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.