Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Saturday, March 02, 2013

So Far So Good

We're into Spring Training a little over a week, and so far for the Red Sox, it has been so good.

I never get too high or too low when it comes to the exhibition season, and the results really don't matter very much. The Sox are 5-4 this spring, but the good news is that the soap opera crap is gone (and headed to Sacred Heart University), and just about quiet this spring in comparison.

It's not a big surprise with John Farrell now in charge. It's clear he is universally respected by the players, especially the pitchers. Jon Lester has been throwing the ball well this spring, and that may well be a very good sign of things to come.

I have been especially pleased to see that pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster have been opening up eyes in camp, both with fastballs near 100 MPH. (And Carl Crawford is back on shelf in Dodgers camp with problems in the elbow he had the Tommy John surgery on. I have a feeling that down the road we may look at last August's trade with LA as one of the best Red Sox trades in recent history.) Neither will be on the MLB roster coming April, but they are both worth keeping an eye on during the season on their respective farm teams.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has been ripping the ball in camp, and there has been some talk of bringing him north to Boston. He will be a big time player, but he needs a full year at AAA before he makes the big jump.

I saw Xander Bogaerts playing for the Netherlands in the WBC game against South Korea this morning and he was impressive in the field. Hadn't seen him in any Red Sox spring games yet.

Glad to see Will Middlebrooks returned today after missing two games with the pain he experienced swinging the bat the other night against the Orioles. That scared me seeing him clutching the wrist he had surgery on after getting hit by a pitch in Cleveland last August. He reported no pain after playing today, and the Sox can ill-afford to lose him for any long stretch this coming season.

It's a little more than four weeks until we reach Opening Day, and it's good to have the Red Sox back, after the lousy 2012 we all suffered through. The results don't make much difference. My first thoughts on any game are: "Did anyone get hurt?" If the Sox stay healthy, they really could surprise some people. We shall see.

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