Red Sox fans: baseball is back! And so is this blog, hopefully!
Today was the first day of Spring Training workouts for the Red Sox pitchers and catchers, as well as a number of early-to-report position players, and we are only nine days away from the first split squad games against Northeastern University and Boston College next Thursday.
Pedroia, Middlebrooks, Napoli, Ortiz take early BP. Photo courtesy of @RedSox
Pitchers and catchers were due to report voluntarily yesterday, and position players will report in a few days. The mandatory date for all non-World Baseball Classic players to report is February 20th. The Red Sox have three participants in the Classic this year: Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands), Alfredo Aceves (Mexico) and Shane Victorino (USA). Bogaerts is with the club right now and will be for the next two weeks before he heads to Arizona to work out with his national team and eventually heads to Taiwan for pool play. Victorino is at camp, but will miss about three weeks of time starting on March 1st, which is a little bit of a concern for the team. Manager John Farrell has repeatedly stressed the importance of Ellsbury, who reported early, and Victorino to get as many reps playing next to each other in the outfield as possible. Aceves has been with the team for two years now, so his brief departure is of little concern.
The first club workout was held this morning and the first full squad practice will take place on Friday.
Today’s news and links
The big story of the day was Clay Buchholz, who strained his hamstring in a pitcher fielding practice drill only hours into day one of camp. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. A large collective sigh could be heard from Red Sox fans growing impatient with Buchholz’s perceived injury proneness, but Buchholz downplayed the injury saying the strain was as “mild as it can be” and that he expects to be back by the weekend. Either way, this is not the way the Red Sox, who used the DL more than any team in baseball last year, wanted to start camp.