Extra Bases

Francona’s daily briefing

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox manager Terry Francona held a quick five-minute session with the media this morning as the team prepares to dart to its annual golf tournament.

About the only real news from the Q&A was that David Ortiz was once again absent from on-field workouts as he continues to nurse a sore left shoulder after sleeping on it awkwardly two nights ago. Ortiz also sat out yesterday’s on-field sessions.

Francona remains unconcerned.

“I think tomorrow he’ll be fine,” said Francona. “Just his left shoulder, it’s really not — again, it’s sore — but it’s not something that anybody has had concerns about or he needs to go get checked. Again, being February still, keeping him inside he can get his work done. Today’s a quick day anyway, he can get things done inside.”

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Francona opened the Q&A by saying Ortiz might have overdone it a bit earlier in the week.

“He feels a lot better,” said Francona. “I think he probably just overdid it the other day a bit. He’s not a guy who’s probably done a ton of throwing coming into camp and then we go out there and he does the ground balls with everybody, and he lifted, and then he went home and fell asleep on it.”

Other topics of interest today:

  • Pitcher watching — Francona took time to observe Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and Felix Doubront as they tossed live batting practice on Field 4 this morning. “We’re not evaluating, we said we wouldn’t,” said Francona. “But (Beckett) looked fine.”
  • Lugo’s talents — Asked what Lugo brings to the Red Sox when healthy, Francona answered: “Speed, athleticism, actually hit some home runs — most of them seem to be against us — the threat on the bases, first to third, there’s a lot that he does bring. When a guy gets hurt, people tend to forget and we don’t want to do that. That’s why we reminded him, he comes in — it’s a new year — clean slate. He looks like he worked hard. He’s thick, stronger. I know we haven’t played a game yet, but the ball does seem to be coming off the bat good, which is a good sign. That’s good news.”
  • More bullpen talk — “I hope it’s the best bullpen ever,” Francona said, only half-joking when asked about the prospects of this year’s group.

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