of instant replay available. The final spring game with instant replay available will be Sunday against the Rays.

• Catcher David Ross turned 37 today.

Grady Sizemore keeps making manager's decision difficult

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 19, 2014 04:51 PM
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Grady Sizemore played Wednesday afternoon in what should be the first of back-to-back games for him. Along with games on March 10 and 11, this will be the second time this spring he’s played on consecutive days.

On a back field at the Red Sox' spring training complex, Sizemore started in center field and led off, going 3-for-4 with a double playing for Triple-A Pawtucket against an Orioles squad. The only fielding opportunity he got was on a double hit into the right-center gap. He played seven innings in the field Wednesday and is scheduled to play a full nine innings Thursday against the Yankees.

Whether or not he is on the Red Sox squad that heads north at the end of camp remains to be seen. The adage is that baseball evaluators like when players make their decisions difficult. Sizemore, 31, who has been away from baseball for more than two years because of injuries, is doing that for the Red Sox.

“He is,” said manager John Farrell. “Difficult relative to his situation. And we’d like to have a crystal ball. When we signed Grady and brought him in, we knew there was going to be a number of questions to be answered. He’s answering some of those. We also look at it from a big picture perspective and what gives us the best possibility to have a productive player over the long run.”

Sizemore’s workload is expected to intensify soon. After Thursday, he will have Friday off, and then could play three days in a row.

Sizemore is happy with how he’s been feeling. His timing at the plate and reactions in the field are coming back.

“It’s getting better and better,” he said. “I feel like each game I get little bit more comfortable and just trying to continue to see pitches and have good at bats."

He has yet to attempt a stolen base, though.

“It’s not a huge thing for me,” he said. “I feel good running. I think honestly it’s just one of those things when it comes to me I’m going to maybe make some attempts, but right now it’s just more kind of getting the legs in shape. I’m not too worried about steals right now. I feel good at full speed it’s just kind of the other stuff I want to focus on right now.”

“We’ve put him in motion a couple of times already,” Farrell said. “But to say that we’re going to absolutely turn him loose with the green light, we’ll try to continue to ramp up his volume before we do anything situationally that might be different than what we’ve gone through right now. But at a point in time, and hopefully in the near future, that all becomes react to the game.

“We’ve seen every other phase of his game be natural and second nature to him. He’s advanced on a ball in the dirt, put him in motion on 3-2 counts. So there’s no hesitation on him sliding or anything like that. So, so far, so good.”

For Sizemore there have been some surprises along the way.

“A little bit,” he said. “I didn’t know how the body was going to hold up on a day-to-day [basis], if I was going to be able to push it every day. And so far it’s allowed me to just kind of keep upping the volume and pushing the intensity and I still don’t feel like I’ve reached that ceiling where I went too far. So, as long as I’m there I’m happy.”

Spring Training Game 21: Pirates at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 19, 2014 01:45 PM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (8-11-1)
Gomes LF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Middlebrooks 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Pitching: RHP Jake Peavy, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Brayan Villarreal, LHP Jose Mijares.

PIRATES (10-7-1)
Decker CF
Tabata LF
Snider RF
Alvarez 3B
T. Sanchez C
Lambo 1B
Harrison SS
Ishikawa DH
Barmes 2B
Pitching: LHP Wandy Rodriguez, RHP Brandon Cumpton.

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

Location: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio:NESN / WEEI-FM.

Notes: Peavy will be making his second start against major league competition. His injured fingers (left index, right ring) are close to normal. ... Miller has been inconsistent in spring training after missing the second half of last season. But his velocity is normal and repetitions should help him regain his form. ... The Pirates and Red Sox could be trade partners with Mike Carp being of interest to Pittsburgh.

Bradley feeling heat in bid for center field job

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 19, 2014 11:42 AM
FORT MYERS, Fla. — These are probably stressful times for center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He was the talk of the Red Sox’ camp at his time last season and he worked his way into position to make the team out of spring training.

Where established veteran players need to work on things, young players need to make it based on their performance.

So Bradley, who has struggled at the plate, has had to watch Grady Sizemore be the “talk of the camp” this season. That can’t be a comforting thought.

As of a few days ago, the Red Sox were still considering Bradley Jr. to be their starting center fielder, but then Sizemore, who has been out of baseball for two years and has seen limited action in the last four, throws this monkey wrench into the mix – three hits, two great catches in center.

Then manager John Farrell said he has talked to Shane Victorino about playing some center field if the need arose, and that Victorino was on board with it. That means the Sox could go into the season with Sizemore as their center fielder/leadoff hitter with Victorino filling in as needed.

That leaves Bradley Jr. not only fighting for his starting center field job, but fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster.

The Red Sox would like to keep Mike Carp around because of his proficiency to hit off the bench, though he’s in demand on the trade front and could be moved if the Red Sox got a good haul in return.

Bradley can definitely replace Ellsbury defensively.

But young players need to make the team based on spring training performance.

There’s still time for Bradley to be as spectacular as he was a year ago at this time. And Sizemore, as terrific as he’s been, needs to show he can play more than two consecutive days.

The competition is far from over.

But right now, the advantage has to go to Sizemore.

Can you imagine if the Red Sox let Jacoby Ellsbury head off to the Yankees for $153 million, and then picked off a player with similar skills in Sizemore for what could be a maximum $6 million (if he reached all of his incentives)? It would be the coup of coups for Ben Cherington, who was perfect with his free-agent acquisitions last season.

Scouts representing teams who gave Sizemore a brief consideration this offseason are now kicking themselves. Sizemore almost signed with the Cincinnati Reds.

Good morning from Route 75

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 19, 2014 10:34 AM

SARASOTA, Fla. — Writing this from a truck stop on the way back to the Fort. Thank goodness for satellite radio on these long trips.

The Red Sox have 11 days (and 11 games) left of spring spring training. That should be sufficient time to decide a few questions:

1. What five players will be in the outfield on Opening Day?

2. What seven players will be in the bullpen?

3. When will David Ortiz (2 for 27, 9 strikeouts) get the bat going?

Grady Sizemore is an interesting dilemma for the Red Sox. You can build a good case for making him the center fielder right now because he's healthy and he's playing well. The odds are against him staying healthy, so you might as well get what you can out of him while you can. Maybe it's a month, maybe it's two. But get it while you can.

Or you can make a case to keep building him up methodically, a process that would include a DL stint to start the season and extra games in Florida before calling him up when the need arises. That would increase the chances of long-term health.

For the hoopla about Sizemore, it's worth noting that he has played in seven games and gone back-to-back once. It's a great story so far, but at least a little perspective is needed.

Our Globe stories today:

Nick Cafardo spoke to Xander Bogaerts and Derek Jeter about their connection. The two No. 2's have mutual admiration.

Jacoby Ellsbury called it "an easy transition" to the Yankees after spending his career with the Red Sox.

The notebook has CC Sabathia rooting for the return of Grady Sizemore.

Sabathia: 'That's the Grady Sizemore I know'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 18, 2014 06:03 PM
TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees lefthander CC Sabathia turned on the television to watch the Cardinals-Red Sox game on Monday afternoon and quickly took notice of his old teammate, Grady Sizemore.

Sizemore was 3 for 4 with a double and made two highlight catches in center field.

“He looked good. That’s the Grady Sizemore I know,” Sabathia said. “If he’s healthy, that’s the guy.”

Sabathia was a promising young starter when Sizemore broke in with the Indians in 2004 and had his best seasons. He remembers the center fielder quickly becoming one of the best players in the game. Injuries idled Sizemore for two full seasons and now he’s making a comeback with the Sox.

“It’s just good to see him healthy and back out on the field,” Sabathia said.

Sabathia believes Sizemore can again become a productive player.

“It was my first time seeing him play. You’d think his timing would be off or something would be off,” Sabathia said. “He hit a ball off the wall off a lefty. He looked good. When you’ve got talent like that, anything is possible.

“He was so much fun to watch when I played with him. He was young and full of energy and kind of took over the game. It was just fun to watch.”

Sizemore did not play today and is scheduled to play in a minor league game on Wednesday before facing the Yankees on Thursday night.

Jackie Bradley Jr., who is competing for playing time with Sizemore, was 1 for 4 with a double in an 8-1 loss against the Yankees. Bradley is 7 of 37 (.189) in spring training.

“What we’re honing in on is not a batting average but the quality of the at-bats and they’re getting more consistent,” Sox manager John Farrell said.

Wrap up: Yankees 8, Red Sox 1

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 18, 2014 06:01 PM

SCORE: Yankees 8, Red Sox 1.

RECORD: 8-11-1.

BREAKDOWN: The Yankees had 14 hits, four for extra bases, and thumped the Red Sox in the first of two meetings this spring. Alfonso Soriano was 2 for 4 with four RBIs. His three-run shot off Brandon Workman in the fourth inning made it 8-0. Michael Pineda threw 4 1/3 shutout innings, scattering four hits and striking out five.

THUMBS UP: Second baseman Jonathan Herrera was 2 for 3 with an RBI. … Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill allowed one hit in the seventh inning but pitched well otherwise. … Lefty Tommy Layne threw a scoreless eighth inning. He has gone 6 2/3 innings this spring without giving up a run.

THUMBS DOWN: Felix Doubront was hit hard, giving up seven runs on 10 hits and three walks. He has trouble with the release point of his pitches and left several balls over the plate. Manager John Farrell suggested Doubront might have a tired arm, but the pitcher said he felt fine.

BEE SAFE: The game was delayed for seven minutes in the third inning when a swarm of bees gathered around the left field corner. “I heard them before I saw them,” left fielder Mike Carp said. “I turned around and knew I had to get out of there.” Members of the grounds crew sprayed the area with insect repellent and the bees eventually left for a less-noxious area. “That was a first for me,” Farrell said. “Never saw a game delayed by bees.”

MEDICAL REPORT: Will Middlebrooks (hyperextended right middle finger) missed his second straight game but said he’s feeling better and hopes to play on Wednesday night.

AROUND THE BASES: Third base coach Brian Butterfield was with the Yankees as a minor league player and coach for 18 years. He spent time with former Yankees manager Stump Merrill before the game. Merrill, like Butterfield, is a Maine native. … Ryan Lavarnway started at first base for the second time this spring and handled several low throws adeptly. … Jackie Bradley Jr. made a nice running catch in deep center field to take at least a double away from Soriano in the second inning. ... Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow is scheduled to appear in his first game on Monday. That would be only a week before Opening Day. “We’ll see,” Farrell said when asked if Breslow could be on the roster. “He’s feeling really good.” Farrell said the Red Sox intend to carry three lefthanders in their bullpen. Drake Britton could find a spot if Breslow is not ready.

NEXT GAME: The Sox host the Pirates on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Jake Peavy will face Wandy Rodriguez. The game is on NESN and WEEI-FM.

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Yankees

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 18, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates as the Red Sox take on the New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

For Jacoby Ellsbury, a different kind of day

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 18, 2014 10:22 AM

TAMPA, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury is not playing for the Yankees today because of a strained right calf. But he is eager to see some of his old friends with the Red Sox.

He told reporters this morning that it will be a little strange.

“It will be the first time in nine years since I wore the uniform, seven in the big leagues. It will be a little different looking across," he said. "I’ll see a lot of familiar faces. Obviously the coaches will make the trip, so I’ll see a lot of those guys and say hello to them. It was a great time, a great seven years that I spent there.”

Ellsbury was asked about his encounters with Red Sox fans since he signed with the Yankees.

“Oh yeah, I run into them all the time in the offseason," he said. "Pretty much all positive stuff; thanks for the two championships, thanks for playing hard, best of luck, stuff like that. Definitely very positive.”

Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and Matt Thornton are all with the Yankees after playing with the Red Sox last season.

"Seems to me more that go from the Red Sox to the Yankees than vice versa. I can’t put a read on anything about that, but definitely aware of the past history," he said.

Spring Training Game 20: Red Sox at Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 18, 2014 07:40 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (8-10-1)
Bradley Jr. CF
Gomes DH
Carp LF
Lavarnway 1B
Bogaerts SS
Brown RF
Ross C
Snyder 3B
Herrera 2B
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront followed by RHP Brandon Workman, RHP Dalier Hinojosa, LHP Tommy Layne, LHP Rich Hill.

YANKEES (10-9-2)
Gardner LF
Jeter SS
Beltran RF
Teixeira 1B
Soriano DH
Cervelli C
Roberts 2B
Johnson 3B
Suzuki CF
Pitching: RHP Michael Pineda followed by RHP David Robertson, LHP Matt Thornton, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Matt Daley.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: ESPN / WEEI-AM, WFAN.

Notes: Doubront has been terrific in two starts against major league teams, throwing six scoreless innings and allowing only three hits. He has struck out six without a walk. ... Pineda is coming back from a shoulder injury that kept him out all last season. He has thrown scoreless 4.2 innings against major league teams this spring, giving up four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. ... Today would be the second appearance for Hill. ... The Yankees play the Red Sox in Fort Myers on Thursday.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 18, 2014 07:30 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox play the Yankees today and theoretically that's a big deal. Old rivals and all that.

But David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Jon Lester, and other notable players will remain at JetBlue Park for a workout. The Yankees also have players to rest after sending a split squad to Panama for two games. Jacoby Ellsbury isn't expected to play because of a strained calf muscle.

The Sox are sending a roster that includes Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mike Carp, Johnny Gomes and Ryan Lavarnway. Felix Doubront will pitch.

Long gone are the days when George Steinbrenner would order his manager to load up the lineup against the Red Sox in spring training because winning was important.

But it's always fun to see the teams play and the game is on ESPN at 1:05 p.m.

Our Globe stories today:

For Grady Sizemore maybe the future is now after an impressive game on Monday.

The notebook has the Sox making some cuts and John Lackey getting some work in.

Wrap up: Red Sox 10, Cardinals 5

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 17, 2014 08:01 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 10, Cardinals 5.

RECORD: 8-10-1.

BREAKDOWN: The Sox, down 5-2, scored eight unanswered runs. Dustin Pedroia had a two-run homer in the third inning and Mike Napoli a three-run blast in the fifth. Both were to left field with Napoli clearing everything. The Sox collected 12 hits off five St. Louis pitchers. Ryan Lavarnway added a solo home run in the eighth inning.

THUMBS UP: Pedroia was 2 for 4 and is 6 of his last 10 in three games after a slow start to the spring. He had three RBIs on the day. “You can see him getting his timing back,” manager John Farrell said.

THUMBS DOWN: David Ortiz doesn’t get too wrapped up in spring training statistics. But he is 2 for 27 in spring training with nine strikeouts. … John Lackey allowed five runs on six hits and two walks over five innings. But the veteran righthander did retire the final four batters he faced and was pleased to have thrown only 60 pitches over five innings.

SIZEMORE STARS: Sizemore was 2 for 3 with a double off the wall and made two terrific catches in center field as the Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-5, before a sellout crowd of 9,908 at JetBlue Park. “Maybe a little bit of a flashback to how good Grady was for a number of years,” manager John Farrell said.

The regular season starts March 31 in Baltimore and Sizemore is a valid candidate to start in center field. “I think it’s a definite possibility,” he said.

Sizemore is 8 of 21 and has struck out one time. Given all the time away from the game, his ability to make consistent contact has been remarkable. Sizemore also is starting to hit the ball with more power, both in batting practice and in games, as his legs get stronger.

The Red Sox started camp believing rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. would be their center fielder. One of the scenarios discussed with Sizemore was the idea of starting the season on the disabled list so he could get extra games in extended spring training or with a minor league team.

Now Sizemore is opening doors with two weeks left before Opening Day and the Red Sox are contemplating how their roster will look.

“With each passing day we get more information and we start to look at different sets of combinations,” Farrell said.

MEDICAL REPORT: Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (hyperextended right middle finger) did not play but took batting practice and was in fielding drills. The injury most affects his throwing. “I’ll be fine. It’s day-to-day,” Middlebrooks said.

NEXT GAME: The Sox play the Yankees in Tampa on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. Felix Doubront faces Michael Pineda. The game will be on ESPN and WEEI-AM.

Ask Nick: Giancarlo Stanton a possibility for the Red Sox?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff March 17, 2014 01:36 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- I've been thrilled to meet so many fans and loyal readers who come to spring training, some for the first time and others as regulars the past few weeks. I always encourage fans to leave the cold for a while and experience spring training, a chance to see the Red Sox in a far less formal setting.

Anyway, our mailbag this week had lots of duplication from readers who wanted to know the status of Grady Sizemore's chances of coming out of his return to baseball as the starting center fielder, the possibility of a Giancarlo Stanton deal down the road, and what might be a crowded outfield situation.

Some quick observations:

-- Don't think Xander Bogaerts will be as good a shortstop as Jose Iglesias, Stephen Drew, or Deven Marrero. There will be leaks on the left side of the infield. But I've been extremely impressed that his actions say he wants to be the best defensively. He's going to be an excellent all-around player. His work ethic and attitude are off the charts.

-- The Red Sox won't be able to replace Jacoby Ellsbury as a hitter and base stealer. But they will replace him as a center fielder. Jackie Bradley Jr can handle that aspect of it.

-- Grady Sizemore keeps making improvements and keeps showing he can play baseball again. None of of us, him included, knows whether he can be an everyday player again.

-- Francisco Cordero, who has 329 career saves, has looked very good after taking a year off. The righty reliever probably doesn't have a spot in this Red Sox bullpen, however, barring an injury to someone. He's under a minor league contract, so he could go to Pawtucket. But the Red Sox have indicated to me that they would let Cordero go if there was a major league deal for him out there. The Red Sox could deal him or just release him. They obviously would not want Cordero to go to the Yankees or Orioles. Scouts watching him have been impressed.

Here's the mailbag:

I enjoyed your article about the possibilty of a Giancarlo Stanton trade. My question is, why would the Sox not just wait until Stanton hits free agency? I don't know of anybody out there who can offer a package close to what the Red Sox can and then re-sign him (so less of a worry about another team cherry-picking him). Why not just trade in a 40-year-old Ortiz for a 27-year-old Stanton when the time is right? Plus, you will be able to see if the guy can stay on the field for the next couple of years.
Tyler M., Warrenton

You can approach it that way, but it's two years later and the price goes way up as well. You're also competing with other teams. You have the advantage now, as you say, because you have the prospects that some of the other teams don't have.

What's the over/under on number of HBP for Victorino if he decides to bat righty full-time? Could he challenge the all-time record?
Brian, Sparks, Nev.

I covered Don Baylor with the Red Sox in 1986 and he had 35 HBP. I would imagine Victorino could approach that. I would guess the Red Sox would discourage that because there might be the threat of injury associated with it and they'd like to keep him on the field for as long as possible this season.

Nick, Baseball salaries are crazy. It's good that players are no longer stuck with a team and forced to accept whatever salary the team offers. But the pendulum has swung too far since the reserve clause was struck down. Contracts for $150 million just don't make any sense. That's enough to run a small town for a couple of years. Really, even $1 million for a year of baseball is excessive. While we all want to make enough to be comfortable, this is well beyond that, and contributes to the high cost of a day at the ballpark. Other than having everyone refuse to buy tickets, is there any way to make this situation be reasonable?
Hal, Belmont

Hal, the owners would have to lose a lot of money, and they're not. They're making it at record rates. I don't see an end to it. There might be a drag on them, but not so significant that ticket prices would be lowered. Every time I hear about about a fan boycott of tickets, I chuckle. The only "boycott" you see is when the team has a poor record. You probably don't want the team you root for to fail just so ticket prices go down. The other "solution" is the Tampa Bay way: go cheap, homegrown, payroll down. Not everyone can pull that off.

Not a question, just a comment. I just love it when you can work the word "MOOT" into a sentence!
Fran G., Middleboro

That's a moot point.

I feel a lot is going behind the cloud of questions at CF/3B. I feel Nava/Carp/AAA depth will sort out a lot. SBs and a power line is few and far between. With that said, do you think the chemistry and magic from '13 was why we never lifted our eyes this winter for Choo Too Cruz, who was a quick fix with already spent $?
Timothy F., Hermosa Beach Calif.


The Red Sox have adopted the philosophy -- for as long as it works -- that they aren't going to devote big dollars to outside free agents. Their system worked and won them a World Series, so they will stick to that until it's time for another solution. I think they are in a fertile time in their development system to replenish their team from within and not spend so much that they're over the luxury tax. They already get killed with revenue sharing, which seems to be an unfair penalty on big-market teams who spend to make their teams better but then have to give up their profits to small-market teams who don't always use the money to improve their teams. And of course, after you win a World Series, you don't want to tinker too much. Sure they have lost Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew, and Ryan Dempster from that team, but you have to have some leap of faith in the players being developed in your farm system. It's nice to have eight players in Baseball America's Top 100 prospects, but unless they become All-Star major leaguers, it doesn't mean a whole lot.

Nick, I assume Victorino, Nava, and Gomes are locks. What about Carp, Bradley, Sizemore and it appears Brentz? It would be awful hard not to consider Bryce in the mix? Haven't seen many games yet but I was very impressed the other day.
JM S., West Baldwin, Maine

Just wrote about this topic recently. Yes, you have identified the "locks" and then there are three players for two spots. The configuration really depends on Sizemore and what the final word is on him. If he can play every day, then maybe Bradley returns to Pawtucket. If he needs more time, than maybe he goes to Pawtucket and Bradley starts in CF. If they want Sizemore around as an extra outfielder, I guess Carp gets moved. My feeling is they want to protect all of these guys, so the use of the DL and Pawtucket would be the preferred options.

So, Jon Lester's agents are apparently of the opinion that if their client is in a happy environment, he should accept a reasonable offer. What does it say about our society in general and agents in particular that this is news?
Bill F., Bronx, N.Y.

I think what you're saying is that everybody should feel that way, but I disagree. If you feel you want to make the most money you can, you should have that right. You're an American living in a capitalistic society. If you feel your skills and talents warrant top-of-the-line compensation, then you should go for that. I go back to the Stephen Drew situation. All I hear is that Scott Boras and Drew messed up not taking the one-year qualifying offer. In hindsight, that may be true. But when you're an excellent shortstop who had just come off a World Series championship, why wouldn't you think you could get a multiyear offer? It turns out he didn't. I personally would have taken the one year at $14 million, but a professional athlete thinks differently. He gets to free agency and then he wants to be paid on an equal level or better than his peers doing the same job if he feels he's as good as them.

Nick, I've read a handful of reports and articles about Christian Vasquez. Seems like he's drawing attention and making noise in camp. What are your early impressions of him and how far is he from being an everyday catcher in the major leagues?
Harold R., Boston

He's been the talk of the camp. John Farrell made the point on Sunday that if a need arose, Vazquez is ready to play in the major leagues right now. He throws in the 1.8s down to second base, which is well above average. He calls a good game, is good with pitchers, and the biggest leap for Farrell is in Vazquez's hitting. Suffice to say, by next year at this time, barring injury or the acquisition of Yadier Molina, Vazquez stands to be the starter.

Can we please get a correct pronunciation of Garin Cecchini's last name (and then pass it along to Don Orsillo)? In Italian, a "c" beginning a word is pronounced "ch." A "cch" combination is pronounced as a "k" (e.g. Larry Lu-"keeno"). How Don doesn't know this amazes me.
D.N., Scottsdale Ariz.

Mr. Nutini, this has been a topic of conversation for sure. But I've heard he prefers to have his name with the hard "K" sound at the beginning. Both Don Orsillo and radio voice Joe Castiglione use the hard K sound at the beginning of his name. Don, Joe, and myself are of Italian heritage, so we do understand your point, but we also have to go by what the person's preference is in how to pronounce his name. Maybe it's evolved -- and Americanized, for lack of a better word -- over time.

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Cardinals

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 17, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates and commentary as the Red Sox play the St. Louis Cardinals in Ft. Myers on St. Patrick's Day. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Red Sox wearing St. Patrick's Day uniforms today

Posted by Jeff Pini, Boston.com Correspondent March 17, 2014 11:03 AM
It has become a Spring Training tradition, and as per usual on St. Patrick’s Day, the Red Sox will be wearing their green uniforms today as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers.

The Red Sox gave the public a sneak peak of the uniforms on Twitter yesterday:


Earlier today they also tweeted out a photo of their St. Patrick’s Day hats, featuring the model to be worn by Jonny Gomes.

It seems that it's not just the Red Sox who are in the St. Paddy's Day spirits, as the team found this on their clubhouse whiteboard as they arrived to face the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

First pitch on Monday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. John Lackey will start the game for the Red Sox, while Shelby Miller gets the call for the Cardinals.

Red Sox make three roster moves

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 17, 2014 09:57 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox optioned catcher Christian Vazquez and righthander Allen Webster to Triple A Pawtucket and reassigned shortstop Deven Marrero to minor league camp.

The Sox now have 43 players in major league camp. That includes injured pitchers Steven Wright and John Ely.

"These three guys in particular are, I think, very, very exceptionally talented guys and are not that far away from the big leagues," manager John Farrell said.

Webster was not impressive statistically in four starts (12 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 7 BB, 8 K), especially when compared to last season (11 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 K). But Farrell felt he was better this season.

"We're seeing a guy that's maturing on the mound. The use of his two-seamer particularly and the number of strikes in the bottom of the strike zone," Farrell said. "It's been very encouraging."

Farrell said there wouldn't be a hesitation to call up Vazquez if the Red Sox needed a catcher. Marrero, he said, is a well above-average defender and is developing a more consistent approach at the plate.

Also:

• Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (hyperextended right middle finger) is out of the lineup today. He will take batting practice and take part in fielding drills. The injury most affects his throwing.

Middlebrooks was injured on Thursday when he stole a base against the Twins. He slid feet-first but jammed his finger.

• Grady Sizemore is in the lineup today. The plan is for him to play in a minor league game Wednesday and then against the Yankees on Thursday.

Projecting the Red Sox roster, Version 2.0

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 17, 2014 09:00 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Our first version of this was on Feb. 25. There are a few changes since.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)
LHP Jon Lester
RHP John Lackey
LHP Felix Doubront
RHP Jake Peavy
RHP Clay Buchholz

Explanation: Same as it ever was. The starters are lined up a little differently than expected with Buchholz the No. 5. But the five in the rotation have stayed the same.

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)
RHP Koji Uehara
RHP Junichi Tazawa
LHP Andrew Miller
RHP Brandon Workman
RHP Edward Mujica
RHP Burke Badenhop
LHP Chris Capuano

Explanation: Craig Breslow has yet to pitch in a game and the season starts on March 31. It doesn't seem reasonable to expect him to be ready in time, so Workman slides in. The Red Sox could look to maintain control over more pitchers by keeping the surprising Francisco Cordero and optioning Workman to Triple A.

The Sox really like lefty Tommy Layne. Remember that name for down the road.

CATCHERS (2)
A.J. Pierzynski
David Ross

Explanation: No changes. The Sox have enviable depth here as Christian Vazquez and Ryan Lavarnway are ready if a need arises.

DESIGNATED HITTER (1)
David Ortiz

Explanation: It has been a quiet camp for Big Papi. A contract extension seems imminent given his cheery mood.

INFIELD (5)
1B Mike Napoli
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
3B Will Middlebrooks
UTIL Jonathan Herrera

Explanation: Steven Drew's name doesn't come up much these days. The Sox are pleased with the attention to detail shown by Bogaerts and Middlebrooks. The Red Sox gave up Franklin Morales to get Herrera from the Rockies, so he has the inside track on a bench job. But that is a spot that could get upgraded at some point.

OUTFIELD (5)
RF Shane Victorino
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
LF Jonny Gomes
LF-RF-1B Daniel Nava
LF-1B Mike Carp

Explanation: Grady Sizemore is ostensibly in competition with Bradley to play center field. But you know who has never said that? Grady Sizemore. He talks very cautiously about his status and has never said he feels ready to be an everyday player again. John Farrell has been ultra-cautious in discussing Sizemore, too.

The guess here is that the Red Sox have an informal deal with Sizemore to start the season on the disabled list then get some games in Triple A and/or extended spring training. Either that or they'll trade Carp and use Sizemore of the bench.

The Sox have 13 games in 14 days to start the season. How could they start the season without Bradley? The odds of Sizemore being able to start 13 games in 14 days in April, especially in cold weather, are beyond slim and the Red Sox are on the record about not wanting to use Victorino in center.

Whether Sizemore is playing on Opening Day is not particularly important. It's building him back up to be a player over the course of the season that matters. The Sox seem to be willing to make this a methodical process.

Spring Training Game 19: Cardinals at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 17, 2014 08:30 AM

sox irish logo.jpgHappy St. Patrick's Day. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (7-10-1)
Grady O'Sizemore CF
Shane O'Victorino RF
Dustin O'Pedroia 2B
David O'Ortiz DH
Mike O'Napoli 1B
Daniel O'Nava LF
Xander O'Bogaerts SS
A.J. O'Pierzynski C
Brock O'Holt 3B,
Pitching: RHP O'John Lackey, RHP Rubby O'De La Rosa, RHP Edward O'Mujica, RHP Junichi O'Tazawa, RHP Koji O'Uehara.

CARDINALS (6-8-2)
Kolten Wong 2B
John Jay LF
Daniel Decalso 3B
Matt Adams DH
Xavier Scruggs 1B
Shane Robinson RF
Peter Bourjos CF
Tony Cruz C
Pete Kozma SS
Pitching: RHP Shelby Miller.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: ESPN / WEEI-AM.

Notes: The Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 8-6, in Jupiter on March 6. ... Miller allowed one run over 2.2 innings in that game. ... Lackey is making his second start of the spring. He should be able to go at least four innings. ... The Red Sox will wear green jerseys and caps for the game. The tradition is believed to have started when Roger Clemens purchased green caps for his teammates in 1990.

Middlebrooks comes out of game, says he did not reinjure finger

Posted by Globe Staff March 16, 2014 06:58 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Third baseman Will Middlebrooks had missed the Red Sox’ two previous games, sidelined by a hyperextended right middle finger. He was not in the original lineup that was posted early Sunday morning. But, after taking some swings in the batting cage to test his finger, Middlebrooks felt good and a revised lineup was posted with his name on it.

But Middlebrooks lasted just two innings in an 8-4 loss to the Rays. He got just one at-bat, striking out against Tampa Bay ace David Price in the second inning. He had a couple of chances in the field, being charged with an error in the first.

Middlebrooks said he did not re-injure his finger, but manager John Farrell took him out for precautionary reasons.

“He still felt a little sore,” Farrell said. “He tried to go today, wanted to get back in there. And yet when he was throwing the ball across the infield in early work kind of felt a little uncomfortable with it. I don’t think there was any drastic increase in soreness, but just didn’t feel quite right and more precautionary, wanted to get him out of there.”

On the play on which he was charged with an error, Middlebrooks attempted to field James Loney’s slow roller, the ball rolling up his hand.

“That ball hit me on my wrist,” Middlebrooks said. “Didn’t even hit me in the hand. No re-aggravation or anything like that. It had nothing to do with that.

“Just wanted to feel things out. For one, I wanted to see Price because we’re going to see him a lot. It was a short day. Got an at-bat, couple of innings of defense. It felt a little sore so we just cut it a little short.”

Middlebrooks said his injury did not bother him at the plate, either.

“It was all right. I struck out but he made a good pitch. It had nothing to do with that [injury],” Middlebrooks said. “I was still a little sore. Talked about it with [Farrell] and we decided now is not the time to grind through things so let’s get it to where it needs to be and take it from there.”

Middlebrooks was unsure when he would play again.

“We’ll check him tomorrow and kind of see where things are,” Farrell said. “But I think it will be important to go through a full day of just some pregame work where he’s not feeling anything that’s restricting his throws or anything like that.”

Live updates: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 16, 2014 12:35 PM

Follow the latest developments as the Red Sox face the Rays.

Mobile version can be found here.

A busy spring training for Bogaerts

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 16, 2014 12:25 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Xander Bogaerts, who was out of camp much of last year because of the World Baseball Classic, has had “an extremely full spring training” this season according to John Farrell.

Bogaerts, who is not playing against the Rays today, is tied with Jonny Gomes for the most defensive innings played, with 60.

“[Infield coach Brian Butterfield] and I were talking about this last night,” Farrell said. “We were on defense and we were looking out at Xander. He's had an extremely full spring training. And he's has to balance a lot with footwork that he and Butter have been working on. The responsibilities of the position. Not that we're doing things different than the minor leagues are but there's a lot of expectations on him and he doesn't take anything for granted.

"So all of the work that he's in he's full go and whether that's taken the focus and concentration on his work with Butter and taken away from his at-bats, he’s had demands in spring training and ones we felt he needed. You watch his body language now and he's much more free and relaxed because of all the work and conversation that have gone on about the position. He's had a very full spring training.”

• Farrell also was asked what he hoped to see out of Jackie Bradley, Jr., over the last two weeks of spring training.

“Quality at-bats and that's not hinged to a batting average. That's just putting up quality at-bats on a consistent basis," he said. "Defensively, there's nothing to suggest he needs development or that area of the game we're confident and confident in him. It’s quality at-bats, getting on base, finding his spots to be more aggressive on the basepaths. Just using his skill set.”

• Farrell has been following the health issues former Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias has been having. Iglesias, who went to the Tigers in the three-team deal that brought right-hander Jake Peavy to Boston at the trading deadline, has been plagued by severe shin splints and has been sidelined for more than two weeks. His return to play is uncertain as of now. The Sox were aware of the problems with Iglesias’ shins while he was in the organization.

“Aware from extent where we had to monitor it,” Farrell said. “There were games where we had to get him off his feet because he felt some pain and soreness there. To see what’s come out with report, I feel sorry for the kid. He's an exciting player and anytime you see a player with an injury and he has to miss time you hate to see it because he was fun to watch. He was a great kid to have on the team, fun to be around. Unfortunately he's going to miss what appears to be a substantial amount of time.”

• Farrell has seen the similarities between the slick-fielding Iglesias and Deven Marrero, the Sox’ first-round (24th overall) pick in 2012.

“They go about it a little differently but no less effective,” Farrell said. “We talk about the number of young guys who have had very good camps. Deven Marrerro has been spectacular at shortstop if you ask me. Plays up the middle, in the hole, plays with his backhand.

"The play that stood out to me was up in Sarasota where [the Orioles Alexi] Casilla hits a high chop in the 5-6 hole and he makes somewhat of an acrobatic play and Casilla is an average or above average runner and he throws him out at first base. He’s looked very good at shortstop. I think they're very comparable when you look at their defensive ability. Iggy has more of a flair to him, not in a bad way. That was his personality at shortstop and you appreciate that. Equal capabilities.”

What kind of hitter can Marrero be?

“Right-handed,” Farrell quipped. “I think he's going to be...and here's the thing...I never want to put a number on a guy because I feel you're limiting him and that's the expectation and that's what you expect from him. There's been such an emphasis for him to be a situational hitter using that inside out stroke and work the ball to the other side of the field.

"He's a guy you can do some things with offensively. Then he jumps up and hits the 1-0 pitch off the left center field wall in Minnesota. So there's gap power in there. He's still developing as a hitter. He likes to tinker with his set-up at the plate and one of the things we're trying to get across to him is to settle into one setup and one approach at the plate and run with it. You can see him hitting in the two-hole because he has that manipulation ability or when he breaks in you probably see at the bottom of the order. But the gap order is there. I'm not that good to be able to put a number on what his major league average will be.

“Iggy had a lot of mannerism of Alex Rodriguez in the box. His mannerisms, his set-up. The elbow pad. That's the guy he idolized as a hitter. Then he understood he had to work the whole field more and when he came back up we talked about it many times, he got back to a very aggressive approach, but through that learning curve through the minors, he also had a very good two-strike approach. See some similarities with Deven. “

Temporary lineup promotion for Ross

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 16, 2014 11:59 AM

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Catcher David Ross is in the second slot in the batting order against the Rays today. It’s a change from his typical spot further down in the lineup. But don’t expect to see the catcher there during the season. It’s just one of those unorthodox spring training moves.

"This is about getting him the greatest number of at-bats we can get with catching six innings,” manager John Farrell said. “Certainly that’s not his normal spot in the lineup. But figure he’s probably going to handle [starter Allen] Webster and [left-hander Drake] Britton today, and try to get him at least three at-bats.”

Going into the game Ross has caught 25 innings, compared to A.J. Pierzynski’s 40 innings. Ross entered the game 1 for 10 with a walk and five strikeouts.

Also:

• Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who missed the last two games with a hyperextended right middle finger, was not in the original lineup the Red Sox posted early Sunday morning. But about an hour later, the Sox posted a revised lineup with Middlebrooks playing third, batting fifth.

“He came in this morning, felt good, he swung in the cage before we left right after getting examined and said he was good to go,” Farrell said. “So, encouraging. Glad he’s back in there.”

Middlebrooks had a small bandage around his finger.

• Farrell said he had not had a chance to talk with Grady Sizemore this morning, but the outfielder came through his eight innings of work in center field Saturday night without a problem. It was the longest Sizemore has gone into a game this spring.

“There was nothing on the medical report and I know he was seen briefly in the training room,” Farrell said. “We fully expected him to come in this morning, with kind of a normal spring training morning after a night game. So nothing out of the ordinary.”

• The next round of cuts could be coming soon, Farrell hinted, possibly before Tuesday.

“We’re also starting to balance the minor league games,” Farrell said. “Their season is fast approaching. There’s some guys in camp here that we’ve got to start getting at-bats on the [minor league] side, as well as innings pitched. So we’ll start, not a full wave like we just went thru, but there’s some guys that need to go get ready for their season as well.

Twelve players were moved out of big league camp on Thursday.

Spring Training Game 18: Red Sox at Rays

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 16, 2014 08:30 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (7-9-1)
Bradley Jr. CF
Ross C
Carp LF
Napoli 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Brown RF
Lavarnway DH
Holt 2B
Herrera SS
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster, LHP Drake Britton, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Brayan Villarreal.

RAYS (10-4-2)
DeJesus CF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Escobar SS
Joyce RF
Betemit DH
Forsythe LF
Hanigan C
Pitching: LHP David Price, RHP Heath Bell, RHP Mark Lowe, RHP Juan Sandoval.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte.

TV/Radio: NESN

Notes: The game is an advanced sellout for the Rays. ... Webster is starting his fourth game of the spring and they've all been on the road. He has allowed five earned runs over eight innings. ... The Sox are facing the Ray for the third time this spring. They have two more games after today then do not meet in the regular season until April 29 at Fenway Park.

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Phillies

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 15, 2014 06:45 PM

Follow live updates of the Red Sox-Phillies game right here.

See a mobile-friendly version here.

Red Sox to place Denney in program

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 15, 2014 06:41 PM
FORT MYERS, FLA — The Red Sox have decided to help rather than release third-round pick, catcher Jon Denney, after he was arrested in an ugly incident with Lee County police on Friday night. "We spent the last couple days gathering information and spending time with Jon trying to find out what happened and what needs to be done," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "At this point, we’re in the middle of putting together a program for Jon to address things that we feel he needs to address. That will likely mean he’s not on the field for a while and beyond that I can’t say anything else more than that at this time.

"We certainly take the incident seriously as we would with any other player. We’re trying to address his needs and help him in any way we can. But certainly he has some work to do."

Denney, 19, was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving with a suspended license.

Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign, causing the pickup truck to fishtail.

Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes because of a previous DUI arrest. The Lee County police report indicated Denney started to "cuss at two officers." Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers would ever see.

Police later determined Denney's license was suspended and he was booked on a charge of knowingly driving while his license was revoked, a misdemeanor. He was released at 8:30 a.m. after posting a $500 bond.

Denney faces a March 31 trial date.

Denney earned an $875,000 bonus out of Yukon (Okla.) High. He played in 26 games for the Rookie League Gulf Coast League Red Sox last season, hitting .203. His salary is approximately $1,000 a month during the season.

Asked if he thought of releasing Denney, Cherington said, "No. I think we feel like every case is different. Our first responsibility is to try and help out players in any way we can. That can come in a lot of different forms and you have to take a case-by-case approach to it. But in this particular case after gathering as much information as we could and after several people met with Jon, we determined that what we felt is best is to put together a program to try to help him with some things that we feel he needs help with and that’s what he’ll be focused on for the time being."

"Obviously this is behavior that we don’t condone and is unacceptable and he knows that. So we’re going to try to help with the things that he needs help with. Again, I can’t really say more than that," Cherington added.

Cherington said that at the time Denney was drafted there was no red flag about about past poor behavior.

"He’s a guy that we knew about the history, we knew about it. It is what it is. Some things have happened that shouldn’t have happened and he’s got to address those things before he can play baseball again," Cherington said.

Cherington said that the "program" is one devised by some of the Red Sox' in-house staff and could be supplemented by outside counselors. Cherington said Denney was dealing with a wrist issue and had not been participating in spring training.

The Red Sox have had three consecutive spring training driving incidents, two previously with former reliever Bobby Jenks and lefty Drake Britton, both of whom were charged with driving under the influence.

Peter Abraham of the Globe Staff contributed to this report

Iglesias injury could lead Tigers to Drew

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 15, 2014 06:30 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — There is news out of Detroit's camp that could positively affect the Red Sox.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias is dealing with a shin injury that could cause him to miss much of the season according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. The severity of the injury has raised speculation that the Tigers will pursue free agent Steven Drew.

Iglesias, who last played on Feb. 27, is dealing with a tibial stress reaction, or severe shin splints. He has seen two specialists and had to be shut down from running on Friday.

Drew would give the Tigers a reliable replacement for Iglesias. But it's not certain if Detroit would be willing to offer Drew a multi-year deal or whether Drew would be willing to change positions once Iglesias returns.

If the Tigers sign Drew, they would forfeit their first-round draft pick, No. 23 overall. That would bump the Red Sox up to No. 25 overall.

The Sox would get a supplemental first-round pick, No. 33 overall, as compensation for Drew. That also would move up their compensation pick for Jacoby Ellsbury to No. 32.

In other words, if Drew signs the Red Sox would have three of the first 32 picks in what is said to be a deep draft.

Pregame notes: Sizemore, Bradley still in competition

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 15, 2014 04:58 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell said while Jackie Bradley Jr. remains the team's starting center fielder, he can't deny how well Grady Sizemore has looked and how he has thrust himself into the competition.

Sizemore, who was scheduled to start in center field and lead off in tonight's game vs. the Phillies, is expected to go at least "seven or eight innings, possibly a full game," according to Farrell. That would mark the first time Sizemore had played so deep.

"We came into camp as Jackie as the guy to start in centerfield and I don't think anything has radically changed that thought," Farrell said. But we can't deny the fact that Grady Sizemore has looked very well in camp. We're still trying to get our arms around his durability. We're starting to get a little more of that test and answers to some of those questions."

Farrell was asked whether he would keep both Bradley and Sizemore on the roster.

"I can't say we wouldn't do that, but there are also limits to the roster," Farrell said. "We've said it many times that the one thing we've befitted by is a deep and talented roster. Early in the season you want as many of those players as you can. You try, one way or another, to keep as many good players as you have. That's something we'll arrive at before we break here."

Asked when he realized Sizemore would be a factor, he said, "As camp has unfolded and Grady has shown well."

Farrell said the team has not spoken to Sizemore on whether March 31st would be the hard and fast date on his future (he could possibly go to Pawtucket to start the season).

"We haven't gotten to that point," Farrell said. "We wanted to take a look at spring training itself and we didn't know how he was going to respond to the day-to-day and so far it's been favorable. His timing at the plate has looked very good. It doesn't look like he's missed two years."

Shane Victorino will also return to action vs. Philadelphia.

"He did take BP yesterday, just didn't want to take the live at-bats yesterday so he's in there today," Farrell said. Victorino was pulled out of Friday's game as he experienced some soreness in his surgically repaired thumb.

Farrell said Jon Lester would continue to build and would face the Yankees next week in Fort Myers.

"Right now our plan for him is to pitch that night," Farrell said. "Given that we've taken some guys through simulated games the first couple of times out, we don't want to have our guys pitching completely in those controlled settings so right now everything is pointing toward him pitching in the night game here."

Farrell also said there is competition for the utility spot between Jonathan Herrera and Brock Holt.

"Those two guys have the versatility, and as we've said before, the ability to play shortstop is the preference for that position. We've tried to get them both time on the left side of the infield because we know that both play second base very well," Farrell said.

Despite no time on the mound as the Red sox try to ease Craig Breslow back, Farrell said "he's still in position to be on time. We're anticipating he'll see hitters by the second half of this week."

And the build up for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop underway.

"The work he's done with Butter (coach Brian Butterfield) and to maintain the range he has, we feel very comfortable with him at shortstop," Farrell said.

Spring Training Game 17: Phillies at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 15, 2014 01:20 PM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (7-8-1)
Sizemore CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Gomes LF
Nava 1B
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Snyder 3B
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester followed by LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Burke Badenhop,LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Edward Mujica.

PHILLIES (4-11-2)
Revere CF
Rollins SS
Byrd RF
Brown CF
Ruf 1B
Abreu DH
Frandsen 3B
Hernandez 2B
Nieves C
Pitching: LHP Cliff Lee, RHP Sean O'Sullivan, LHP Jeremy Horst, RHP Brad Lincoln, LHP Cesar Jimenez

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

Location: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI-FM

Notes: The Sox have won five of six, a streak that came about once they began using their top five starters in games. ... The Phillies have the worst record in the Grapefruit League. ... Lester is making his second start of the spring. He threw three scoreless innings against Tampa Bay his first time out.

Good afternoon from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 15, 2014 12:11 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla — The Sox host the Phillies tonight at JetBlue. Jon Lester opposes Cliff Lee and that's about as good as it gets for spring training,

The Phillies are what the Red Sox could have been if not for the Dodgers trade. They're a formidable team but one aging rapidly and weighed down with bad contracts. They regret the signing of Jonathan Papelbon, among others, and are trying to figure a way out of their mess.

Our Globe links today:

For Mike Napoli, this spring training is a pleasure when compared to last year.

The notebook has Clay Buchholz looking sharp against the Blue Jays.

Wrapup: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 14, 2014 05:53 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1.

RECORD: 7-8-1.

BREAKDOWN: The Sox have won five of their last six games. Clay Buchholz threw four scoreless innings for the win in Dunedin. Corey Brown had an RBI double in the fifth inning. Brandon Snyder (sacrifice fly) and Sean Coyle (double) drove in runs in the eighth.

THUMBS UP: Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill made his spring training debut and retired the side in order in the fifth inning. Hill arrived in camp March 6 following the death of his infant son and wasted no time getting ready to pitch. “It’s nice to go out there and compete. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be out there,” he said. “It was great.” Manager John Farrell said it’s “pretty remarkable” how well Hill has been able to pitch in a short time.

THUMBS DOWN: It’s been a rough spring for righthander Rubby De La Rosa. In three appearances against major league teams he has allowed six runs on 12 hits over six innings. He gave up a run in the eighth inning against the Jays.

MEDICAL REPORT: Shane Victorino was scheduled to play in a minor league game back in Fort Myers but was scratched with some discomfort in his surgically repaired right thumb. Victorino did take batting practice and is expected to play on Saturday.

AROUND THE BASES: Brown, a non-roster player with a lot of physical tools, nearly made a diving catch to rob Jose Reyes of a hit in the first inning. Brown dropped the ball but bounced up and threw out Reyes going to second. … The game ended with minor leaguer Pete Hissey making a sliding catch on the left field line. … Lefty Tommy Layne, who pitched an inning, hasn’t given up a run five outings.

NEXT GAME: The Red Sox host the Phillies on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Jon Lester will face Cliff Lee in a game that will be on NESN and WEEI-FM.

Red Sox prospect Jon Denney arrested

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 14, 2014 04:12 PM
alt image text

This is the booking photo of Jon Denney provided by the Lee County Sheriff's Office

Red Sox prospect Jon Denney, a 19-year-old catcher, was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving with a suspended license.

A report issued by the Lee County Sheriff's Office said Denney was arrested at 4:06 a.m.

Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign, causing the pickup truck to fishtail. Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes because of a previous DUI arrest.

Denney told police he was "partying" and called a friend to drive him home. Two hours later, police saw Denney get back in his truck and drive out of a parking lot. He was stopped again and told police he was giving the woman with him a ride home.

According to the police report, Denney "became belligerent and started to cuss" at two officers. Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers would ever see.

After being handcuffed, Denney allegedly said he would be freed quickly because he played for the Sox and made $3 million a year.

Police later determined Denney's license was suspended and he was booked on a charge of knowingly driving while his license was revoked, a misdemeanor. He was released at 8:30 a.m. after posting a $500 bond.

Denney faces a March 31 trial date.

Denney was a third-round pick in the 2013 draft and signed for a $875,000 bonus out of Yukon (OK) High. He played in 26 games for the Rookie League Gulf Coast League Red Sox last season, hitting .203. His salary is approximately $1,000 a month during the season.

General manager Ben Cherington said via email that he was still gathering information on the situation and had no comment. The team issued a similar statement.

Red Sox officials are expected to make a determination of Denney's status by the end of the weekend. Denney has been arrested several times and his character may have been a factor in the high school All-American falling into the third round of the draft, an issue that has followed him into the pro ball.

Denney deleted his Twitter account after his arrest. He could not be reached for comment.

A Red Sox player has been arrested in Fort Myers for at least three consecutive spring trainings.

Lefthander Drake Britton was arrested a year ago for DUI and reckless driving after leading police on a chase in a pickup truck.

In March of 2012, righthander Bobby Jenks was arrested after leaving a strip club on two counts of DUI along with property damage and leaving the scene of a crash.

News of Denney's arrest was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

Live updates: Red Sox at Blue Jays

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff March 14, 2014 01:00 PM

Follow the Red Sox-Blue Jays game from Dunedin, Fla.

A mobile version of the live blog is here.

Red Sox to use 'dynamic' pricing for Monster Seats

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 14, 2014 12:28 PM

DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Red Sox announced on Friday that they will use dynamic pricing for seats and standing-room tickets on top of the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

Tickets priced under the new system will go on sale starting on Tuesday at noon.

The price of Green Monster tickets will increase or decrease based on demand and market factors such as the date, opponent, and even weather conditions. The factors will be tracked by two companies, Qcue and tixtrack.

Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy compared the system to how airlines price tickets.

“Unlike the variable pricing structure adopted in other parts of the ballpark, where prices vary by game but are set in advance for the season, dynamic pricing can and will change based on market conditions," Kennedy said.

In November, the Red Sox announced a variable pricing structure for other tickets at Fenway. Games were placed in five tiers based on expected demand and priced accordingly.

Spring Training Game 16: Red Sox at Jays

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 14, 2014 07:02 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (6-8-1)
Bradley Jr. CF
Herrera 3B
Carp DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Brown RF
Lavarnway C
Holt SS
McCoy 2B
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz followed by RHP Rubby De La Rosa, LHP Tommy Layne, LHP Jose Mijares, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Brayan Villarreal.

BLUE JAYS (6-8)
Reyes DH
Cabrera LF
Bautista RF
Rasmus CF
Navarro C
Johnson 1B
Goins SS
Getz 2B
Kawasaki 3B
Pitching: RHP Drew Hutchison followed by RHP Sergio Santos, LHP Brett Cecil, RHP Steve Delabar, LHP Aaron Loup

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: The Sox have won four of five ... Buchholz is making his third start of the spring. He has worked four innings so far ... This would be the first game of the spring for Hill ... Hutchison, 23, was 5-3, 4.60 in 11 starts as a rookie in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He pitched 10 games in the minors last season.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 14, 2014 06:55 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Greetings from the lavish Globe condo in Del Boca Vista Phase II. The Sox are playing the Blue Jays in Dunedin this afternoon, a robust 140 miles away.

Check back in a bit for the lineups and we'll have a full report from the game. Clay Buchholz gets the start.

It will soon be time to get on the road, but here are links to our Globe stories today:

Nick Cafardo caught up with Stephen Drew, who says he wishes he were back with the Red Sox.

Jake Peavy pitched his first game of spring training and looked good. He also has a new pitch.

The notebook has the Sox making 12 cuts.

Uehara works with Peavy on a new pitch

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 07:01 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jake Peavy worked on a new pitch during Thursday's game against the Twins. With the encouragement of teammate Koji Uehara, he is now throwing a split-finger fastball.

Peavy estimated he threw a dozen against the Twins. Manager John Farrell thought the pitch moved well, even if the Twins didn’t swing at it much.

For Uehara, it’s his primary out pitch. Peavy could use the split as a changeup or for occasional deception. If nothing else, it’s something further for the batter to ponder.

“Koji showed me how to hold it," said Peavy. "Other than that, not much else you can do. He tried to tell me some things he thinks about while he’s doing it.

“It’s not going to be a Koji Uehara split-finger. Don’t get me wrong by any means. But why would you not try and see if you can expand your game? It’s something I feel like we’re going to use a good bit and have as a weapon.”

A.J. Pierzynski, who caught Peavy when they were White Sox teammates from 2009-12, thinks the new pitch could help him.

“I thought it was good,” he said. “He threw it for strikes when he needed to. It’ll only get better from where it was today.”

See the Globe on Friday for much more from Peavy.

Wrap up: Red Sox 4, Twins 3

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 05:14 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 4, Twins 3.

RECORD: 6-8-1.

BREAKDOWN: The Sox won for the fourth time in their last five games. Dustin Pedroia had a two-run double to center field in the fifth inning that proved to be the difference. Jake Peavy allowed one run over three innings. Brandon Workman worked three scoreless innings of relief. Minor league call-up Matty Ott was the winner. He got Joe Mauer to ground out with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning.

THUMBS UP: Pedroia was 2 for 20 before he singled in the third inning and doubled in the fifth … Francisco Cordero, who picked up the save, has thrown five innings without giving up a run. He has one walk and six strikeouts. The 38-year-old has been impressive after sitting out last season … Second baseman Jonathan Herrera made the defensive play of the day in the eighth inning when he ranged behind the bag and made an off-balance throw from the left-field side to get Wilkin Ramirez.

THUMBS DOWN: Lefty reliever Andrew Miller had a rough day. He came in with a runner on first in the fourth inning and allowed an opposite-field double by Oswaldo Garcia against a defensive shift. A wild pitch scored a run. After Jason Kubel walked, Kurt Suzuki singled in a run and Miller was taken out of the game. “Erratic command,” manager John Farrell said. “He needs repetitions.”

MEDICAL REPORT: Shane Victorino played his second game and was 2 for 3 with an RBI. He and David Ross are going to get some extra at-bats in a minor league game on Friday.

REPLAY IT AGAIN: Farrell asked for a replay for the first time but lost the challenge. In the sixth inning, Minnesota’s Darin Mastroianni was called safe on a close play at first base and Farrell asked for a review. The call stood. A fifth umpire stationed in the television truck handled the replay. During the regular season, calls will be reviewed in New York and relayed to ballparks. The teams also don’t have access to video in spring training, something they will have during the season. “It was there, choose to use it,” Farrell said. The umpires decided to look at a long foul ball down the left-field line by Mike Napoli in the sixth inning. It was called foul on the field and that call stood.

AROUND THE BASES: Grady Sizemore stayed at Fenway South and was 1 for 2 with a walk in a Single A game. He played five innings in center field. Sizemore is not expected to play with the major league team until Saturday … The Red Sox have a long bus ride to Dunedin for Friday’s game against the Blue Jays. Jackie Bradley Jr., Clay Buchholz, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, and Ryan Lavarnway will make the trip ... Will Middlebrooks was 1 for 3 and is 7 for 15 in his last five games. “Couple of really good swings again," said Farrell. "He looks very confident at the plate." … The Red Sox are likely to have Felix Doubront pitch four innings in relief during Monday’s game against the Cardinals rather than face the Yankees in Tampa on Tuesday. That also will allow Doubront to stay on a five-day schedule … Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill is scheduled to appear in his first game Friday.

NEXT GAME: The Sox play the Blue Jays in Dunedin Friday at 1:05 p.m. Buchholz will face righthander Drew Hutchison.

Live updates: Red Sox at Twins

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 13, 2014 12:35 PM

Follow the latest as the Red Sox play spring training game No. 15 this afternoon.

A mobile version of the live blog is here.

David Ortiz Children's Fund Gala will be May 19

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 10:30 AM

The second annual David Ortiz Children’s Fund Gala will be May 19 at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston.

The event will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. The Fund, in partnership with MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the World Pediatric Project, provides critical pediatric healthcare to children in New England and the Dominican Republic.

Tickets are available for the island-inspired evening, where guests will have the opportunity to mix with Boston’s biggest names in sports and entertainment. There will be a Dominican-themed cocktail reception, live Latin music and dance entertainment as well as a three-course seated dinner all hosted by Ortiz.

Guests will have access to an exclusive silent and live auction featuring memorabilia and experiences.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $300 per person or $550 per pair during the month of March, $350 per person or $650 per pair during the month of April or $400 per person or $700 per pair during the month of May.

VIP Tickets (which include an autographed David Ortiz jersey and a photo opportunity with Ortiz) are $850 per person during the month of March, $900 per person during the month of April or $950 per person during the month of May.

To reserve tickets, to go davidortiz.eventbrite. Tables and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Alexis Walberg of Radegen Sports Management at (210) 727-2142 or AWalberg@radegen.com.

The David Ortiz Children’s Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The Fund has currently netted over $1.75 million and provided over 200 children with live-saving heart surgery in the Dominican Republic.

Red Sox pitching plans for the next week

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 10:05 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Here is how the Red Sox pitching lines up:

Today at Twins: Jake Peavy, Brandon Workman, Andrew Miller, Jose Mijares, Dalier Hinojosa, Francisco Cordero.

Friday at Toronto: Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Tommy Layne, Jose Mijares, Rich Hill, Brayan Villarreal.

Saturday vs. Philadelphia: Jon Lester, Chris Capuano, Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Edward Mujica.

Sunday at Tampa Bay: Allen Webster, Drake Britton, Rich Hill, Francisco Cordero, Brayan Villarreal.

Monday vs. St. Louis: John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Edward Mujica, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara.

Tuesday at New York: Brandon Workman, Dalier Hinojosa, Rubby De La Rosa, Tommy Layne, Jose Mujica.

Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh: Jake Peavy, Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop, Tommy Layne, Francisco Cordero, Brayan Villarreal.

Field of Dreams event at Fenway Park set for June 19

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 10:00 AM

The 17th annual Field of Dreams softball tournament will be at Fenway Park on June 19.

The event brings together corporate teams for a daylong tournament to benefit Action for Boston Community Development and the SummerWorks program. ABCD provides low-income teenagers with jobs, education, mentoring and tutoring throughout the summer.

The cost for a corporate team’s participation is a tax-deductible donation of $15,000. That includes:

• One full game of softball at Fenway Park

• Use of the dugouts

• Unlimited guest list to Fenway Park for the day

• Full-page ad in the Field of Dreams program

• Live shots displayed on the scoreboard of your players at bat

• Free ballpark concessions for your team and guests

• Team photos

• A variety of off-field activities and entertainment for kids such as face and t-shirt painting, free baseball card pictures for adults and kids, and a photo booth

• All players will be entered into a raffle to win Red Sox tickets

For information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Robert Elias or Amelia Aubourg at (617) 348-6238 or visit bostonabcd.org

Red Sox make first round of cuts

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 09:06 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox made their first round of cuts this morning, reassigning 12 players. Here's the list:

Optioned to Triple A Pawtucket (5): OF Bryce Brentz, 3B Garin Cecchini, OF-1B Alex Hassan, RHP Anthony Ranaudo, RHP Alex Wilson

Reassigned to minor league camp (7): RHP Matt Barnes, RHP Miguel Celestino, INF Heiker Meneses, LHP Henry Owens, RHP Noe Ramirez, 1B Travis Shaw, C Blake Swihart.

Players on the 40-man roster are optioned. Non-roster players are reassigned.

With the cuts, the Red Sox now have 46 players in camp.

Spring Training Game 15: Red Sox at Twins

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 07:59 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (5-8-1)
Nava LF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Pierzynski C
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Pitching: RHP Jake Peavy followed by LHP Henry Owens, RHP Brandon Workman, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Jose Mijares, RHP Dalier Hinojosa, RHP Francisco Cordero.

TWINS (5-6-1)
Hicks CF
Dozier 2B
Mauer 1B
Willingham LF
Arcia RF
Plouffe 3B
Kubel DH
Suzuki C
Santana SS
Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes, RHP Samuel Deduno.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

Location: Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers.

TV/Radio: MLB Network.

Notes: Peavy is making his first start of the spring. He missed a start after accidentally cutting his left index finger with a fishing knife. He has since thrown a simulated game. ... Hughes, who left the Yankees as a free agent, has allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings in two starts so far ... The Sox play the Blue Jays in Dunedin on Friday.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 13, 2014 07:53 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The weatherman on one of the local stations this morning warned that "temperatures will be brisk, in the high 60s" today." On behalf of everybody in New England, I'll go key his car after I write this.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox will head six miles to Hammond Stadium to face the Twins. Jake Peavy will pitch assuming some sort of accident doesn't befall him on the way.

The Sox were off on Wednesday, but Felix Doubront and Rich Hill pitched.

We'll have lineups posted shortly.

Strong performance for Doubront

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 12, 2014 03:42 PM

doubront.jpg

Felix Doubront pitched in a minor league game today.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Felix Doubront arrived at Red Sox camp last month claiming to be in the best shape of his career -- a familiar refrain in the early days of spring training for many players and not always an accurate one.

But the lefthander is proving it, a process that continued Wednesday when he threw 78 pitches in a minor league game at Fenway South.

As his teammates were enjoying a scheduled off day, Doubront pitched for Triple A Pawtucket against Minnesota Twins prospects. He went 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

On a warm day, Doubront threw 51 of his 78 pitches for strikes.

“I feel really good at this point," said Doubront. "All the work that I put in during the offseason and now I feel great."

Doubront is lined up to start the third game of the regular season, a sign of how much confidence the organization has in him.

Doubront was 11-6 with a 4.32 earned run average last season, pitching well for much of the year before wearing down and landing in the bullpen for the postseason. Now his goal is to get to 30 starts for the first time in his career and pitch at least 200 innings.

Doubront retired the first six batters before Brad Nelson pulled a ball down the line in right for a home run. Doubront allowed another run in the inning before retiring six in a row.

The final batter he faced, Brad Boyer, fouled off four pitches before drawing a walk. Doubront is tentatively scheduled to pitch again against the Yankees in Tampa Tuesday, although that could be pushed back a day to avoid a division opponent.

See Thursday's Globe for more on Doubront.

For Hill, a welcome return to the mound

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 12, 2014 12:04 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lefthander Rich Hill, who reported to Red Sox camp March 6, threw 25 pitches during a minor league intrasquad game Wednesday. He faced six batters, getting four strikeouts.

“To get out there today felt great," said Hill, who is mourning the death of his infant son. "Pitching again and being on the mound competing and doing your best, that’s what I needed to be doing."

Hill threw his pitches from an arm angle that was a touch lower than three-quarters. In recent years, he has experimented with a sidearm delivery, then threw over the top with the Indians last season.

“This is comfortable for me," he said. "The ball looks the same coming out of my hand every time, whether it’s a cutter or breaking ball or fastball. I had a chance to start with a clean slate and this works for me.”

Hill’s next appearance is expected to be in a game, perhaps this weekend.

Felix Doubront is pitching in a minor league game at 1 p.m.

Random spring training Red Sox thoughts

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 12, 2014 09:15 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox are off today. Seems like a good time for some random thoughts and observations from camp:

• The Grade Sizemore renaissance is quite stunning. To watch him play is to have no idea that he missed the last two years entirely with an assortment of injuries. He works at-bats, makes contact and is running well.

But here's the problem: It's wildly unreasonable to expect him to be an everyday player. No matter how healthy he is, going from zero games over two years to, say, 125 games is hard to imagine.

If Sizemore is on the team, Jackie Bradley Jr. almost has to be. The alternative is playing Shane Victorino in center field and having somebody in right field who doesn't really belong in right field.

The Red Sox can't keep six outfielders. If you start with Sizemore, Bradley and Victorino, somebody has to go from the Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava left field group.

• The Craig Breslow thing is suspicious. He says he's healthy and John Farrell says the same. But several weeks into camp, he's just now throwing a bullpen? That doesn't make much sense.

Rich Hill showed up last week and has already thrown several bullpens and will face hitters today.

Breslow is being treated like a pitcher who has a sore shoulder, which was his problem at this time last season. Maybe the Red Sox are just being ultra-cautious, but something is not quite right.

• The Red Sox will keep as many players as they can under their control when it comes time to make their roster. They know that who is on the Opening Day roster doesn't mean anything over the course of a long season.

That said, they're not a better team if Brandon Workman is in Triple A. He's clearly one of their best 12 pitchers.

• The Sox added an extra coach to Pawtucket's staff this season. One of Bruce Crabbe's duties will be teaching some of the same base-running skills and philosophies that Brian Butterfield is preaching in the majors. He'll do the same with some defensive aspects of the game.

The idea is for players to be better prepared for the nuances when they're called up. It's the kind of thing that could help win a game.

• There's not a speck of evidence that Koji Uehara is the least bit affected by last season's workload. Same guy, same pitches, same efficiency.

• It has been a redemptive spring training for Bryce Brentz and Drake Britton so far. Brentz had his invite to camp rescinded when he shot himself in the leg last year. Now he's mashing at the plate. Britton was exiled to the minor league camp after a drunk driving arrest in 2013. Now he's one of the most impressive pitchers in camp, Tuesday's loss aside.

• It's a long season, but public perception is not reality with A.J. Pierzynski. He has blended in well and shown no signs of wanting to be anything but a good teammate. Guy can hit, too. His power is going to play at Fenway.

• The Red Sox were trying too hard on Tuesday when they had the count announced during the game at JetBlue Park. For starters, the count is on the scoreboard for anybody who cares to know. Announcing it smacks of the Sox telling people what they should care about.

People can decide what they care about and if they care about the count, they can turn their heads an inch and look at the scoreboard. Games are too noisy as it is. We need fewer distractions at the ballpark, not more.

A ballgame is a great place to have a conversation with a friend. Announcements should be only when needed.

• No fan should purchase a ticket for a spring training game with the expectation of seeing any particular player or players. Spring training is to get ready for the season, not to entertain a crowd. You assume the risk of seeing minor leaguers when you purchase a ticket.

The Marlins were at fault for the lineup hubbub with the Red Sox because they jacked up ticket prices to swindle Sox fans. The Sox are responsible to get ready for the season, not validate marketing schemes by other teams.

• There's some chatter about the Braves being interested in moving to the Fort Myers area after their lease with Disney is up in 2017. The Sox would welcome another team to cut down on travel, especially a National League team.

• Defensive versatility, and therefore added depth, is very big for the Sox. They're actively looking for players who can learn another position. Mike Carp and Travis Shaw could get some reps at third base.

• Pitcher Henry Owens is very talented and it's never smart to evaluate a player in spring training. But he hasn't knocked anybody's socks off in camp. Anthony Ranaudo, for instance, is trying to show people what he can do. Owens seems almost disinterested.

• Jacoby Ellsbury will steal a lot of bases for the Yankees. But he won't against the Red Sox once Christian Vazquez becomes their catcher. A scout said the other day that Vazquez will be the American League version of Yadier Molina in terms of stopping a running game. Will that be later this season or not until 2015?

• Ryan Lavarnway, the catcher stuck in the middle, is starting to hit again.

• Safest bet out there: Torey Lovullo is managing his own team next season.

• Met Shunsuke Watanabe the other day and he seems like a delightful guy. The 37-year-old submariner from Japan is in minor league camp and clearly is enjoying himself. But his fastball is slower than traffic to the airport and would get hammered in the American League. It's hard to picture the Sox even keeping him in Triple A.

• Ryan Kalish has a chance to make the Cubs. Good for him after two injury filled years.

• Red Sox players say Stephen Drew now regrets not taking the qualifying offer when he had the chance. But the veteran players have turned from the idea that the team needs Drew back. That was the case at the beginning of camp, but not since they've had a chance to see Will Middlebrooks re-commit himself.

• Xander Bogaerts is not going to win a Gold Glove playing shortstop. But the idea that he could be a liability there is wrong. A position player should be viewed in terms in how many runs he produces with the bat and how many runs he saves (or perhaps costs) with his glove.

Bogaerts is going to add enough to the run differential with his bat to more than offset whatever loss there is with his glove. If he's an adequate, league-average defensive shortstop, the bat makes that position a significant plus to the Red Sox.

• Quiz: This player has 572 strikeouts in 1,749 career at-bats in the National League and his slugging percentage dropped 128 points last season. He doesn't run very well and his outfield play dropped in quality last season, according to metrics and several advance scouts.

It's Giancarlo Stanton.

He's a great power hitter and that's always fun. But do the Red Sox really want to get back in the habit of shedding prospects for another team's standout player?

The Red Sox front office has shown the ability to work the margins well and make economically sound deals that lead to a well-balanced roster. But the last two can't-miss stars who had to come to Boston — Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez — are now in Los Angeles.

The Marlins have gotten Stanton's production on the cheap for four years and can wring another few years out of him if they choose. Picking up a guy just as he's going to get expensive makes little sense.

• Finally, it's worth noting that the Red Sox medical staff seems to have regained the trust of the players after all the changes Ben Cherington made. After several years of poor internal communication (and external communication for that matter), medical issues are under control again.

Red Sox make some noise with the count

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 11, 2014 06:10 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox had public address announcer Ted Fitzgeorge recite the count after every pitch during a 5-4 loss against Miami at JetBlue Park on Tuesday.

Executive vice president Charles Steinberg said the unusual idea was a product of “spirited debate” among team officials.

“There were desires for us to try it last year and we didn’t, so I think we’re not shy about being experimental or bold or innovative,” he said.

The count was announced in a softer tone than the usual introductions. But, still the Red Sox players were generally opposed to the concept.

"That's a bad idea," said John Lackey, who started and went 2.1 innings. “Whoever did that hasn't been between the lines. For me it was not that big a deal because I'm not that worried about throwing strikes. But I could foresee a situation with someone who is just struggling throwing strikes, you're just pretty much beating the guy over the head with it. He realized it was a ball. He doesn't want to hear it again. That's a bad idea."

Beyond that, the count is on multiple scoreboards at every major league park.

Steinberg said recounting the count was a one-game trial without a clear second step. He claimed not to know whom with the Sox came up with the idea, but said team president Larry Lucchino broached it more than a year ago.

It didn't sound like the aural addition was coming to Fenway Park, but Steinberg didn't rule it out.

"If it would be effective in a positive way then yes," he said.

Manager John Farrell, who went to Sarasota for the split-squad doubleheader game there, carefully chose his words.

“Certainly different in the atmosphere of the ballpark,” he said. “You don’t hear that. Other than that, I really don’t have any comment.”

Wrap up: Red Sox split doubleheader

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 11, 2014 06:00 PM

SCORES: Red Sox 6, Orioles 5; Marlins 5, Red Sox 4.

RECORD: 5-8-1.

GAME 1 BREAKDOWN: In Sarasota, Brock Holt was 2 for 3 with a home run as the Red Sox held on for a win. Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway also homered, part of a 12-hit attack. The Sox took the lead in the seventh inning against former teammate Alfredo Aceves. Daniel Nava had an RBI double and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a triple.

GAME 2 BREAKDOWN: In Fort Myers, John Lackey allowed three runs on four hits over 2 1/3 innings in his spring debut. Kyle Jensen’s two-run homer off Drake Britton in the ninth inning was the difference. The Sox were held to six hits.

THUMBS UP: Allen Webster was working on a one-hit shutout before he tired with one out in the fourth inning against the Orioles and walked three in a row. He came out of the game after 57 pitches and was responsible for two runs. Webster struck out three. “He’s really understanding how to use his stuff. He’s using the sinker more,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s got a tremendous package of pitches.” … Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Burke Badenhop, and Edward Mujica pitched scoreless innings against Miami.

THUMBS DOWN: There’s no reason to worry about Dustin Pedroia. But he was 0 for 3 against the Marlins and is 2 for 19 in spring training with no extra-base hits and one walk.

MEDICAL REPORT: Shane Victorino, who played his first game on Monday, was held out on Tuesday and will play again on Thursday. He could get some extra at-bats in a minor league game on Friday.

AROUND THE BASES: The Marlins, who complained about the team the Red Sox sent to a March 7 game in Jupiter, fielded what for them was a representative lineup, although Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Giancarlo Stanton did not make the long trip. … The Sox have won three of their last four games.

NEXT GAME: The Sox are off on Wednesday. They play the Twins at Hammond Stadium on Thursday afternoon. Jake Peavy is the scheduled starter.

Live updates: Red Sox at Orioles & Marlins at Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 11, 2014 12:35 PM

The Red Sox play split-squad games this afternoon against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., and vs. the Marlins in Fort Myers. Both begin at 1:05 p.m.

Click here for mobile version of live blog.

A few Red Sox notes

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 11, 2014 12:15 PM

SARASOTA, Fla. — Greetings from Ed Smith Stadium. Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke to reporters back in the Fort. Here are the highlights:

• Jake Peavy no longer has a wrap on his left index finger and is ready to pitch his first game on Thursday against the Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

His stitches were removed on Sunday and the wound is healing according to Farrell. Peavy will need some extra padding in his glove.

“We fully expect him to be on the mound Thursday,” Farrell said. “You might see him use a little bit different glove, a bigger glove, to give him more webbing to catch the ball with.”

Peavy is scheduled to throw three innings against the Twins.

• Shane Victorino, who played his first game on Monday, was held out on Tuesday and will play again on Thursday. He could get some extra at-bats in a minor league game on Friday. Farrell said Victorino would get some games in center field during spring training

• The Sox have their only scheduled day off of spring training on Wednesday. But lefthander Felix Doubront will stay on turn in the rotation by pitching in a minor league game at Fenway South at 1 p.m. Dan Butler will catch him. Lefthander Rich Hill will throw live batting practice, his final step before getting into a game.

Farrell on Sizemore: Context is needed

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 11, 2014 10:37 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Grady Sizemore is one of the best stories of spring training. After not playing for the last two seasons because of injuries, the former All-Star center fielder is showing signs that he could be a viable major leaguer again.

Sox manager John Farrell was the player development director with the Cleveland Indians when Sizemore was coming up. The player he sees now is "not far off" from Sizemore in his prime.

But that's only after four games and 12 plate appearances.

"You temper that past impression because of what he’s endured and the physical challenges that he’d had to overcome," Farrell said. "What has stood out this spring is his timing at the plate. You would think it would have needed a greater number of at-bats to have the timing that he’s showing right now. That’s extremely encouraging.

"That’s the one thing that has stood out. Through our medical exam prior to signing him we felt he was a good bet and had every opportunity to get on the field and maintain that. Now to what level of games played, we don’t know that."

Farrell, while thrilled to see Sizemore playing well, is doing his best to tamp down expectations.

"Everything has been very positive about him in camp. He’s also missed two years and we temper the excitement with that," the manager said. "Even if he wasn’t coming off the number of challenges that he’s met physically, when you have a two-year gap if he came in with no restrictions you’d have to say, ‘OK, what is the likely number of games a player with this path could give us?’ We’ve got to keep all that in perspective.”

Farrell said Sizemore's strong camp isn't a negative for Jackie Bradley Jr.

"The fact that Grady’s having encouraging signs in spring training is a not a bad thing for Jackie Bradley or anybody," he said. "It means that we’ve got another good player. We feel strongly that one of the main reasons we were successful last year was a talented and deep roster. Grady gives us the potential to build another talented and deep roster."

Scouts share thoughts on Bogaerts, Middlebrooks

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 11, 2014 09:01 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla — Scouts representing some dozen or more teams who have watched Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks over the past dozen games all agree that the Red Sox have an exciting but scary situation with the left side of their infield.

The universal consensus was Bogaerts is heading to All-Star status and Middlebrooks to middle of the order power hitter. The doubts are more on the defense side.

Here are some comments:

"Bogaerts has tremendous body control for a kid that big. I'd keep him at shortstop until he plays his way off it. He may never play his way out of it. All I know is his work ethic, from what I've seen is phenomenal. He's not (Jose) Iglesias, he's not Drew, but he's a good player at shortstop. I'd just keep developing his confidence and go with him," a National League big-market team scout said.

A National League mid-market team scout said, "For me, he's a third baseman. Will he ever be extraordinary at shortstop? That's the question. I'd say no. Move him to third and take advantage of his real strength – his offense."

A scout from a rival AL East team said, "It's got to be exciting to have two kids and maybe a third (Jackie Bradley Jr.) breaking onto the team at the same time. It's also a little scary. They've lost (Jacoby) Ellsbury and Drew, two guys who were really big for that team winning a World Series championship. Every team goes through changes, but those are big ones. It's hard to repeat, so you'd might as well load up with young guys and hope they can take you to the next championship. They are talented. All of them. They need the experience."

"[Stephen] Drew's ability to calm down a pitching staff, that peace of mind a pitcher has knowing the guy behind him is going to make the play and the throw, can't be measured. (Mike) Napoli always knew he was going to get a good throw from shortstop. That peace of mind isn't there yet. Having said that, any one of us sitting here with our teams would love to have that kid (Bogaerts) to play for us. If he can play consistent shortstop with what he brings to the plate, my goodness. You sacrifice something now for the return you're gonna get down the road," said an American League Central scout.

"Middlebrooks is so intriguing. Righthanded power-hitting third basemen don't grow on trees. He's got that special sound off the bat like (David) Ortiz and (Mike) Napoli. He's got a lot of work to do defensively and he's got some holes in his swing. But when someone makes a mistake, he can hit it a long way," said an American League West scout.

"After winning a World Series championship, go with the young guys. These kids could be pretty special once they break in, take their lumps and then make their adjustments," said a National League East scout.

"You've got to believe in the kids in your farm system, so when it's time to make that decision, you live and die with the guys you've developed and drafted. If you're wrong, I think the thought process is the right one. Bogaerts is a stud. Middlebrooks looks committed to being a good player," said one American League scout.

"No doubt, Drew (expletive) himself out of a chance to be with this team. He's a good player. I know how much his teammates liked him and how comforting it is for a pitching staff to have a guy who made every play. But time to move on. You're going to a kid who's going to be a superstar (Bogaerts)," a National League central scout said.

"The best defensive guy is (Deven) Marrero," said one American League East scout. "He's going to create an even bigger decision because you can't deny his defense. He's almost Iglesias with the ability to steal bases and probably hit .260."

The consensus pretty much was you give something up – the steadiness of Drew – for the long-term payoff of an all-around Bogaerts and a powerful Middlebrooks. It appears at the moment, that's the road the Red Sox are taking as well.

Spring Training Games 13 and 14: Red Sox at Orioles, Marlins at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 11, 2014 08:00 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX at ORIOLES

RED SOX (4-7-1)
Nava 1B
Bradley Jr. CF
Middlebrooks 3B
Pierzynski C
Lavarnway DH
Brown LF
Hassan RF
Holt 2B
Marrero SS
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster followed by RHP Alex Wilson, RHP Brayan Villarreal, RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Miguel Celestino, RHP Noe Ramirez.

ORIOLES (9-2)
Lough CF
Markakis RF
Cruz LF
Davis 1B
Hardy SS
Wieters C
Young DH
Flaherty 3B
Casilla 2B
Pitching: RHP Miguel Gonzalez followed by RHP Alfredo Aceves, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Evan Meek, LHP Kelvin De La Cruz and LHP Troy Patton.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

MARLINS at RED SOX

RED SOX
Sizemore CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Bogaerts SS
Ross C
Brentz RF
Herrera 3B
Pitching: RHP John Lackey followed by LHP Drake Britton, RHP Junichi Tazawa, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Edward Mujica, RHP Burke Badenhop.

MARLINS (7-3-2)
Solano SS
Yelich LF
Ozuna CF
Dietrich 2B
McGehee 3B
Bogusevic RF
Lucas 1B
Dobbs DH
Brantly C
Pitching: LHP Brian Flynn followed by RHP Henry Rodriguez, RHP Chaz Roe, RHP Arquimedes Caminero, LHP Josh Spence, LHP Edgar Olmos, RHP Nick Wittgren

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: It's a split-squad doubleheader day for the Red Sox with two games at the same time about 90 miles apart. ... John Farrell will manage the team in Sarasota and bench coach Torey Lovullo will handle the home game. ... The Sox are off on Wednesday and the first round of cuts are coming up. ... Lackey is starting his first game of the spring. He retired all nine batters he faced in a minor league intrasquad game last week. ... The Orioles have won seven straight and have the best record in the Grapefruit League. ... The Marlins have the second-best record in the Grapefruit League. ... The Orioles and Marlins do not have split-squad doubleheaders today.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 11, 2014 07:35 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox have a split-squad doubleheader today. There's a game in Sarasota against Baltimore and one at home against Miami.

It would have been amusing if the Marlins sent a team of scrubs to JetBlue Park after complaining about the Red Sox not sending enough major leaguers last week. Silly spring training feuds are fun diversions. But according to the Miami reporters, they're sending a representative team.

Links to today's Globe coverage:

Chris Gasper writes that there is some risk to giving Jon Lester a contract extension. But he sure looked worth the price on Monday.

Twin brothers Bryce and Jared Brentz are power hitters in different sports. For Bryce, his brother is an inspiration.

The notebook has the rotation lined up for the season and Shane Victorino taking a right turn.

Wrap up: Red Sox 6, Rays 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 10, 2014 07:21 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 6, Rays 2.

RECORD: 4-7-1.

BREAKDOWN: That’s two in a row for the Red Sox, who got three strong innings from Jon Lester in his spring debut and home runs from David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Corey Brown. Will Middlebrooks was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. The Sox had what could be their Opening Day lineup on the field. “It’s good to see the flow of the game unfold as it did today,” manager John Farrell said.

THUMBS UP: Lester allowed one hit (a broken-bat looper) and had one walk. He had four strikeouts and threw 31 of his 43 pitches for strikes. Anthony Ranaudo worked two scoreless innings.

THUMBS DOWN: Non-roster lefthander Jose Mijares allowed a run on two hits and walk in the ninth inning. He has a 2.75 WHIP in four outings this spring.

VICTORINO RETURNS: Right fielder Shane Victorino played his first game of the spring. He had two plate appearances and played three innings in the field. Victorino was held back to recover from offseason thumb surgery and to do extra work strengthening groin muscles that were problematic last season.

“My hand feels good. In [batting practice] everything feels good,” Victorino said.

Victorino, a switch hitter, batted righthanded facing righthanded pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Steve Geltz. He was hit by a pitch his first time up then struck out looking the second time.

Victorino gave up switch hitting last August because of injuries and seems to be sticking to batting exclusively righthanded. Farrell suggested on Saturday that would be the case and Victorino’s actions on Monday seemed to confirm it.

But he again balked at discussing the situation.

“There’s no decision. If I had an answer I would have told you,” Victorino said. “We’re all working through the process.”

Victorino later acknowledged he is likely to hit righthanded only. “Obviously that’s the way I’m leaning,” he said. “It seems to make sense.”

SIZEMORE ON THE MOVE: Grady Sizemore singled on a full-count pitch in the first inning. With Dustin Pedroia at the plate, Sizemore broke for second base. Pedroia grounded to third base and Sizemore was safe. It was the first time this spring he was put in motion. Sizemore was 1 for 3 with that single and two fly balls to center field. He played five innings in the field. He is scheduled to play on Tuesday against Miami at JetBlue Park.

AROUND THE BASES: Jonny Gomes smacked into the padded wall along the left field line chasing a ball in the ninth inning. He banged his left knee but stayed in the game. … The game drew a sellout of 9,876. The Sox have averaged 9,739 for six home games. …Author Ben Bradley Jr. threw out the first pitch. He wrote “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.”

NEXT GAME: The Red Sox play a split-squad doubleheader on Tuesday. One team will play at 1:05 p.m. game against the Orioles in Sarasota. Another team will play the Marlins at Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m. Brandon Workman will start against the Orioles and John Lackey against the Marlins.

Live updates: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Updates as the Red Sox and Rays face off in spring training. Game time is 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile version.

Replay will be in use for Rays-Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 10, 2014 12:28 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla — There is replay for today's Rays-Sox game, although the procedure is a little different than it will be during the season.

There will be an umpire in the television truck outside JetBlue Park who will review any plays that are challenged and relay the information to the field. During the season, replays will be handled from New York City.

Also, the numbers of cameras [and therefore angles] of the replay will be fewer today.

Red Sox getting the band back together

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 10, 2014 10:06 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — With the possible exception of Grady Sizemore, the Red Sox have eight players in the lineup today who will be starters this season. They also have their ace, Jon Lester, on the mound.

"We're starting to get what shapes up to be our regular roster back on the field," manager John Farrell said.

Farrell also said that the rotation is now lined up the way he wants it for the season. That's Lester followed by John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Jake Peavy and Clay Buchholz.

"All things playing out, health and otherwise, that's kind of the way things are rolling," Farrell said.

The plan for now is for Buchholz to be the No. 5 starter and probably stay back and pitch in a minor league game after the team breaks camp.

"As far as the way we've mapped out the pitching, for those guys that we have targeted we wanted to ramp them up a little bit more slow," Farrell said. "I shouldn't say slow in the sense of less pitches thrown, it's just the overall intensity they're getting exposed to. ... I think this is coming together as we've scripted."

Also:

• Chris Capuano, Allen Webster and Brandon Workman will continue to be stretched out as starters even though they're out of the rotation as starters at this point. Minor league games start Wednesday and that's the avenue the Red Sox will use.

To a lesser extent, Drake Britton will get extra innings, too.

Farrell said "it's to be determined" which one of those pitchers would enter the rotation if a need arises.

• Farrell has been impressed with Britton. "Every time he's walked to the mound he's thrown three pitches for strikes with really good stuff," the manager said. "I don't think he liked being left off the playoff roster last year and he carries that air about him in a good way and he's used that as motivation. He's come into camp in great shape. When you consider a lefthander with that kind of velocity and that assortment of pitches, he's making the most of every opportunity and making an impact on decisions that are still yet to be made."

Translation: Britton is very much in play for a bullpen spot.

• Doubont will pitch in a minor league game at Fenway South on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Red Sox' three Single A teams are playing teams from the Minnesota organization. LHP Andrew Miller also could get into one of those games for an inning.

• LHP Craig Breslow will throw off the mound on Tuesday for the first time. It's a "strong possibility" he'll be on the Opening Day roster according to Farrell. The Red Sox and Breslow insist there is no injury. But the delay suggests that the very least, there's preventative maintenance involved with his shoulder.

Spring Training Game 12: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 10, 2014 08:00 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (3-7-1)
Sizemore CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava LF
Victorino RF
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Middlebrooks 3B
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester followed by LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Anthony Ranaudo and LHP Jose Mijares.

RAYS (5-2-2)
Forsythe 1B
Escobar SS
Longoria 3B
Myers RF
Rodriguez CF
Nix 2B
Betemit DH
Hanigan C
Guyer LF
Pitching: RHP Jake Odorizzi followed by LHP Erik Bedard, LHP Cesar Ramos.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN

Notes: Lester is making his first start of the spring. He pitched three innings in a minor-league intrasquad game last week. ... Ranaudo will be pitching in his third game of the spring. He has allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings but struck out four with two walks. ... The Sox have a split-squad doubleheader on Tuesday with games against the Orioles (in Sarasota) and the Marlins (at JetBlue Park). Both games are at 1:05 p.m.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 10, 2014 07:45 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jon Lester starts his first spring training game today. The all-but-official Opening Day starter will face the Rays at 1:05 p.m.

The Sox started Clay Buchholz on Sunday. Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront (in a minor league game) and Jake Peavy will follow. For the first time all spring, the Sox have their five starters lined up.

Does that mean it will be Lester, Lackey and Doubront out of the gate? It very well could. Doubront has pitched well this spring and deserves to be there. The Sox also seem likely to give Peavy extra time to get ready given his assorted odd injuries this spring.

Buchholz is not the expected No. 5 starter. But how the Sox line up the first time is not as important as how each individual pitcher is prepared. The Sox need to find a way to keep Buchholz healthy and easing him into the season could be part of the plan.

Links to our Globe stories today:

Nick Cafardo writes that the Sox need to find their groove.

The notebook has Clay Buchholz dominating the Pirates.

Wrap up: Red Sox 4, Pirates 1

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 9, 2014 07:41 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 4, Pirates 1.

RECORD: 3-7-1.

BREAKDOWN: Clay Buchholz went three hitless innings and set the tone for a strong pitching effort by the Red Sox, which included Andrew Miller’s three-K outing, two scoreless innings out of Dalier Hinojosa, and a second save by Francisco Cordero. Jackie Bradley Jr. stroked a two-run single through the first base hole in the second inning. Mike Carp added a solo homer in the third, and Derrik Gibson provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the ninth.

THUMBS UP: Bryce Brentz is really elevating his game in spring training. He had two more hits and is now batting .400 (8 for 20). David Ross went 1 for 3 batting cleanup and also threw out Jordy Mercer trying to steal. Carp had two hits out of the DH spot, including the homer and a shift-breaking single to third.

THUMBS DOWN: Third base prospect Garin Cecchini went 0 for 3 and left four runners on base. Rubby De La Rosa went two innings and allowed four hits and a run and his ERA is now 11.25 this spring. Alex Hassan went 0 for 4 in left field.

MEDICAL REPORT: John Farrell indicated that Shane Victorino could play his first game Monday or Tuesday depending on how he came out of Sunday’s workout. He also said Grady Sizemore would play back-to-back games for the first time Monday and Tuesday. Jake Peavy is still scheduled to go Thursday in his first game action since his lacerated left index finger.

AROUND THE BASES: The Pirates drew 8,245 at McKechnie Field, their third-largest attendance ever. The Red Sox only brought the minimum four roster players — Carp, Bradley, Ross, and Buchholz . . . The Sox went 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position . . . General manager Ben Cherington attended the game.

NEXT GAME: Monday at 1:05 p.m. against the Rays at JetBlue Park. The game is televised on NESN. Jon Lester is scheduled to oppose Jake Odorizzi. We’ll also see Chris Capuano, Anthony Ranaudo, and Jose Mijares. Former Red Sox lefty Erik Bedard will follow Odorizzi for Tampa Bay.

Buchholz sees improvement in latest outing

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 9, 2014 04:05 PM

BRADENTON, Fla. — Clay Buchholz needed only 27 pitches over three scoreless, hitless innings against the Pirates to come away feeling that he had not only economized and thrown his sinker effectively, but that he's building up for a better day to start the season.

"Definitely better than last time out (three hits, one run vs. Tampa Bay on March 4)," Buchholz said. "I located my two-seamer. Happy with that. I felt I needed to work on a couple of more pitches. Didn't try to overthrow."

Buchholz didn't bother to see how hard he was throwing. Velocity is the last thing he worries about now.

While he throws five different pitches, the two-seamer is his bread and butter.

"It's the one pitch I throw a lot of," Buchholz said. "Get ground ball out in big situations. It's a hard pitch to get into the air, so I'm trying to refine that."

Buchholz said he threw 40 warm-up pitches in the bullpen so he didn't mind the low pitch count.

He walked one batter and the rest was easy.

John Farrell expects improvement with the regulars

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff March 9, 2014 01:27 PM

BRADENTON, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell said he's pleased with individual performances he's seen in camp so far, but expects a better result once the team is able to get their regular lineup and pitching staff out there on a more regular basis.

That day is coming soon.

Shane Victorino had one more day of workouts and how he came out of that will determine whether he will get back into the lineup either Monday or Tuesday. Victorino has not participated in game action yet, taking it slow after thumb surgery this offseason.

Grady Sizemore will see his first back-to-back action Monday and Tuesday.

"We've had a number of guys who have shown very well in camp, individual performances are the things that stand out, yet personally we have yet to get our team together. We've had the majority of our team together on home games, but when we start to go in this next turn in the rotation and get our starters in sync with everyday players as we saw with Felix (Doubront) on the mound the other day, there's a more consistent flow to the game. We play a much cleaner game in those situations," said Farrell, who endured his team's eight-error performance in Saturday's doubleheader.

Part of the slow meshing is the fact that Farrell and his staff decided they would ease some of their pitchers and everyday players into action after a short winter following a World Series championship.

"We've taken a little different approach with the first outings in the rotation. We've done some simulated game action where you ease into the intensity. It'll be more earnest the next time through," Farrell said.

Farrell isn't into spring training records. "I look at what our needs are right now. The roster and personnel changes from year to year. It's how we prepare that's the most important. Look back to a year ago, we played consistently in spring training," he said. "We got off to a very good start. We're a third of the way through the game schedule here. and we have work to do, there's no doubt about it. But at the same time we're seeing more of our normal team together."

Farrell has been impressed with veteran reliever Francisco Cordero.

"He's not pitching like a guy who didn't pitch for a year. He looks very much like the guy in Toronto, and Houston a couple of years ago. He's made necessary adjustments. He now uses an assortment of pitches rather than just rely on velocity," themanager said.

Brandon Workman has worked his way up to 50 pitches. It appears now, however, with Jake Peavy scheduled to go Thursday after recovering from his finger laceration, that Workman will have to stretch out in minor league games.

Mike Carp, a possible trade chip (the Pirates could use a first baseman), will continue to have the same role as last season.

"Last year was highest number of at-bats he'd had at the major league level. He came up with a number of big hits. He and (Daniel) Nava are a couple of guys who can go to different positions," Farrell said.

Farrell thought three innings and 45-50 pitches out of Clay Buchholz today would be sufficient.

Farrell was also asked about where the team stood on Stephen Drew.

"I don't have anything to say about it. He's a free agent and that's where it stands," he said.

Live updates: Red Sox at Pirates

Posted by Staff March 9, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates from Florida as the Red Sox and Pirates face off in spring training action on March 9. Game time is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

A few notes from Red Sox camp

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 9, 2014 10:43 AM


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Remember when you were a kid and you'd fire a rubber ball against a wall and catch it with your glove? Major leaguers do the same thing.

Here's a brief video of Triple AAA pitching coach Rich Sauveur running an unconventional fielding drill. He fires a rubber baseball against a wall to simulate a comebacker. Sauveur is working here with Drake Britton.

Does this drill actually work? It succeeded in getting a group of pitchers moving around and the competition was heated. By that measure, it was a rousing success.

Sauveur wields a fungo bat as well as any coach in camp and is the coach who works the most with the pitchers on fielding drills. The blisters on his hands are a testament to that.

So the next time you see a Sox pitcher snag a ball screaming up the middle, remember Sauveur and the unusual drill on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning.

A few notes from Sox camp:

• Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill threw 36 pitches in the bullpen this morning with pitching coach Juan Nieves watching.

"Felt great," said Hill, who arrived in camp on Thursday. "It was good to get on the mound."

Hill said he will pitch in an intrasquad game on Wednesday and from there should be set to get into a regular game. He is in camp on a minor league contract.

• Righthander Matt Barnes is not on the schedule to pitch in a game this week. The Sox are being ultra-cautious with the former first-round pick. He has some shoulder tenderness.

• Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield turns 56 today.

Nick Cafardo is with the team up in Bradenton. Check back later for reports from the game.

Ted Williams biographer at Red Sox game on Monday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 9, 2014 10:00 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ben Bradlee Jr., author of the best-seller "The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams" will be at JetBlue Park on Monday for a book signing during the Rays-Red Sox game.

Details will be available at the ballpark.

Spring Training Game 11: Red Sox at Pirates

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 9, 2014 09:00 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (2-7-1)
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Alex Hassan LF
Mike Carp DH
David Ross C
Brock Holt 2B
Bryce Brentz RF
Garin Cecchini 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Deven Marrero SS
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Dalier Hinojosa, LHP Andrew Miller

PIRATES (7-2-1)
Jaff Decker CF
Chris Dickerson LF
Travis Snider RF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Andrew Lambo 1B
Travis Ishikawa DH
Jordy Mercer SS
Robert Andino 2B
Chris Stewart C
Pitching: RHP Charlie Morton followed by RHP Jason Grilli, RHP Mark Melancon, LHP Tony Watson and RHP Vin Mazzaro

Location: McKechnie Field, Bradenton.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI-FM.

Notes: The Sox are 1-5-1 in their last seven games. That includes a 7-6 loss against the Pirates in Bradenton on Monday. ... Buchholz is making his second start of the spring. He allowed one run on three hits over one inning against the Rays on Tuesday

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 9, 2014 08:21 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Turn those clocks ahead. The baseball never stops ticking here. Does that even makes sense?

Anyway, here are the links:

Nick Cafardo writes that Jonny Gomes is making a good case to stick around.

The notebook has Shane Victorino thinking about a significant change.

In the Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick writes that Giancarlo Stanton would be a good fit with the Red Sox.

Remember James Mulry, the Northeastern pitcher who struck out Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz? Leigh Montville writes about the special bond he has with his cousin.

Farrell: 'We can do better defensively'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 11:05 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Were this the regular season, Red Sox manager John Farrell would have convened a team meeting and aired out the players a bit.

The Sox allowed 20 runs and committed eight errors in Saturday's doubleheader debacle against the Orioles. They were out-hit 26-9 and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The second game was a 13-2 embarrassment that featured six errors.

Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski, Jonny Gomes, and Xander Bogaerts were 0 for 16.

The Sox are now 2-7-1 after 10 games and have been outscored by 31 runs. Yikes.

But a team meeting is pretty useless at this stage of spring training. Players usually go home after they come out of games and there are still 33 players in camp who will be cut before Opening Day. How a team looks in early March isn't much of a read on how they will play in April.

But Farrell isn't happy about the defense.

"Long day, we got our reps in. We can do much better defensively, there's no question about it," he said.

"I can't say that there's a common thread. You're looking at guys who have played the positions that they're at, particularly in tonight's game where things got away from us defensively. And yet we're working each day to shore the infield defense up."

A few other notes from today:

• Lefthander Henry Owens, who is 21, faced a strong Baltimore lineup in Game 1 and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over 2.1 innings.

"Obviously the results weren’t what I wanted them to be,” Owens said. “But I thought it was cool. That was my first opportunity to face some consistent big leaguers in a lineup. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

Owens has given up four runs in 4.1 innings in spring training. Against the Orioles, Owens was working on his curveball and the left some pitches up that were hit hard.

“Trying to refine it and drop it in there for strikes,” said Owens, who is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. “The best way to start succeeding is you’ve got to fail first. Obviously today was a good learning point for me.”

• Kudos to Christian Vazquez. With two outs and his team down, 13-0, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Vazquez worked the count against Orioles reliever Troy Patton before crushing a two-run homer to left field.

That says a lot about Vazquez's improvement offensively and his perseverance. He may have been the only person in the ballpark who wanted that game to continue.

Long day, thanks for reading. Come back for more tomorrow.

Wrap up: Red Sox swept by Orioles

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 10:51 PM

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for grapefruit_st_logo.jpgSCORES: Game 1: Orioles (split squad) 7, Red Sox (split squad) 3. Game 2: Orioles (split squad) 13, Red Sox (split squad) 2.

RECORD: 2-7-1.

GAME 1 BREAKDOWN: Sox starter Henry Owens allowed three runs on five hits before being taken out in the third inning in Sarasota. Alex Wilson gave up four runs in the sixth inning. Former Red Sox infielder Alex Gonzalez had a two-run homer for the Orioles.

GAME 2 BREAKDOWN: It was an ugly night in Fort Myers. The Sox were held to three hits and committed six errors. Michael Almanzar, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Red Sox, drove in three runs for the Orioles. Mike Yastrzemski (Carl’s grandson) added two RBIs for Baltimore, which had 13 hits. Kevin Gausman (3 innings) and the Orioles bullpen shut down a lineup of Red Sox regulars.

THUMBS UP: Will Middlebrooks and Bryce Brentz were each 2 for 3 with a home run in the first game. Brentz has three home runs in 18 spring-training at-bats ... After missing three days with a sore left ankle, A.J. Pierzynski caught six innings in the second game … Christian Vazquez had a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Troy Patton in the second game.

THUMBS DOWN: Righthander Miguel Celestino could not get an out in the seventh inning of Game 2. He was charged with six runs, three earned as the Sox gave up eight runs in the inning. Japanese submariner Shunsuke Watanabe gave up two runs in that inning … Mike Carp was 0 for 3 in Game 1 and is off to a 2-for-15 (.133) start in spring training with five strikeouts … First base prospect Travis Shaw was 0 for 4 in the first game and is 1 for 14.

MEDICAL REPORT: Jake Peavy threw three innings of live batting practice and is lined up to start on Thursday against Minnesota. Peavy is recovering from a deep cut on his left index finger. … Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow, who has yet to pitch in a game, should get on the mound soon. He has been brought along slowly after a heavy workload last season and lingering concerns about his shoulder.

AROUND THE BASES: Game 1 drew 7,858 to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the first sellout of the season for the Orioles … The Red Sox are off on Wednesday, but Felix Doubront will pitch in a minor league intrasquad game to stay on turn. ... MLB executive vice president Joe Torre attended the first game. He was hoping to see a replay challenge to test how the system works but none transpired … Former Boston mayor Tom Menino attended the nightcap … The Red Sox have been outscored 64-35 in 10 games.

NEXT GAME: The Sox play the Pirates in Bradenton on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Clay Buchholz will face Charlie Morton. The game will be on NESN and WEEI-FM.

Live updates, Game 2: Orioles (ss) at Red Sox (ss)

Posted by Staff March 8, 2014 06:35 PM

Live updates as the Red Sox and Orioles play the second game of their split squad series on March 8. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Henry takes a jab at the Marlins

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 06:30 PM

henry tweet .jpg

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Miami Marlins officials were upset on Thursday when the Red Sox flouted major league rules and sent a lineup made up largely of minor leaguers to the game between the teams in Jupiter.

The Marlins, who raised ticket prices for the game to take advantage of Red Sox fans, were left with unhappy customers.

Ultimately, the Marlins did not file a complaint with Major League Baseball and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington called his Miami counterpart, Mike Hill, to apologize.

But Red Sox owner John Henry stoked the embers of the controversy on Saturday when he wrote on Twitter, “They should apologize for their regular season lineup.”

Presumably, Henry was referring to the Marlins. Henry, who also owns the Globe, owned the Marlins from 1999-2001.

The Marlins play the Red Sox at JetBlue Park on Tuesday afternoon. It will be most interesting to see what players they send on the trip.

Spring Training Game 10: Orioles (ss) at Red Sox (ss)

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 04:30 PM

Here are the lineups for the second game:

RED SOX (2-6-1)
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Pierzynski C
Gomes LF
Bogaerts SS
Brown CF
Herrera 3B
Pitching:
RHP Brandon Workman followed by RHP Brayan Villarreal,
RHP Miguel Celestino and minor-league call-ups.

ORIOLES (6-2)
Lough CF
Weeks 2B
Flaherty SS
Pearce 18
Clevenger C
Reimold LF
Urrutia RF
Monell DH
Almanzar 3B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Gausman followed by RHP Mike Wright, RHP Evan Meek, RHP Josh Stinson, RHP Ryan Webb, LHP Troy Patton.

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: WEEI-FM.

Notes: Workman allowed five runs on five hits against Pittsburgh on Monday. He did strike out five in the game. ... Gausman is one of Baltimore's best prospects. The 23-year-old appeared in 20 games last season, starting five. ... The Orioles called up minor leaguer Mike Yastrzemski (the grandson of Carl) for the game. ... Almanzar is a Rule 5 selection from the Red Sox.

Live updates, Game 1: Red Sox (ss) at Orioles (ss)

Posted by Staff March 8, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates from Florida as the Red Sox play the first of two split squad games with the Baltimore Orioles on March 8.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Farrell on CF: 'The competition is there'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 12:31 PM

SARASOTA, Fla. — The most interesting aspect of spring training for the Red Sox will be how their outfield comes together for Opening Day.

Grady Sizemore's return to health could create some interesting decisions. Can the Red Sox get away with Sizemore in center field with occasional games from Shane Victorino or does Jackie Bradley Jr. need to be on the roster?

"The competition is there," manager John Farrell said. "But we haven't arrived at a conclusion with Grady yet. We're hopeful that Monday and Tuesday he's got a chance to go back-to-back days. We still have to get answers to some questions that aren't there yet.

"There's still going to be that looming question of what's the total number of games played? We want to be sure that we keep a trajectory going upward rather than have any kind of setback because we've taken too quick a step."

Sizemore was 2 for 3 on Friday and ran the bases well.

Farrell called it "really encouraging" and mentioned that Sizemore was 4.2 seconds down the line when he beat out an infield single. That's not far off from his prime of 4.1.

"You get that feel there's no hesitation," Farrell said.

Also:

• Jake Peavy will throw three innings in the bullpen today in Fort Myers. He is lined up to start on Thursday against Minnesota. Peavy is recovering from a deep cut on his left index finger.

• The Red Sox are off on Wednesday. But Felix Doubront will pitch in a minor league intrasquad game to stay on turn.

• LHP Craig Breslow, who has yet to pitch in a game, should get on the mound soon. He has been brought along slowly after a heavy workload last season and lingering concerns about his shoulder.

Victorino may give up switch-hitting

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 12:09 PM

SARASOTA, Fla. — Shane Victorino has yet to play a game in spring training for the Red Sox. When he does come back, which should be soon, it may only be as a righthanded hitter.

Victorino largely abandoned switch hitting in August last season because of a strained left hamstring. It proved successful as he hit .300 with an .896 OPS in 115 plate appearances batting righthanded against a righthanded pitcher.

Victorino has been coy about his plans, refusing to say whether he will bat lefthanded again. But he has yet to take a swing batting lefthanded during batting practice sessions on the field.

"It's almost going to be a game-time decision. I think he has his viewpoints on it and where his confidence is," manager John Farrell said this morning. "He hasn't told me that he's eliminating switch hitting."

Victorino is a natural righthanded hitter who learned to switch hit in 2002 when he was in the minors. He has been a better hitter righthanded over the course of his career.

"The right side has always been his strong side," Farrell said. "I think last year his production against righthanded pitching probably has enabled him to be a little bit more open-minded to getting the majority of at-bats from that side of the plate."

Farrell said the Red Sox support the idea.

"We want the most productive player," he said. "If that's what it lends to, we'd be perfectly fine with it if that's what he opts to do."

Batting righthanded Victorino hit a modest .216 in the postseason but drove in 12 runs over 14 games. He had big hits in Game 6 of the ALCS and Game 6 of the World Series.

"You look at the approach at the plate and the overall production and the confidence and you tend to think that has a chance to [continue]," Farrell said. "Time will tell."

Victorino has been held out of games so far for several reasons. He is recovering from surgery on his right thumb and has been doing extra work to strengthen groin muscles that gave him problems last season.

"Hopefully by sometime early this coming week he will be on the field," Farrell said. "All his on-field work has been free, no issues. That's been encouraging."

Spring Training Game 9: Red Sox (ss) at Orioles (ss)

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 09:09 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (2-5-1)
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Deven Marrero SS
Mike Carp 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Travis Shaw DH
Ryan Lavarnway C
Bryce Brentz RF
Brock Holt 2B,
Henry Ramos LF
Pitching: LHP Henry Owens followed by RHP Noe Ramirez, LHP Tommy Layne, RHP Alex Wilson, LHP Jose Mijares.

ORIOLES (5-2)
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Delmon Young DH
Matt Wieters C
Alex Gonzalez 3B
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Pitching: RHP Bud Norris followed by LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Darren O'Day, LHP Tim Berry, LHP T.J. McFarland, RHP Oliver Drake, LHP Aaron Laffey.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN.

Notes: The teams also have a game at JetBlue Park at 7:05 p.m. John Farrell and his coaches are working both games. It's 86 miles between the ballparks. ... Owens will be making his second major league appearance in spring training. He allowed a run in two innings against the Pirates on Monday. ... Instant replay will be in use today.

Good morning from Sarasota

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 8, 2014 09:04 AM

SARASOTA, Fla. — Greetings from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, where's it's 54 degrees. But it's sunny and expected to get warmer.

Long day ahead for the Red Sox, who have a split-squad doubleheader against the Orioles. Game 1 is here at 1:05 and Game 2 is at JetBlue Park at 7:05. Then the Sox have a day game against the Pirates in Bradenton on Sunday.

Links to our Globe stories today:

Red Sox backup catcher David Ross had a tumultuous first season with the Red Sox. Now he's ready to fill a significant role.

The notebook has Felix Doubront looking strong again. It also was a big day for Grady Sizemore.

Sizemore passes some more tests

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 7, 2014 07:07 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — One Red Sox official called signing Grady Sizemore "a lottery ticket" for the organization because of the long odds it would pay off.

So far, a few of the numbers have popped up.

Sizemore was 2 for 3 in today's game against the Braves. But most notably, he took second base on a wild pitch in the third inning, sliding in to beat the throw from catcher Gerald Laird.

Sizemore hustled to beat out an infield hit in the first inning then had a line-drive single in the third. The outfielder is one of the surprises of camp after missing two consecutive seasons with injuries.

“He did a number of things today we haven’t seen yet,” manager John Farrell said.

Sizemore isn’t seeking out particular situations. But he’s passing physical tests as they occur in games.

“I’m not thinking about anything out there. It’s not one of those things where I’m hesitant or worried about anything,” he said. “If I were thinking along those lines, I wouldn’t be ready to play.”

Sizemore will get two days off before playing again Monday. He is not expected to play back-to-back games until later next week.

“The only question that we have right now is answering the durability one,” Farrell said.

That is an important question, obviously. As the Red Sox assemble their roster, they will need to determine whether Sizemore can be a regular player or more effective as an extra outfielder. Other decisions will hinge off that.

Wrap up: Red Sox 4, Braves 1

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 7, 2014 05:53 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 4, Braves 1.

RECORD: 2-5-1.

BREAKDOWN: Felix Doubront pitched four shutout innings, allowing two hits without a walk and striking out three. Five relievers allowed one run on two hits. Atlanta’s Jason Heyward homered off Junichi Tazawa in the sixth inning. The Sox broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the seventh. Jonathan Herrera had an RBI double and Ryan Lavarnway a two-run single.

THUMBS UP: Wil Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts had a rough day in the field on Wednesday against the Cardinals. But they were solid against the Braves. Middlebrooks charged a slow roller and made a strong running throw to get Ramiro Pena in the third inning. Bogaerts went deep in the hole to get a force at second base in the fourth inning.

THUMBS DOWN: Umpire Marvin Hudson had the nerve to call ball four when Koji Uehara was facing Gerald Laird in the fifth inning. “Can you believe it?” catcher David Ross said. In truth, the ball was outside because Uehara was working on a slider.

MEDICAL REPORT: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hasn’t played since twisting his left ankle on Monday, is scheduled to start on Saturday night against the Orioles. Manager John Farrell said the injury was the result of a new pair of cleats and Pierzynski is now wearing something that fits better. … Righthander Matt Barnes, who was temporarily shut down with a tender shoulder, has started throwing again.

AROUND THE BASES: David Ortiz was 0 for 8 in spring training before doubling to the triangle in center field in the fourth inning. …The Red Sox will not make their first cuts until after Tuesday’s split-squad doubleheader, Farrell said. … Former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan attended the game. … Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, David Ross and Mike Napoli went to the Florida Gulf Coast University basketball game on Thursday night. The “Dunk City” Eagles beat Eastern Tennessee.

NEXT GAME: The Sox have a split-squad doubleheader against the Orioles on Saturday. Game 1 will be at 1:05 p.m. in Sarasota. Game 2 will be at 7:05 p.m. in Fort Myers. Henry Owens will start the first game and Brandon Workman the nightcap.

Live updates: Braves at Red Sox

Posted by Staff March 7, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates as the Red Sox host the Atlanta Braves. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Victorino and Peavy getting closer

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 7, 2014 12:30 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell expects Shane Victorino to play in his first game early next week. He has been held out to work on strengthening core muscles that bothered him at times last season.

“He’s making solid progress,” Farrell said. “More range of motion in all his activities on the field and is responding very favorably at this point.”

Also:

• Jake Peavy will throw an extended bullpen session on Saturday, essentially a simulated game without batters. The righthander is recovering from a deep cut on his left index finger and cannot yet catch a ball.

“The wound is healing satisfactorily,” Farrell said. “Given all things considered he’s making good progress with it.”

Peavy is scheduled to pitch a game next week, either Wednesday or Thursday. If he stays on that schedule, Peavy should be able to make the Opening Day roster.

“If my math is right, that gives him four starts here. We’re not going to skip steps but we feel like there is ample time to ramp him up,” Farrell said.

• A.J. Pierzynski, who hasn’t played since twisting his left ankle on Monday, is scheduled to start on Saturday night against the Orioles. Farrell said the injury was the result of a few pair of cleats and Pierzynski is now wearing something that fits better.

• Righthander Matt Barnes, who was temporarily shut down with a tender shoulder, has initiated a throwing program.

• The Red Sox will not make their first cuts until after Tuesday’s split-squad doubleheader against the Orioles, Farrell said.

• Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, David Ross and Mike Napoli went to the Florida Gulf Coast University basketball game on Thursday night. The “Dunk City” Eagles beat Eastern Tennessee.

• Farrell offered no apologies for fielding a lineup of little-known players against the Marlins on Thursday. A report said Miami officials were “outraged,” but a team spokesman said Friday that no complaint was filed to Major League Baseball.

Major league rules require teams to have a lineup with at least four players who are regulars or have a reasonable chance to being regulars. The Red Sox used one player who fit that definition — Jackie Bradley Jr. — in Thursday’s 0-0 game in Jupiter.

Farrell said he was aware of the Marlins being upset but was comfortable with the lineup he used.

“You can’t speak to what goes on inside another team’s camp. There are reasons why that they bring a team that they do,” Farrell said.

Farrell said the starting infielders stayed behind to work with coach Brian Butterfield on positioning in shifts. The Red Sox also were missing several regulars with injuries.

“We had work and injuries we were contending with,” Farrell said. “I thought we played a pretty darned good game.”

• The Red Sox agreed to terms with 19 players on the 40-man roster with 0-3 year of service times. Such players have no negotiating leverage and generally accept contracts based on a team’s formula.

The Red Sox, like most teams, adjust salaries over the minimum of $500,000 based on service time in the majors and performance. As such, Felix Doubront ($586,000), Daniel Nava ($556,500) and Will Middlebrooks ($540,000) were the highest paid of the group according to WEEI.com.

Brandon Workman ($518,000), Xander Bogaerts ($517,000), Ryan Lavarnway ($510,000) and Rubby De La Rosa ($504,000) were on the next tier followed by Alex Wilson ($503,500), Drake Britton ($503,000), Brock Holt ($503,000), Jackie Bradley Jr. ($502,000), Allen Webster ($502,000) and Steven Wright ($502,000).

Bryce Brentz, Dan Butler, Garin Cecchini, Alex Hassan, Anthony Ranaudo and Christian Vazquez received $500,000.

Gomes gets another Series souvenir

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 7, 2014 09:58 AM

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Jonny Gomes' new artwork. (Photo via @RedSox Twitter feed)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jonny Gomes got an elaborate tattoo to commemorate the World Series. But he didn't stop there.

Gomes commissioned a painting from sports artist Vernon Wells Sr. It was delivered this morning and is very impressive. It's a reproduction of various scenes from throughout the season involving Jonny.

Wells, whose son Vernon was a long-time MLB outfielder, does terrific work. Check out vwellsart.com to see a selection of his paintings.

Spring Training Game 8: Braves at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 7, 2014 07:55 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (1-5-1)
Sizemore CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Nava RF
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross C
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront followed by LHP Jose Mijares, RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Junichi Tazawa, RHP Edward Mujica.

BRAVES (2-6-2)
Heyward DH
B.J. Upton CF
J. Upton LF
Doumit RF
Johnson 3B
Meija 1B
Laird C
La Stella 2B
Pena SS
Pitching: LHP Alex Wood.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: The Red Sox return home after back-to-back days on the road in Jupiter. ... Doubront threw two scoreless innings in his spring training debut. ... Uehara and Tazawa will be making their second appearances. ... Two division champions from a year ago are 3-11-3 so far in spring training.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 7, 2014 07:20 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Baseball lost a true pioneer on Thursday with the death of Dr. Frank Jobe. It was Jobe who performed unlar collateral ligament reconstructive elbow surgery on Tommy John on September 25, 1974.

Now "Tommy John surgery" is commonplace in baseball and has saved the careers of hundreds of players. The list includes Red Sox starter John Lackey.

Jobe also served as a medical staff sergeant in the Army's 101st Airborne Division during World War II. He later became the long-time team physician of the Dodgers but helped players from all teams.

Jobe belongs in the Hall of Fame for his contributions to baseball.

Links to our Globe Red Sox coverage:

For some Red Sox players, smokeless tobacco remains a habit that's hard to break.

Nick Cafardo writes that the left side of the Red Sox could be a problem,

The notebook has Rich Hill mourning a lost son.

Here's the breakdown of a 0-0 tie with the Marlins.

Chad Finn writes that Fox hiring Harold Reynolds was an uninspired choice.

Marlins 'outraged' over Red Sox roster

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 6, 2014 08:58 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Florida Marlins officials were "outraged" the Red Sox did not field a representative team for this afternoon's game in Jupiter.

The Sun Sentinel newspaper also reported the Marlins planned to contact Major League Baseball about the situation.

MLB requires teams to field spring training lineups with "a minimum of four players who were regulars on the previous year’s major league team or who were platooned on the previous year’s major league team on a regular basis, or who have a reasonable chance to be regulars on the major league club’s squad during the upcoming season."

Each of those regulars, excluding pitchers, must play a minimum of three complete innings.

The Red Sox lineup included only one player — center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. — who fits that description.

The Marlins raised ticket prices for the game, labeling the Red Sox a "super premium" attraction.

Live updates: Red Sox at Marlins

Posted by Staff March 6, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates as the Red Sox take on the Miami Marlins on Thursday, March 6.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Storms may affect Sox game

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 6, 2014 12:25 PM
JUPITER, Fla. – Good afternoon from Jupiter.

We're going to be anticipating severe weather here over the next few hours so we have no idea how much of this game will take place. There's a window from noon-4 p.m. where severe storms could bury the region.

John Farrell indicated that both David Ross and AJ Pierzysnki have come along nicely from their foot and ankle injuries and are scheduled to play Friday and Saturday.

Jake Peavy, who threw a bullpen, will continue with his throwing program and Farrell hopes that in the next few days the bandage on his left index finger will be reduced to the point where he can wear a glove and begin taking the pounding on the healing laceration where he cut himself with a fishing knife.

Back in Fort Myers, Brian Butterfield put the infielders through workouts, especially Will Middlebrooks, who had a tough day in the field on Wednesday in Jupiter vs. the Cardinals.

Farrell met with Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and wished him well. There had been some hard feelings during the World Series when Salty was benched in favor of Ross, but both have moved on and appear to be getting along fine.

Farrell is impressed with Bryce Brentz' camp thus far. Brentz has hit two homers and made a tremendous throw from right field Wednesday to nail a runner going from second to third.

This is a big draw for Marlins, so they'll try to get the game in. Bill Parcells, who lives here, just showed up.

Giancarlo Stanton is in the Marlins' lineup. There will always be rumors associated with Stanton and Boston. Stanton acknowledged he's heard them and said he respects the Red Sox for the great team concept.

For John Lackey, three innings of perfection

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 6, 2014 11:05 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox righthander John Lackey pitched for the first time in spring training this morning, going three innings in a minor league intrasquad game.

Lackey was perfect, retiring all nine hitters he faced and striking out six of them. He threw 36 pitches, all fastballs and a few changeups.

It certainly beat the alternative, which would have been a long bus ride across the state for the game against the Marlins.

"I just didn't want to go to Jupiter today to be honest with you," Lackey said. "It's a lot shorter trip here."

Lackey is scheduled to start on Tuesday against Miami at JetBlue Park.

"I felt good. Pretty much threw a lot of fastballs, trying to get that location to start off with," Lackey said. "Good place to start."

Lackey was coming of Tommy John elbow surgery when he reported to camp last season. Now he's pitching with much more peace of mind.

"Definitely just a lot different," he said. "Last year you kind of wondered how you were going to feel with the elbow more than trying to locate pitches. I was just trying to see how my elbow was going to feel more than anything."

Lackey had a strong season in 2013, going 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA over 29 starts and 189.1 innings. He was 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in the postseason. He pitched a key inning of relief in Game 4 of the World Series then beat the Cardinals in Game 6, allowing one run over 6.2 innings.

A few other notes from the Fort:

• Lefty Andrew Miller faced two batters in the intrasquad game and retired them both.

• David Ross (left foot) said he is ready to start on Friday.

• Will Middlebrooks, who had a rough day in the field on Wednesday, was out early working with infield coach Brian Butterfield. It's noteworthy that Butterfield stayed behind to work with Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts.

Red Sox pitching plans for this week

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 6, 2014 09:10 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Here is the pitching schedule for the next five days:

Friday vs. Atlanta: Felix Doubront, Jose Mijares, Francisco Cordero, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica.

Saturday at Baltimore: Henry Owens, Noe Ramirez, Tommy Layne, Alex Wilson, Dalier Hinojosa,

Saturday vs. Baltimore: Brandon Workman, Jose Mijares, Andrew Miller, Brayan Villarreal, Miguel Celestino.

Sunday at Pittsburgh: Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Francisco Cordero.

Monday vs. Tampa Bay: Jon Lester, Chris Capuano, Anthony Ranaudo, Jose Mijares.

Tuesday at Baltimore: Allen Webster, Dalier Hinojosa, Alex Wilson, Brayan Villarreal.

Tuesday vs. Miami: John Lackey, Drake Britton, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Edward Mujica, Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop.

Hill arrives at Red Sox camp with heavy heart

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 6, 2014 09:02 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill arrived at Red Sox camp this morning to heartfelt hugs and words of support from teammates. His infant son, Brooks, passed away on Feb. 24.

"We had a son on Dec. 26 and he was born with multiple issues that we confronted and had to deal with as we were moving through the last couple of months at Mass General," Hill said. "Unfortunately, he succumbed. He's passed. He taught us a lot of things. Unfortunately things didn't work out."

The Hill family — Rich, Caitlin and 2-year-old Brice — landed in Florida on Wednesday night.

"My wife has been extremely strong," Hill said. "We're going to enjoy our time here and obviously make the most of the opportunity that's here to play baseball," said Hill, who turns 34 next week. "Excited to be here, to be playing baseball again and get back into the normalcy of my profession and to be around a great group of guys and to just take that next step.

"One-day-at-a-time approach, that's where we're at, to really enjoy every day."

Hill was with the Red Sox from 2010-12 and pitched well when healthy, posting a 1.14 ERA over 40 games and averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Hill appeared in 63 games for Cleveland last season despite a 6.28 ERA.

Hill, a native of Milton, thanked the Red Sox for their support. One of the main reasons he signed a minor league contract with the organization was to remain close to his family.

"There was a strong correlation," he said. "Fortunately, had the opportunity to come back. The Red Sox have been tremendous through this whole part of our life. ... They were absolutely fabulous. It was 100 percent support all the way."

Hill said his family has had "tremendous support" from family and friends.

"Extended family, at Mass General. Everybody there has been tremendous. The doctors, the nurses and everybody who cared for our son," Hill said.

Hill is hopeful of finding a spot on the Red Sox roster.

"We'll see. I feel that the opportunity is here," he said. "The opportunity is here for myself to make the most of it and go out there and do everything that I can on a daily basis to perform."

The Red Sox have lefthanded relievers Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller on the 40-man roster along with starting pitcher prospect Drake Britton, who pitched in relief in the majors last season. Lefthanded reliever Jose Mijares is in camp on a minor league contract.

Spring Training Game 7: Red Sox at Marlins

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 6, 2014 07:50 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (1-5)
Bradley CF
Hassan LF,
Cecchini 3B
Lavarnway C
Shaw 1B
Snyder DH
Brentz RF
Marrero SS
Meneses 2B
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster followed by LHP Drake Britton, RHP Alex Wilson and minor league call-ups.

MARLINS (5-2)
Furcal 2B
Yelich LF
Stanton RF
Saltalamacchia C
Ozuna CF
McGehee 3B
Dobbs DH
Lucas 1B
Hechavarria SS
Pitching: RHP Nathan Eovaldi followed by LHP Brad Hand, RHP Chaz Roe, LHP Mike Dunn, RHP Chris Hatcher, LHP Dan Jennings and LHP James Leverton.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: Webster did not pitch well in his first spring game, giving up three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings against the Twins. Britton was sharp in that game, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out four. ... Thunderstorms are expected in the area around Roger Dean Stadium around game time. ... Saltalamacchia, a member of the Red Sox from 2010-13, signed a three-year deal with the Marlins in the offseason.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 6, 2014 07:26 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox are 1-5 and have been outscored 43-24 so far in spring training. It's pretty ugly and several folks wrote emails asking if there was reason to be concerned.

It's a legitimate question and even John Farrell mentioned on Wednesday that the team needs to clean up its mistakes.

But there probably aren't more than a handful of players in the clubhouse who have the remotest idea what the team's record is. At this point, it's not a concern.

This stage of spring training is glorified practice for the players who will make up the 25-man roster. They play one game every few days and then only for three or four innings.

Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Craig Breslow have thrown a grand total of five innings in games so far.

David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli have 22 at-bats. Until the Red Sox make some cuts and get their actual team on the field what transpires on the field doesn't hold much meaning beyond being able to evaluate individual players.

The Red Sox were 2-4 after six games in spring training last year and it turned out pretty well.

Nick Cafardo is with the team in Jupiter today for the game against the Marlins. Here at Fenway South, John Lackey will throw a simulated game.

Our stories in the Globe today:

Nick spoke to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the catcher made it clear he wasn't wanted back by the Red Sox.

The notebook has Farrell expecting better and Jon Lester working on his game back in the Fort.

Here's the report on an 8-6 loss against the Cardinals.

Live updates: Red Sox at Cardinals

Posted by Staff March 5, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates from Florida as the Red Sox travel to take on the St. Louis Cardinals on March 5. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

For Lester, a low-key first appearance

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 5, 2014 12:07 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was 9:30 a.m. when Jon Lester walked out to the mound on Field 1 behind JetBlue Park for his first appearance of spring training.

Only a dozen or so fans were behind the backstop. Teammates Drake Britton, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey were on hand along with Carl Yastrzemski and Dwight Evans. General manager Ben Cherington was another interested spectator.

Lester threw 38 pitches over what amounted to three innings. He faced 13 minor-league hitters and allowed three runs (none earned) on five hits. There was one strikeout and one hit batter.

Lester faced Justin Henry, Carlos Rivero, Manuel Margot, Jesus Loya, and Kendrick Perkins.

Lester was held back a turn in spring training after making five starts and throwing 34.2 innings in the postseason. The simulated game was a way to ease the lefthander into action.

Lester understands why the team is being cautious. But he felt ready to go from the start of camp.

"I don't like to be put in a bubble like that," siad Lester. "Kind of restricted before anything starts, especially if there's no physical problems. Might as well go ahead and get after it and get ready for the season.

"Felt fine. Physically today is just getting through the first one. Get some innings and get ready for some real game action."

Lester threw his fastball, cutter, and curveball and mixed in two changeups.

"I ended up throwing everything," he said.

Pitching coach Juan Nieves said Lester would start against Tampa Bay on Monday.

"I thought he looked great," Nieves said. "The ball came out really well. The spin on the breaking ball was very sharp. Bottom line is, as long as they walk off the mound feeling healthy and not grabbing anything, they're fine."

Lester said that to his knowledge there is no progress in negotiations on a contract extension with the Red Sox. His agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, spoke to team officials earlier in spring training.

John Lackey will throw a two-inning simulated game Thursday.

For Peavy, an unorthodox bullpen session

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 5, 2014 12:04 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox righthander Jake Peavy squeezed his injured left index finger into a glove this morning and threw 40 pitches in the bullpen.

But Peavy was not allowed to actually use his glove. Because of the heavy bandage on Peavy's finger, bullpen catcher Mani Martinez served as his valet and caught the ball for him.

Peavy accidentally cut his finger with a fishing knife Saturday, opening a wound that required minor surgery. Peavy said the blade actually hit the bone in his finger and sent blood spurting several feet. He will not lose any function in the finger but perhaps some feel because of nerve damage.

The more immediate problem is how to play catch. The finger still hurts and Peavy is not yet ready for the impact of the ball.

"I felt all right," he said. "Obviously it was a little difficult getting my hand in there. But once I got it in I felt fine. Catching the ball back, that's going to be the biggest thing.

"It was good to get the uniform on and get some work in. You don't want to take a step back."

Peavy missed his start Monday. The long bullpen session somewhat made up for that. Now the Red Sox have to figure out what comes next. Some sort of simulated game is likely.

"We just need to figure it out," Peavy said. "I really don't know what our timetable is."

The other issue is the possibility of infection. Peavy gets the dressing changed frequently and is taking antibiotics. If infection does set in, doctors have told him he would need intravenous treatment.

"The biggest thing holding me back is them worrying about any kind of sweat getting in it," Peavy said.

Peavy threw all 40 pitches from the stretch as he worked on his mechanics. He does not think he will have to start the season on the disabled list.

"I don't see that being a problem," he said. "I certainly don't foresee it going that long to where it affects [the schedule.] You can get some work in a controlled environment to get your arm speed up.

"If it came down to it, we could simulate a game environment and throw one or two less actual games and still be ready."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia disappointed in Red Sox' low offer in offseason

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 5, 2014 09:52 AM

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JUPITER, FIa. – Jarrod Saltalamacchia said he was disappointed the Red Sox made the lowest offer among the six teams who bid for his services as a free agent and the team never moved off a two-year offer that wasn't completely guaranteed.

The Red Sox, who are here playing the Cardinals today and Salty's Marlins on the other side of the facility Thursday, signed veteran A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal instead, with an eye toward using their young catchers, Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez, down the road.

Salty never revealed the Red Sox offer, but he said it was nowhere near the three-year, $21 million deal he made with the his hometown Marlins.

"We had a few options. No one was as low as the Red Sox. Out of six or seven, they were the lowest. I didn't understand that. It is what it is. I was disappointed. They (Red Sox) offered a two-year deal, but not cut and dry. There were other things involved. Not a straight two-year deal. I was disappointed. I definitely wanted to stay. I enjoyed every minute that I was there. Guys go their whole career wanting to play there and never get a chance, let alone win a World Series when you're there," Saltalamacchia said.

"I couldn't make them make a choice. It wasn't like this is what it's going to take and this is what it is. They just weren't interested because they had some young guys coming up and I understood that because I was in that position when I was coming up. This was ultimately a good choice for me," he said.

Saltalamacchia, 28, who made great strides both offensively and defensively last season, had said late in the season that he wanted to spend the rest of his career with the Red Sox, but the team never engaged in talks with him.

"I wasn't asking for the moon. Based on what I got here. But they weren't willing to go anywhere near that. I was shocked. The more I thought about it, I realized, based on how they felt, that they didn't offer me anything during the year. I don't think that was ever a goal for them. Wanting to go with their young guys seemed to be the major reason. That's the only thing that made sense to me because I wasn't asking for a lot. I wasn't asking for $15, $13 or $12 million. I was just asking for what was fair. I'm 28, I still think of myself as a young catcher," Saltalamacchia said.

Saltalamacchia said Red Sox general manager Ben (Cherington) expressed interest in bringing him back.

"He was hoping I would stay and I told him I was hoping I would stay. We just couldn't come together for anything more than two years and even within the two years there were a number of options and what-ifs attached," he said. "I think I deserved to have at least something guaranteed."

Saltalamacchia was benched in the World Series.

"You want to play," he said. "You work so hard during the course of the year to get to that point and I felt I was a big part of that. You get there and by the end of the day we won. I'd be more upset if I didn't play and we lost it. That's the ultimate goal.

"Rossy (David Ross) was in there Game 1 and we won. I was in there Game 2 and we lost. I don't know if it was because of me we lost, but Rossy did a good job. If I'm a manager and I see that you have a guy who's winning and doing a good job, I have no hard feeling toward it. We won, I got a ring," Saltalamacchia said.

He also spoke about his relationship with manager John Farrell.

"We didn't talk much. It was tough. We had meetings about it. I told him my feelings, he told me his. At the Winter Meetings he came up to me shook my hand and congratulated me. Same here," he said.

With the Marlins he could bat anywhere from cleanup to sixth. If healthy, he expects to catch 120 games. He's expected to be a leader of a young pitching staff, try to build and nourish it after overseeing the World Series champion pitching staff.

He has one of the best young pitchers in the game in rookie of the year Jose Fernandez.

"It's a good group of guys, good coaching staff, relaxed," Saltalamacchia said. "It's different, of course. I feel I can be a leader, but I'm not coming in here trying to change or do anything drastic. You've got guys here like (Giancarlo) Stanton who have been here so I'm trying to follow their lead a little bit and see how things go around here. If they seek my advice, I can give that based on my experience with a winning team. That's what we're trying to build here."

But he will never forget Boston, where he played a huge role in the charitable efforts in Boston Strong.

"It's tough for many reasons. So many friends I made, so many charitable contributions that I was a part of. What that city went through and the people in it and the casualties, it makes it tougher to leave that behind. That's why coming back to my home town helps that a little bit. At least I'm home now," he said.

Spring Training Game 6: Red Sox at Cardinals

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 5, 2014 07:39 AM

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (1-4)
Nava LF
Bradley Jr CF
Bogaerts SS
Carp 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Lavarnway DH
Herrera 2B
Brentz RF
Vazquez C
Pitching: LHP Chris Capuano followed by RHP Anthony Ranaudo, RHP Dalier Hinojosa, RHP Burke Badenhop, LHP Tommy Layne, RHP Miguel Celestino, RHP Noe Ramirez.

CARDINALS (1-3)
Ellis 2B
Peralta SS
Holliday LF
Craig RF
Molina C
Adams DH
Jay CF
Scruggs 1B
Descalso 3B
Pitching: RHP Shelby Miller.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: FoxSports1.

Notes: It's a World Series rematch! OK, not so much. But Capuano will be making his spring debut and will be followed by Ranaudo, who pitched two stellar innings in his first game. That should please the many Red Sox fans who will be at Roger Dean Stadium. ... The Sox will play the Marlins in Jupiter at the same stadium on Thursday. ... Today's game will feature use of the new replay rules.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 5, 2014 07:25 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox team bus has already left for Jupiter (the city on the east coast of Florida, not the planet) for a game against the Cardinals.

Nick Cafardo will be on hand for that game. Here in the Fort, Jon Lester will throw a three-inning simulated game and Jake Peavy will throw in the bullpen without a glove.

All in a day's work. Here are the links to our Globe stories:

For Red Sox prospect Christian Vazquez, the catching legacy in Puerto Rico helps guide him.

The notebook has Clay Buchholz not pitching well but still feeling good about.

Buchholz leaves spring debut encouraged

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 4, 2014 05:52 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Clay Buchholz was not sharp against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, giving up a run on three hits and a walk in one inning. He also pitched at a maddeningly slow pace.

But what mattered most was how physically good Buchholz felt walking back to the dugout.

Buchholz was anxious to test the strength of his right shoulder in his spring training debut. Playing catch and throwing in the bullpen offered only so much feedback.

“It feels completely different than it did the last month and half, two months of last year. That’s what I want it to feel like coming into camp. Now just need to keep working,” said Buchholz, who spent three months on the disabled list last season.

The Red Sox, who lost, 8-0, planned to have Buchholz go to the bullpen and keep throwing after the first inning. But the 26 pitches he threw were deemed sufficient.

“It was good to see Clay back on the mound,” manager John Farrell said. “He showed decent arm strength. I don’t want to make too much of an inning of work. But he was able to go through an extended bullpen, almost simulating an inning. In some ways today was like two innings of work for him. A good starting point.”

Buchholz said his velocity got up to 92-93. Scouts in the stands said it was a few ticks lower than that. But it was certainly higher than the low-wattage stuff he featured in Game 4 of the World Series.

“Velocity is creeping back up to where I need it to be. No problems throughout,” Buchholz said.

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Rays

Posted by Staff March 4, 2014 12:35 PM

Live updates and commentary as the Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays in Spring Training game No. 5.

Click here for the mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Peavy starts throwing, but not catching

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 4, 2014 10:45 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jake Peavy played long toss today, an effort by the Red Sox to keep his arm in shape after he missed his start on Monday with a deep cut on his left index finger.

Peavy only threw the ball, however. Head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson caught it for him. He'll throw in the bullpen on Wednesday the same way. Peavy's finger is heavily bandaged after an accident with a fishing knife required minor surgery to repair.

"The precaution we have to take right now is just making sure he doesn't perspire too much. That might cause some bacteria to get into the incision. It's still closing up," manager John Farrell said.

It's uncertain when Peavy will be able to get into a game in spring training. The injury also raises the possibility of Peavy not making the Opening Day roster. If the Red Sox used Peavy as their No. 5 starter, he would not be needed until April 6. That could buy him time to stay behind and prepare.

The other option would be to use Chris Capuano or Brandon Workman in the rotation until Peavy is ready.

Could Peavy start the season on the disabled list?

"We haven't ruled that out yet," Farrell said. "As much as we can continue to do with arm work and arm activity in the current situation, we'll get him out to the mound as soon as we can."

In other injury news:

• Shane Victorino (right thumb) took batting practice on the field today. Farrell said the right fielder would need several such workouts before he gets in a game. "We don't feel it's too far in the future," Farrell said. "He's in good shape as far as being ready for the start of the season."

• David Ross was scheduled to play today but is out with a sore left foot. An MRI was negative and Ross should start on Friday. It's a tendon issue.

• Matt Barnes (right shoulder) has what Farrell described as "stiffness in the back of his shoulder." Tests in the training room were negative.

"He's a highly valued prospect and we're not going to push him too soon," Farrell said. "We're just being overly cautious."

• A.J. Pierzynski (left ankle) was walking around the clubhouse without any sort of limp. He has some swelling and isn't expected to play until Saturday at the earliest. Pierzynski rolled his ankle during one of the early workouts and again on Monday. The Sox want to give him a few days.

Ask Nick: Will Victorino switch-hit?

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 4, 2014 10:40 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Except for Ryan Dempster's retirement and a couple of Jake Peavy finger incidents, the Red Sox have gone through a relatively quiet camp so far.

Here are some topics to mull over:

• Grady Sizemore continues to pass his early tests – running, fielding and hitting. He was scheduled to get a couple of days of down time after playing Tuesday vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. Sizemore has been very frank with himself. He says it's too early to determine whether he's a full-time player. If he is, he'll generate some interesting roster decisions.

Sizemore does have minor league options, but he would have to give his consent to go to the minors if he or the team felt he needed more at-bats.

• It's not that the Red Sox have given up on Jackie Bradley Jr., but the realization is he's not a burner on the basepaths, but above average. They're working on improving Bradley's confidence and aggressiveness in trying to steal bases. They feel any speed he has is seen best in the outfield.

• Christian Vazquez continues to draw rave reviews for his catching and throwing ability, but as we pointed out in our Sunday Baseball Notes, don't forget Dan Butler. He may be 27, but look at his offensive numbers and then combine it with his solid defense and he's a catcher that's being looked at very closely by other organizations if the Red Sox find they don't have room for him with Vazquez and Ryan Lavarnway also in Pawtucket.

Lavarnway, of course has been re-invented as a first baseman/DH/C so he'll get at-bats beyond catching.

• Just based on a few at-bats, looks like first base prospect Travis Shaw is going to be an effective Fenway hitter with impressive power to the opposite field.

• When I mentioned "30 home run power" for Will Middlebrooks, hitting coach Greg Colbrunn added, "or more."

• The Red Sox will miss having a dynamic leadoff man like Jacoby Ellsbury and they'll miss the consistency of Stephen Drew's shortstop defense.

• Do not forget about right fielder Bryce Brentz. He's been the forgotten man but one of the few righthanded hitters with power in the Sox organization.

Here's the mailbag:

Will Shane Victrorino switch-hit this year or just bat from right side?
JM, West Baldwin, Maine
He's been very secretive about that. Asked him recently and he said, "You all have to see." At the end of last season he said he would continue to be a switch-hitter. May he be an non-traditional switch-hitter and not go left-right every time? Perhaps.

Regarding John Henry's 30-year shelf life comment about Fenway Park, it's like a can of Spam. As long as fans tolerate the uncomfortable seats, or sub-standard food, he can keep raking in the money. Does he really think fans are happy with Spam with a Red Sox label? Does he care, or is the almighty dollar just too consuming?
Toby, Needham
Lots of different opinions about Fenway. Some people would be crushed if the old ballpark went away; others welcome a new facility. I think the original intention was to pursue a new ballpark, but after their initial pursuit it was decided they were better off redoing Fenway. As for the almighty dollar, I think the Sox owners could make a lot more money with a new ballpark. Every owner who has opened a new ballpark has made a ton of money. Personally, I'm for a new ballpark, but it's a moot point. Not going to happen.

I know that it might sound like wishful thinking. Yet, looking at a simple comparison of runs scored versus runs allowed, the Yankees were the only team in the East that allowed more runs than they scored. Is it not likely that the Yankees had things go their way on the field more than they didn't—and that their team was not as good as their record? And then would it also not be surprising if the improvements that they made in the offseason allow them to stay even, not improve?
Joshua, Madison, Wis.
Their lineup was decimated last season so you understand them not scoring as many runs. What they did with that makeshift lineup was remarkable. They lose Jeter, Teixeira, A-Rod, Granderson, and Youkilis. Now I know they've lost Cano, but their improvement should allow them to be one of the top scoring teams in baseball. Next question is pitching. If Sabathia can pitch with his new skinny body, if Kuroda rebounds, if Tanaka is the real deal and Michael Pineda comes back strong, they'll be good. Problem there is their bullpen. I think Robertson can handle the closer role, but their late-inning relief and lack of depth may bite them.

Nick, wondering how you feel about the Red Sox' young pitchers and who will emerge to help during the season?
Rick, Worcester

In the 30 years I've covered the team this group is impressive in terms of potential. They'd have a ways to go to match the mid-80s homegrown guys like Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, Oil Can Boyd, Bob Ojeda, John Tudor, Al Nipper, and Steve Crawford, but certainly they have a chance to get there. I've learned over the years not to get too crazy in love about pitching prospects until they actually get to the majors and show something.

I think the surest thing they have right now is Brandon Workman. He's made all of the adjustments both as a starter and reliever and come away pretty solid. We see the continued struggles of Allen Webster, who wasn't developed by the Red Sox, but he has great stuff and seems very nervous on the mound. Anthony Ranaudo and Henry Owens have excellent stuff and poise. Matt Barnes has come up with some shoulder soreness, so we'll have to watch that. That homegrown pitching rotation that started the season in 1986 was pretty impressive.

Do you think Roger Clemens will ever get into the Hall of Fame?
Nick, Reno, Nev.

I think he will. Clemens was a Hall of Famer as was Bonds. lt may take all 15 years, but it's hard to close your eyes and really believe that the only reason he accumulated those numbers was because he took steroids for a few years. Same with Bonds.

Red Sox travel roster for games in Jupiter

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 4, 2014 09:10 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Many fans have asked, so here are the notable players playing in Jupiter on Wednesday and Thursday:

Vs. St. Louis on Wednesday: Burke Badenhop, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Chris Capuano, Mike Carp, Garin Cecchini, Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Anthony Ranaudo.

Vs. Miami on Thursday: Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, Drake Britton, Garin Cecchini, Ryan Lavarnway, Allen Webster, Alex Wilson.

These lists are subject to change. But this is what was posted in the clubhouse this morning.

Spring Training Game 5: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 4, 2014 08:00 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (1-3)
Sizemore CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Hassan RF
Butler C
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz followed by RHP Rubby De La Rosa, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Jose Mijares, RHP Francisco Cordero

RAYS (2-1-1)
DeJesus LF
Escobar SS
Loney 1B
Myers DH
Joyce RF
Forsythe 3B
Rodriguez 2B
Molina C
Kiermaier CF
Pitching: RHP Chris Archer followed by RHP Mark Lowe, LHP Jake McGee, RHP Nathan Karns, RHP Brad Boxberger, LHP Enny Romero, LHP Mike Montgomery.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: This is the first of five spring training meetings between the division rivals. ... Buchholz is making his spring debut. The Red Sox delayed his first start as part of a plan to ease up those pitchers who were relied on in the postseason.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 4, 2014 07:30 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Clay Buchholz is scheduled to make his first appearance of spring training today. It'll probably be two innings and all that really matters is that he emerges healthy.

It's easy to suggest the Red Sox won't be as good this season because they lost Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, three important players. The counter to that argument is the potential of a player like Buchholz.

Buchholz has the talent to win the American League Cy Young Award, that's how good he is. The Red Sox, as good as they were, can be better if Buchholz makes 33 starts and that talent comes through.

Today is the first day of many we'll be watching to see how that process develops.

As for the links:

For Ryan Lavarnway, playing first base could create some options this season and down the road.

The notebook has Jake Peavy explaining how he injured his finger.

Wrap up: Pirates 7, Red Sox 6

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 3, 2014 05:06 PM

SCORE: Pirates 7, Red Sox 6

RECORD: 1-3.

BREAKDOWN: Brandon Workman allowed five runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin had two-run homers for the Pirates. The Sox, down 6-1, got a two-run homer from Bryce Brentz in the seventh inning and another two-run blast from Mike Carp in the eighth. Henry Owens allowed the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

THUMBS UP: Garin Cecchini (0 for 1 two walks) continues to impress. He made a nice play on a slow roller down the line in the first inning then drew a walk on a close 3-and-2 pitch from Edinson Volquez. When Brock Holt grounded to first, Cecchini had a good jump off first and broke up the double play with an aggressive slide.

THUMBS DOWN: Righthander Chris Resop, a veteran of 235 major games who is in minor league camp with the Sox, came in for Workman in the third inning and allowed an inherited runner to score. Two more hits produced another run.

MEDICAL REPORT: A.J. Pierzynski (2 for 3 with a double) rolled his left ankle going back to first base in the seventh inning and came out of the game. He said afterward he was fine. Pierzynski was not scheduled to play until Friday regardless. … Righthander Matt Barnes, who was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, has been scratched because of shoulder tenderness according to manager John Farrell.

AROUND THE BASES: Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa each pitched a scoreless inning in their first appearances of the spring. That drew a gathering of 20 Japanese reporters. … Former Sox reliever Mark Melancon pitched a perfect fifth inning for the Pirates. … The game drew a crowd of 7,558. Parking lot owners near McKechnie Field raised prices to $20 to take advantage of the influx of Red Sox fans.

NEXT GAME: The Red Sox host the Rays on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. Clay Buchholz will start against Chris Archer.

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Pirates

Posted by Staff March 3, 2014 12:35 PM

Updates as the Red Sox face off with the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. in Brandenton, Fla.

Click here for mobile-optimized version of the live blog.

Red Sox pitching plans for this week

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 3, 2014 12:33 PM

Here are the Red Sox pitching plans through the end of the week:

Tuesday vs. Orioles: RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, RHP Matt Barnes, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Jose Mijares, RHP Francisco Cordero, Brayan Villarreal.

Wednesday at Cardinals: Chris Capuano, Anthony Ranaudo, Dalier Hinojosa, Burke Badenhop, Tommy Layne, Miguel Celestino, Noe Ramirez.

Thursday at Marlins: Allen Webster, Drake Britton, Alex Wilson.

Friday vs. Braves: Felix Doubront, Jose Mijares, Francisco Cordero, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica.

Saturday at Orioles: Henry Owens, Noe Ramirez, Tommy Layne, Alex Wilson, Dalier Hinojosa.

Saturday vs. Orioles: Brandon Workman, Jose Mujica, Andrew Miller, Brayan Villarreal, Miguel Celestino.

Sunday at Pirates: Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Francisco Cordero, Burke Badenhop.

MINOR LEAGUE GAMES (at Ft. Myers)

Wednesday: Jon Lester

Thursday: John Lackey

Farrell says Peavy is day-to-day

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 3, 2014 12:18 PM

BRADENTON, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell said Jake Peavy is day-to-day after cutting the index finger on his left hand.

"We'll take our guidance from the medical staff as to when he can first initiate some throwing," Farrell said before the Red Sox played the Pirates. "I do know we have to be careful about how much he sweats. We just have to be cautious with any potential infection that might get in there. That's kind of what we're gauging right now."

Farrell didn't know how many stitches Peavy had.

"I do know that they had to go in and make sure it was irrigated and cleaned out and not allow any potential infection to take place," he said. "How that wound was left — whether it was left open to continue to heal — those details I'm not exactly clear on."

Also:

• Ryan Lavarnway has made quicker progression at first base than the team expected. "His early work has been so positive, we get an opportunity to take a look at it here in camp and we're doing just that," Farrell said.

Jake Peavy explains finger injury

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 3, 2014 10:32 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jake Peavy emerged from the Red Sox clubhouse this morning with a white bandage wrapped around his left hand and index finger, the result of suffering a laceration on Saturday that required stitches and a few days of down time.

"Just getting ready to go fishing ... promised my little boys I'd take them fishing. Went over to Bass Pro [Shops] and bought them some rod and reels and they were combined. Just tried to cut them, because they were wire-tied, using my knife," Peavy said.

"With my right hand holding the rod, with my left holding the knife and when I broke the wire tab it (the knife) just stuck my knuckle pretty good."

Peavy said he struck a vein and he bled pretty severely all over his shorts. He said he and his boys went to John Lackey's house, where he discarded the bloody shorts for a new pair.

"It's a bummer," Peavy said. "I didn't think it was that crazy bad to the point where I didn't seek medical attention that day. We wrapped it up and went fishing. Came back here yesterday and realized we needed to have it stitched up and we needed to take some precautionary measures because we didn't want to risk infection."

Peavy said he came to the ballpark wanting to play catch, but the medical staff told him no.

"That's the biggest thing. I could go out and play today if it was a must, but you can't risk infection and let it sweat right off the bat. You don't want to get it infected, that's the reason you hold back a day or so," he said.

Peavy, however, doesn't think this will be a long-term problem.

"I don't think it's going to be long at all. I'd like to go out there and play catch tomorrow. The biggest thing is not to sweat a whole, whole bunch until the healing process takes over.

"I want to play catch. I'd like to be able to tell you I'll be making my next start. Hopefully we can do that and get back on schedule so we don't mess things up too much," he said.

Peavy said the wound was on the outside part of the knuckle.

"It was a brand new knife and it was huge as well. It was new and big, so it was pretty sterile, but it was pretty sharp as well," he said.

Peavy seemed to be able to laugh it off.

"We've all done something like that at some point in our lives. It was a huge bummer but so blessed it was my left hand. A bummer to miss a start and get off schedule a little," he said.

Peavy said he wasn't sure how many stitches were put in because he didn't watch.

"They couldn't stitch it all the way up. I guess you risk more infection by doing that. We had just got the arm in shape and built up. I threw 46 pitches the other day and was going to be throwing two innings today. As long as we can get going in the next couple of days, the last thing you want to do is alter someone else's schedule," he said.

As for the impact of receiving throws, Peavy is a little concerned.

"That's gonna be the kicker. It's on a knuckle. We'll figure it out. Get a bigger glove or something. I'm sure they'll wrap it up and get it to the point where I'll watch it all the way, like I tell my boys, and make sure the ball goes into the pocket of glove," Peavy said.

Peavy said the fish weren't biting that day.

"No, we didn't catch anything, but I might have got dad of the year votes on that one. I promised my 5-year-old we'd go fishing and that's why I didn't seek attention. My older two come with me (to the ballpark), but I leave him (the 5-year-old). We had about a hour before dark. I couldn't tell my 5-year-old I couldn't go fishing. It was his last day here," he said.

Peavy had been held back early in camp when he suffered an irritation of the right ring finger when he was struck by a ball.

Spring Training Game 4: Red Sox at Pirates

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 3, 2014 07:52 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (1-2)
Nava LF
Herrera 2B
Carp DH
Lavarnway 1B
Pierzynski C
Bradley Jr. CF
Brentz RF
Cecchini 3B
Holt SS
Pitching: RHP Brandon Workman followed by LHP Henry Owens, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Junichi Tazawa and RHP Miguel Celestino.

PIRATES (3-1)
Marte LF
Martin C
McCutchen CF
Alvarez DH
Walker 2B
Snider RF
Lambo 1B
Andino 3B
Barmes SS
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano followed by RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Mark Melancon, LHP Tony Watson, LHP Justin Wilson and RHP Bryan Morris.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: None.

Notes: Workman is starting in place of Jake Peavy, who will miss at least a few days with a cut on his left index finger. ... Uehara and Tazawa will be making their spring debuts and aren't expected to pitch again until the weekend. The Red Sox will space out their appearances and line them up against NL teams when possible this spring. ... Melancon pitched for the Red Sox in 2012.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 3, 2014 07:41 AM

FORT MYERS. Fla. — The Red Sox have some traveling this week. They'll play the Pirates in Bradenton today then the Cardinals and Marlins across the state in Jupiter on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

We'll have today's lineup shortly. But here are links to our Globe stories today:

Is there crying in baseball? Stan Grossfeld found out talking to the Red Sox.

It was family moment at the park Sunday when Carl Yastrzemski saw his grandson, Mike, play for the Orioles. Nick Cafardo has the story.

The notebook has Jake Peavy getting thrown a cutter.

Wrap up: Red Sox 8, Orioles 6

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 07:42 PM

SCORE: Red Sox 8, Orioles 6.

RECORD: 1-2.

BREAKDOWN: Felix Doubront started for the Sox and threw two scoreless innings and Mike Napoli hit his first homer of the spring.

MEDICAL REPORT: Right fielder Shane Victorino began baseball drills, taking some swings and doing some running and throwing as he eases back after thumb surgery. Pitcher Steven Wright likely will have to remain in Fort Myers when camp breaks as he recovers from hernia surgery.

THUMBS UP: Manager John Farrell continues to rave about catching prospect Christian Vazquez, who, according to Farrell, has thrown out 11 of 11 trying to steal and was timed at 1.86 seconds (really good) throwing to second base . . . Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. each had two hits, and first base prospect Travis Shaw hit the ball hard twice, with a two-run double to show for it. ... Napoli’s two-run homer was a shot.
THUMBS DOWN: Relievers Keith Couch and Jeremy Kehrt had poor outings, allowing five earned runs between them. Heiker Meneses committed an error at second base that allowed the Orioles to score their first run.

AROUND THE BASES Former Boston College star Doug Flutie held court with a bunch of Red Sox players :and coaches, and Carl Yastrzemski made his spring training debut behind the cage and watched his grandson Mike play for the Orioles . . . Former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette, now in that post with the Orioles, and his assistant, Lee Thomas, a former Red Sox player and executive, were on hand as well . . . The Red Sox paid their respects to Monica Pence Barlow, the Orioles’ public relations director who lost her battle with cancer at age 36 . . . The Sox signed Bo Greenwell, son of former Red Sox left fielder Mike Greenwell, to a minor league deal.

SCHEDULE: The Red Sox head north to Bradenton to play the Pirates in a 1 p.m. game. Brandon Workman will replace the injured Jake Peavy (knife injury to finger on non-throwing hand) as the starter. Henry Owens, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tawzawa, and Miguel Celestino are scheduled to appear.

Jake Peavy sidelined by cut finger

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 05:05 PM
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Manager John Farrell revealed that pitcher Jake Peavy suffered a laceration of the left index finger during a household accident that will keep him out a minimum of three days.

According to Farrell, Peavy, who was scheduled to start Monday in Bradenton, Fla., against the Pirates, cut his finger with a fishing knife Saturday while trying to cut something.

Farrell said it could have been much worse.

"He was at home when it took place and he trying to cut through something, and when it gave way, it almost cut through his finger," Farrell said.

"I don't know how many (stitches). He had a procedure today to make sure there was no infection of any kind and to clean it out. He's idle for the next three days," Farrell said.

Farrell said that Peavy's timetable to start the season may not be affected if he gets back on his throwing program soon. He missed time early when he was hit with a ball and suffered an irritation to his right ring finger. He returned from that with no problem.

Farrell said Peavy, who doesn't have very good eyesight, could be fit with a padding on his glove hand.

Brandon Workman will replace him vs. Pittsburgh.

"This was a freak one," Farrell said. "Honestly, he avoided some serious injury with what took place."

Proud moment for Carl Yastrzemski

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 01:42 PM
FORT MYERS, Fla. – You could tell it was a proud moment for Carl Yastrzemski.

His grandson Michael, an outfielder, was on the Orioles roster for a game against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park on Sunday. Carl and Mike exchanged a hug and conversed for a while behind the batting cage.

"It means a lot," the elder Yaz said of his grandson, with whom he shared a special bond and taught him hitting on Sunday afternoons at the batting cage in North Andover.

Michael Yastrzemski had a stellar career at Vanderbilt University after deciding not to sign with the Red Sox out of high school. He was drafted by the Orioles and signed, and spent last season at Class-A Aberdeen. The right fielder was thrilled to be able to play for the Orioles against his hometown team and the team that made his grandfather so famous.

"I knew even before I was coming to spring training that he was going to be down here," Mike Yastrzemski said. "We had conversations about who was coming down and he said he'd be down on the 1st or 2nd, so I figured he'd be here."

Mike said it would be special to be playing in front of his grandfather, with whom he said he had a "normal grandfather-grandson relationship. We talk about a lot of other stuff. Fishing, baseball, golf. It's all good."

The elder Yaz made it to Vandy on a couple of occasions to watch him play.

"He didn't make it to Aberdeen, but when he came down to Vandy a couple of times, we had a good time," Mike said.

Carl said he never wanted to overwhelm his grandson with his hitting knowledge or what he thought he should be doing. Yaz said he started working with him seriously when Mike was a freshman in high school, but he would also bring former Red Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak along.

He said his personal clinics with him got a little too intense, so he backed off.
The biggest advice Yaz gave him?

"Just to be myself. Have fun and do what I can to play at my best level," Mike said.

As he looked around JetBlue Park, Mike said he was hoping he would get into the game.

"It would be great," Mike said. "To be able to play at a replica Fenway in spring training, first time being at a big-league camp, it would be real special."

"it just proves that a lot of hard work take you a long way. Put the time in," Carl said.

Carl also felt it was best that his grandson didn't sign with the Red Sox.

"Without a doubt. I think if he had signed, there would have been a lot of pressure. He likes Baltimore and he's with a great organization. We also have one of our former Red Sox Triple A managers – RJ (Ron Johnson) taking care of him," Carl said.

Mike, who earned his bachelor's degree at Vanderbilt, has made a seamless transition from aluminum bat to wooden bat. At Aberdeen last season playing right field, he hit .273 with three homers and 25 RBI. A lefthanded hitter, he hit lefties at a .367 clip with a 1.051 OPS.

It will be interesting to see how far he gets.

"I think he has a shot because he has the desire and determination and that can take you a long way," Carl said.

Carl had a distinctive stance, and said while his grandson doesn't quite hold the bat the same way, there are similarities.

"A little bit (the same) when he lets go of the bat," said Carl, referring to the Hriniak influence. "We were talking about that a little while ago. Make sure you hold on. Don't take it off too early. A lot of people thought I was way up here. I was always top hand near my ear. So many hitters held the bat lower – that's why I stood out – but guys now hold it much higher.

While Yaz said he hadn't gone to the minor league camp yet, he loves what he sees from Will Middlebrooks.

"I like the way Middlebrooks is swinging. He's thinking up the middle. He's got a quick bat; no reason not to hit .300. I told (Dustin) Pedroia he got taller. He was hitting them out of here. I liked looking at (Grady) Sizemore. Liked him over the years. He had some good years in Cleveland," Carl said.

Asked about his other passion – fishing – and the time spent with Michael doing that, Carl said, "he's a better fisherman than me."

Live updates: Red Sox vs. Orioles

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 12:35 PM

Preseason game No. 3 begins at 1:05 p.m. Streaming updates will appear below.

Click here for mobile-optimized version of live blog.

Farrell wants more consistency from Doubront in 2014

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 11:16 AM
FORT MYERS, Fla. – John Farrell addressed a few issues ahead of the Red Sox vs. Orioles this afternoon, starting with the outlook for Felix Doubront, today's starting pitcher.

"We'd like for him to build off of last year and eliminate the peaks and valleys he went through. He worked out at IMG (in Bradenton, Fla) on two different occasions and came in in good shape and hopefully this will be a bigger year than last," Farrell said.

Farrell hopes the good physical conditioning helps Doubront repeat his delivery more consistently, which has been a problem in his early career.

"He's won without his best staff and that's with savvy or intangibles we don't necessarily coach. He has four good pitches – a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a great changeup – and he was very consistent at a time when we needed it when Clay (Buchholz) went down," Farrell said.

In other news:

• Chris Capuano will make his first start Wednesday in Jupiter vs. the Cardinals. John Lackey and Jon Lester will throw simulated games that day back at Fort Myers.

• Shane Victorino, according to Farrell, has begun baseball activities. He threw from 150 feet, ran and swung the bat.

"He's making solid strides," said Farrell, who said he's not setting any artificial dates for when Victorino will appear in a game. "When he's ready. We don't want to jump the gun too early."

• Grady Sizemore will play again on Tuesday and then not play again until Friday. It's reached the point where the Red Sox will give him a few days to heal up his sore body. Farrell admits it's likely going to take to the end of camp to determine whether Sizemore can be an everyday player or a backup.

"We've got to continue to see it. I wish we could fast-forward and get the answer. So far so good. Somethings don't change, like running into the wall (at Hammond Stadium vs. the Twins on Saturday. He got right up and threw the ball. Talking to him, he felt he had a legitimate beat on the ball until time ran out," Farrell said.

Farrell noted that Sizemore's times up the line have improved.

"His mind is more free and not as guarded. Some of the signs within the game you're starting to see how he responds to game situations," Farrell said.

• Kudos continue to come catching prospect Christian Vazquez's way. Vazquez threw out another runner Saturday.

"He's thrown out every runner in big league camp. He's 11 for 11. What's impressive is the progress with the bat. There's more strength in his swing. More solid impact. When you look at numbers they're heading into the right direction. He's getting stronger. When he first signed he had difficulty getting through a nine-inning game. Now he's one of the best catching prospects in the game," Farrell said.

Farrell said Vazquez' time was 1.86 seconds on the throw to second base.

"It's all well above average," Farrell said.

Carl Yastrzemski's grandson, Michael, an outfielder, was scheduled to be on the Orioles' travel squad to Jet Blue Park today. His granddad will watch whenever he gets into a game.

Spring Training Game 3: Red Sox vs. Orioles

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 09:05 AM

Good morning. Here are today's lineups:

RED SOX
Gomes LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Bogaerts SS
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross C
Bradley Jr. CF
Brentz RF
Doubront P
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront, RHP Alex Wilson, RHP Edward Mujica, LHP Tommy Layne, RHP Noe Ramirez, RHP Burke Badenhop

ORIOLES
Weeks 2B
Peguero RF
Young DH
Pearce 1B
Reimold LF
Clevenger C
DeJesus SS
Borbon CF
Almanzar 3B
Pitching: LHP Brian Matusz

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI-FM

Notes: The Red Sox will wear their home whites today, and also on March 10, 15, 20 and 27. ... Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski and a minor-league outfielder, is expected to join the Orioles for today's game.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 2, 2014 08:22 AM
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Good morning from Jet Blue Park.

The Red Sox play the Orioles today at 1:05 p.m. You can read about the Orioles in my Sunday Baseball Notes in the Boston Globe today.

We'll monitor the Jon Lester talks. We learned Saturday that Lester's agent, Seth Levinson, has engaged in at least two discussions concerning Lester's contract extension.

Not much to report on the David Ortiz extension talks. Ortiz' agents had one face-to-face conversation, but nothing new has developed there.

Grady Sizemore said he's OK after crashing into the wall at Hammond Field Saturday. We'll check on what the day after is like for him, which remains key to whether Sizemore can take the pounding of everyday playing.

Felix Doubront will pitch today for the Red Sox vs. the Orioles. Doubront worked out in a structured environment this offseason. We'll see if he can take the next step toward being one of the top lefties in baseball this season.

In our other coverage in the Globe this morning:

The camp report details Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Twins.

The notebook covers Allen Webster's shaky first outing of the spring.

Today's On Baseball column explains the baseball brotherhood of Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Doug Mientkiewicz, who is now a minor-league manager in Fort Myers.

Wrap up: Twins 6, Red Sox 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 1, 2014 04:43 PM

SCORE: Twins 6, Red Sox 2.

RECORD: 0-2.

BREAKDOWN: Righthander Allen Webster allowed three runs, as did non-roster lefty reliever Jose Mijares. Chris Parmelee had a three-run homer for the Twins.

THUMBS UP: Lefthander Drake Britton retired six of the seven batters he faced, four by strikeout. He threw three pitches for strikes and “He was outstanding,” manager John Farrell said. “He was crisp; he was powerful.” Britton worked his fastball in against righthanded hitters and threw his changeup and slider for strikes. “I felt really good mechanically. I was not trying to do too much, just stay where I was at,” Britton said.

THUMBS DOWN: Garin Cecchini ripped a ball into the gap in right field in the second inning but was thrown out trying for a double. Cecchini was 2 for 3. … The Sox were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

MEDICAL REPORT: Daniel Nava (neck) played in his first game of the season and homered batting righthanded in the first inning. The switch hitter hit only two home runs righthanded last season. Because of the neck pain, Nava had not yet taken a righthanded swing in camp before he came to the plate.

YOUNG YAZ ON THE WAY: Baltimore manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Sarasota that minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski would join the Orioles for Sunday’s game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. He is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Mike Yastrzemski, 23, played at St. John’s Prep and Vanderbilt before being drafted by the Orioles last June.

AROUND THE BASES: The crowd of 8,547 at Hammond Stadium booed former Twin A.J. Pierzynski when he came to the plate in the first inning. He tipped his helmet. … Ryan Lavarnway saw his first action at first base, playing three innings. … It was 76 degrees at the start of the game, 78 degrees warmer than in Minneapolis at the time. … Hammond Stadium, home of the Twins, was refurbished with a walkway and new stands in the outfield and other upgrades that will be finished before next season. Lee County was contractually obligated to make the improvements after building a new facility for the Red Sox. ... Lefthander Rich Hill, who was signed to a minor league contract, has yet to report to camp because of what Farrell termed a “serious family issue.” There is no timetable for when he will join the team. … … Grady Sizemore was 1 for 3 and played four innings in center field. He lost his footing on the warning track chasing a ball and went down but popped right back up. “No problem, I’m fine,” he said. Sizemore is scheduled to play again Tuesday. … Righthanded submariner Shunsuke Watanabe pitched a scoreless eighth inning. The 37-year-old accepted an invitation to minor league camp in hopes of earning a spot at some point this season.

NEXT GAME: The Red Sox host the Orioles on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The game will be on NESN and WEEI.

Live updates: Red Sox at Twins

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff March 1, 2014 12:35 PM

Game time is 1:05 p.m. Follow along in the feed below.

A mobile-optimized version of the live blog can be found here.

Johnny Football watches some baseball

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 1, 2014 10:45 AM

jfoot030114.jpg

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Texas A&M quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel put on a Red Sox jersey and watched this morning's workout at Fenway South.

The jersey had No. 2, the number Manziel wore with the Aggies.

Manziel, who entered the NFL draft after his sophomore season, has a partnership with Fenway Sports Management to handle endorsements and sponsorships.

The association is via LeBron James and Maverick Carter. Their management firm, LRMR, is affiliated with Fenway Sports Management.

Manziel, Carter and an entourage of about a dozen watched the workout. On Friday night, Manziel attended a charity event at JetBlue Park and posed for photos with a few Red Sox players including Jackie Bradley Jr., Steven Wright and Alex Wilson.

Manziel, through one of his handlers, declined to answer questions from reporters.

Spring Training Game 2: Red Sox at Twins

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 1, 2014 07:55 AM

Good morning. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (0-1)
Sizemore CF
Herrera SS
Nava LF
Pierzynski C
Carp 1B
Hassan RF
Cecchini 3B
Shaw DH
Holt 2B
Pitching: RHP Allen Webster followed by LHP Drake Britton, RHP Brayan Villarreal, LHP Jose Mijares.

TWINS (1-0)
Hicks CF
Dozier 2B
Mauer 1B
Willingham LF
Parmelee RF
Plouffe 3B
Vargas DH
Suzuki C
Escobar SS
Pitching: LHP Scott Diamond, RHP Jared Burton, LHP Glen Perkins, RHP Ryan Pressly, RHP Michael Tonkin, RHP Alex Meyer.

Game time: 1:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: WEEI-FM.

Notes: The teams played on Friday at JetBlue Park with the Twins winning, 8-2. ... Webster was 1-2, 8.60 in eight games for the Red Sox last season. He was much better (8-4, 3.60) in 24 starts for Triple A Pawtucket. ... Nava is playing in his first game of the spring after getting over a pinched nerve in his neck. ... Pressly was drafted by the Red Sox in 2007 and was taken by the Twins in the Rule 5 draft in 2012. He appeared in 49 games last season. ... Pierzynski, a former Twin, will be playing his first game of the spring.

Good morning from Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff March 1, 2014 07:12 AM

davis_st2281_spts.jpg

Anthony Ranaudo lets a pitch go against the Twins on Friday. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As snow once again bears down on New England, it might be nice to know that the Red Sox are only 30 days away from Opening Day in Baltimore.

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was at JetBlue Park last night for a charity event the Red Sox Foundation held in a tent outside the park. "Johnny Football" mingled with Red Sox players and invited guests.

The Sox are at the Twins today, a road trip of six miles to newly refurbished Hammond Stadium.

Here are links to our Globe stories:

Anthony Ranaudo was a presence for the Red Sox in his spring training debut.

The notebook has Jonny Gomes in a leading role.

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