Here are some quick hits on the Boston Red Sox Spring Training.
Lackey Spring Debut. Got to admit I chuckled when John Lackey smiled during his in-game interview on NESN after his Spring Training debut on Saturday. All part of the Lackey personality rehabilitation that has been going on this spring. Don’t know if this change in Lackey’s demeanor is for show or real, but I like it. The Red Sox have enough challenges getting out of last place on the field – good move by the organization and players to can the off-field drama that has been such a part of the previous two seasons. The first game results were fine. Now, let’s see if Lackey can build some velocity on his fastball.
The Napoli and Ortiz Watch. We have a long way to before Opening Day, and lots of good and bad (see: Curtis Granderson today) things can still happen. That said, I am trying to keep my perspective that Mike Napoli running the bases (which he did today) is news. And David Ortiz is still about a week away from the doing the same. Until they get a week or two of games under their belts, they are question marks for the season. Good low cost move by Boston bringing in Coach Mark at Baseball Index. Potentially, gives the team a left-handed bat off the bench who could spell Napoli at first and play some left field.
De La Rosa Goes Triple Digits. Rubby De La Rosa hit 100 mph pitching in today’s game. Red Sox Great Pedro Martinez has already declared De La Rosa can become one of baseball’s elite players. De La Rosa is still building up his arm in his Tommy John comeback so Boston will be limiting his innings this year. The Red Sox should take a page from the playbook of the Atlanta Braves, who started Kris Medlen off slowly last year so he could move into the rotation down the stretch run. As opposed to needing to shut him down early a la Stephen Strasburg.
Bradley Interview. MiLB.com ran this Q&A interview with OF prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. Sounds like a really well-grounded guy. It will be interesting to see if the taste of AA ball that Boston gave him at the end of last season translates into a fast start at Portland. With the uncertainty surrounding Jacoby Ellsbury at the end of this coming season, figure the Red Sox will push Bradley as much as he can handle. So they have an alternative to Ellsbury ready if needed.
What’s caught your eye from Spring Training?