The Red Sox wrap up their spring training slate Wednesday night when they pay a visit to the Houston Astros.
Josh Beckett will get the start in his last tune-up of the spring.
Beckett, who is slated to start the team’s fourth game of the regular
season, is 0-4 with a 6.64 ERA in five Grapefruit League outings.
Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks and Dennys Reyes are all scheduled to follow Beckett out of the bullpen.
Boston closed down City of Palms Park on Tuesday in somewhat
non-dramatic fashion, tying Tampa Bay 1-1. That gives the Sox a 13-19-2
record this spring. They’ve lost as many as 20 spring training games
just three times since 1973.
Nelson Figueroa is on the mound for Houston. First pitch is 8:05 pm. (NESN)
Every year, there is one player that shows up for Spring Training with something to prove. They are typically more motivated, in better shape and more eager to get on the field. This year, it looks to be Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz has been near flawless thus far in spring training and he looks like he’s bringing it!
Last season, Buchholz went 17 and 7 for the Red Sox with a 2.33 ERA. That is
pretty good… VERY GOOD! With a little more offense, from the Red Sox, he probably would have ended up with 19 or 20 wins.
If Buchholz improves on last year’s stats, it’s going to be hard to call any one pitcher an “ace” without some serious arguments! Between Beckett, Lackey, Buchholz and Lester, there is some serious competition for the Ace role. Also, Wakefield probably won’t go the entire season making starts, but he might make a couple. And don’t forget Daisuke… when he is healthy, he can be a real asset to the pitching rotation.
The Red Sox have compiled a very competitive pitching staff this year and with improvements in the bullpen, the Sox should have a pretty good defensive year!
It will be nice to see newly acquired Red Sox player, Adrian Gonzalez, in action for the first time. That may happen next week, sooner if all goes well.
The Red Sox have been playing spring training baseball down in Fort Myers and the most action Gonzalez has seen so far was taking a few swings off a tee and minor batting practice.
Assuming nothing is wrong, he will be evaluated and the Red Sox will make a decision on letting him play this week or next week. Spring training is much less competitive than regular season play so it won’t be a huge risk and will help Adrian get ready for the season with the rest of the team.
Spring training is any team’s way of shaking the rust off and gearing up for another season. Looking ahead, April isn’t too far off. The Red Sox home opener against the Yankees is now about a month and a half away or less.
Seeing a healthy lineup on opening day would be a great way to start the season in the mind of any Sox fan! The AL East is going to depend on the health of the Red Sox!
It’s not too late to pick up some great seats for spring training games in Fort Myers… (or any spring training game in Florida).
Red Sox Spring Training Tickets are available for purchase 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through FenwayTicketKing.com. The Red Sox Spring Training Stadium is called City of Palms Park which is located in Fort Myers, FL. The Minnesota Twins also have a spring training facility in Fort Myers and that is called Hammond Stadium. The Red Sox and Twins play many spring training games together due to their close proximity to eachother.
Jed Lowrie has entered the 2011 season with the understanding that he will not be playing the same position every day.
In fact, the infielder may not even be playing every day — a
condition that he has come to terms with considering the depth of the
team that he is playing for.
“I don’t think it’s because I don’t have the ability to be an
everyday player, it’s just that this is a really good team with
All-Stars at pretty much every position,” Lowrie said in an interview
with Don Orsillo. “I’m still young in my career and I
know that I’ll get my opportunity and I’m looking forward to being the
productive baseball player that I know I’m capable of being.”
The Red Sox pitching and catching staff are supposed to report to spring training this Sunday. A few players are already in the area and eager to get back to work.
With some new faces in the pitching staff, a little extra work will be much needed. Learning signs, techniques and tendencies is an important part of spring training. The catcher and pitchers must always be on the same page and that’s the point of reporting before the rest of the team.
This year, it is going to be interesting to see who will get most of the playing time in the catcher position. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Varitek, Mark Wagner and Luis Exposito are all listed as catchers on the Red Sox official roster. In the system, there are plenty more talented catchers to choose from as well.
Hopefully Fenway Park will be defrosted in time for opening day.
Youk started with the Red Sox at Third base and moved to first. Now, the roster needs to be shifted around and Youkilis is expected to move back to third base for the upcoming 2011 season.
Youkilis has been a very solid fielder no matter what corner he is playing. Sox fans should feel comfortable with Youk at third. He may have played a lot at first, but he has much experience at both corners.
If Kevin Youkilis has his way, his career will end the way it began: at third base.
“Hopefully Adrian [Gonzalez] is here a long time, and hopefully I’ll
play at third the rest of my career,” the Red Sox’s newly appointed
third baseman said last week in downtown Boston at a launch event for
his new initiative, Athletes for Heroes. “It would be cool to both start
my career and end it there.”
Of all the things that the Red Sox have to worry about heading into
Spring Training — the bounce-back of Josh Beckett, Dustin Pedroia’s
foot, who rounds out the bullpen — Youkilis says his switch to third
Turning 32 during Spring Training, Youkilis has already appeared at
third base 219 times. He’s going there full-time now to accommodate
Gonzalez, one of the best first baseman in the game who came over from
the Padres in December.
It’s not as though the body of work isn’t there: Youkilis made a
career-high 63 appearances at third in 2009, 56 of those starts. He owns
a career .966 fielding percentage at the hot corner. It would be hard
to compare anything to his work at first, where he was excellent: He
owns a Gold Glove and a Major League record with 238 consecutive
errorless games in 575 appearances.
Still, it would make sense if Youkilis was fearful of some rust this
spring, some transitional woes. Unlike many, Youkilis isn’t a
winter-time migrant. He lives where he plays, in Massachusetts. He’s
been working out, but it’s not as though he’s been on a diamond the
No matter, he says.
“No, I never worried because I was always a third baseman,” Youkilis
said. “In 2008 in the playoffs, all that when Mike Lowell was hurt — I
do it every year. There’s some games I play over there in Spring
Training. It doesn’t worry me. I think it’s more excitement that I get
to go back to where I came.
“I just know if I put myself in the best shape possible that I’m
basically going to be able to do all the baseball stuff after. For me, I
lift weights, get in condition, get flexible. All the baseball stuff
handles itself because I get down a little bit early.”
Youkilis has proven he can hit anywhere. He put up a .307/.411/.564 line
with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs last season, a homer total that was low
because injury kept him to 362 at-bats and 102 games.
On Thursday, a clean-shaven, dark-suited Youkilis was at the State Room,
in a high-rise overlooking Boston Harbor. He said there that his right
hand is fully ready to go and the surgery that repaired a torn muscle in
his thumb in August was a success. The only attention his thumb needs
now, he said, is some moisturizing cream.
Youkilis had another focus this offseason, and it took quite an effort.
At the State Room, he was preparing to welcome some prominent names in
both music and sports for a charitable event, this one a little
different from programs his charity has spearheaded before. First — it
was in the heart of Boston. Previous events had been at Mohegan Sun in
Connecticut. Second, it was the undertaking of a new initiative, to
directly support those whose parents have been disabled or killed while
attempting to assist another.
Make no mistake, this is very much Youkilis’ charity. He was at every
board meeting this offseason, and there’s a very specific impact he
hopes to make off the field.
“I’ve worked with grassroots, underfunded programs the past three
years,” Youkilis said. “I just wanted to basically have more of a focus
for our charity and work with one select thing, and I’ve always been
pretty patriotic. I’ve always felt that people always talk about athlete
as heroes, but we’re really not heroes. We’re just athletes that, you
know, play games and bring excitement. People go nuts, but the real
heroes of America are the policeman and the firemen and the military; or
just the person off the street that saves someone’s life. That’s