After being questioned for taking time off at spring training due to dehydration, David Ortiz detailed his health situation to WEEI.com’s Rob B

After being questioned for taking time off at spring training due to dehydration, David Ortiz detailed his health situation to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford and vowed to be ready to go soon.

Ortiz said the dehydration issue led to him becoming sick, and the Red Sox medical staff decided it would be best for him to rest.

“Everything just tied up on me and I started feeling sore. I couldn’t run,” he explained. “I’ve had it before. The minute I started feeling that way I went to the doctor and they already knew.

“I don’t know why people would criticize. Dehydrating is part of being human. You know how hot it’s been down here? I dehydrate and then I caught a bad cold. So all these symptoms get all your joints tied up, which normally happens. I started feeling soreness, so they shut me down. Now I’m starting to regroup and feel better. I have this thing I’ve got to manage the right way.”

Ortiz has made 19 plate appearance this spring (he had 40 last year), and he said he isn’t concerned with his limited preseason action. He noted that he has been working on his swing, although he’s still feeling sore.

“I’ve got to be smart about it. I’m not 20 anymore, and this ball club needs me for the season,” he said. “I see people getting worried about me in spring training and I’m like, ‘What’s going on? I thought the season was more important than spring training.’ But I understand. I get the memo. I know when people don’t see you playing out there, which is something everybody normally does, they start worrying. But everything is going to be fine for the season.

“Opening Day is a big deal, but not to me. It’s just another day. I want to be good for the season. I want to be able to do what I do for the season, and that’s what I’m worried about right now. I’m not really worried about stressing out about spring training. Spring training doesn’t mean [expletive] for me.”

Ortiz is scheduled to play in Thursday’s game against the Twins at JetBlue Park, although that is not set in stone. And Ortiz said people shouldn’t be concerned about him until the season opens with a game in Philadelphia on April 6.

“I think what I’ve been through through the years in spring trainings, I think people should be like, ‘I’m going to start worry about David Ortiz on April 6,’ ” he said.

“That is what we’re here for. People need to focus on what the young players do during spring training, the guys who need to impress the manager. But a guy like me? You don’t worry about me anymore. I get it. I’ll be fine. I want to be good to go to play in a couple of games, and get things set up.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As good as Mookie Betts has been this spring training — and his .471 batting average would suggest he’s been really good — there is the understanding that this is just the beginning.

Once immersed in the major leagues on a full-time basis, he is going to have to adjust, because the opposing pitchers certainly will be.

Fortunately for Betts, he has a pretty good track record when it comes to adjusting. For that, he can thank his time on the hoops court during his high school days in Tennessee.

“When I think about it, it wasn’€™t really baseball that showed me the adjustments,” Betts said. “It was basketball. Being small and playing with guys who were bigger, you just had to learn how to adjust. It’€™s not something where I felt like I had to do this or that. It was just figuring out that I can’€™t take it to the rack every time because my shot would get blocked, so I had to pull up. Those adjustments naturally happened and then I took that into baseball and let it naturally happen and it’€™s just gone from there.

“You can’€™t go to the basket against guys 6-foot-8, 7-foot. You just learn over time you have to make an adjustment. In baseball you have to learn to make adjustments. But it really didn’€™t hit be hard until I started getting swatted. Same adjustments, just different sport.”

He can even offer the specific instance where acceptance to change started taking root.

“I can recall one time where this guy was nowhere near me and I go up for a lay-up and he pinned it. I was like, ‘€˜What?!’€™ Then a couple of times I pulled up and I was at the three-point line and he was at the free throw line but I thought there was no way he was going to block my shot, but he jumped and blocked it,” Betts said. “Those were the type of things where I realized something had to change. Eventually I learned how to get it off. Then when baseball you have a 2-0 count and you think no way they’€™ll throw a breaking ball and they do it. Now my body naturally adjusts that maybe I can hit a 2-0 hanger. It’€™s just kind of natural.”

Betts isn’t big into dissecting video of opposing pitchers, and he doesn’t meditate on how each and every at-bat might unfold. The 22-year-old says he has simply acquired the skill of adjusting in the moment, a trait that has served him well to date.

“The adjustments I make are things I can’€™t really explain,” he said. “It’€™s kind of something that happens. I just kind of pick up on things. I don’€™t really say, ‘€˜OK, I’€™m going to adjust to what he’€™s doing. I know he does this, so I’€™m going to do this.’€™ Somehow my body just naturally adjusts. Sometimes I can’€™t explain how I do some adjustments.

“I’€™m still adjusting to major league pitching, but the adjustments I have made are things I can’€™t really explain. I didn’€™t necessarily learn to hit cutters and breaking balls and all that stuff. They are just adjustments I made and I have no idea how I did it, and I really don’€™t want to know. When you start analyzing things it gets too complicated. I like that I can just naturally adjust. If I know a pitcher has this or that, I’€™m not going to change my plan on purpose. As the at-bat goes, I’€™m sure my body and my mind will adjust.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

David Ortiz says not to worry about his recent absence from spring training games. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)FORT MYERS, Fla.



It’s looking more and more like Koji Uehara won’t be ready to start the season.

Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

It’s looking more and more like Koji Uehara won’t be ready to start the season.

Speaking to reporters in Jupiter on Tuesday morning, Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that the closer, who is battling a hamstring strain, is running out of time to be ready for the opener in Philadelphia on April 6.

“I think with each passing day he’s not in a game, there’s growing concern, concern in the sense, will he be ready for April 6?” Farrell said. “And we’re just working through that.”

This is an about-face for the Red Sox, since Farrell said over the weekend that he fully expected Uehara to be ready for the opener. The closer himself believed he could jump right into the big leagues without throwing another pitch this spring, but the Red Sox would like to see him get more work.

“I think it’s important to see him in games, to evaluate the stuff,” Farrell said. “For Koji himself to understand what he has in the moment and what he goes to the mound with from a physical standpoint.”

If Uehara isn’t ready to start the year, Farrell has suggested that Edward Mujica could see save opportunities, with right-hander Alexi Ogando a darkhorse.

The team still believes that Uehara’s injury won’t sideline him for long. The 39-year-old right-hander played long toss on Tuesday and the hope is that he can throw a bullpen later this week.

For more on concerns over Uehara, check out this story.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Closer Koji Uehara is a question mark as the Red Sox prepare for the 2015 season. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)



FORT MYERS, Fla. — It wasn’t a memorable game at JetBlue Park Monday. In fact, it never really officially took place.

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It wasn’t a memorable game at JetBlue Park Monday. In fact, it never really officially took place.

The meeting between the Red Sox and Cardinals was halted due to rain after 4 1/2 innings, with St. Louis carrying a 2-0 lead. Even though the stats don’t count, let it be known that Rick Porcello went five innings for the Sox, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one.

The real news, however, came after the sort-of-game with John Farrell suggesting his team could break camp with eight relievers.

Such a scenario would take place if the Red Sox decide to keep Joe Kelly back in extended spring training. Kelly, who hasn’t pitched in Grapefruit League action since leaving his March 16 start with biceps soreness, is slated to pitch in a minor league Friday.

Farrell noted that the situation should be clearer after Friday. Kelly isn’t pitching in the Red Sox’ scheduled game against the Braves in Orlando that day in order to keep the option of retroactively placing the pitcher on the 15-day disabled list in play. (If a player performs in front of a paying spring training crowd, it limits the club’s ability to retroactively DL him.)

The Red Sox won’t need a fifth starter for their first two series in Philadelphia and New York due to the April 7 off day. The first time they would need the extra starter would be April 12.

Kelly threw a bullpen session Sunday without incident, integrating starts and stops to simulate game situations. (“I don’€™t anticipate him not being ready at this point, but we’€™re just keeping the other scenario as an option,” the manager said.)

“I think that group has probably narrowed some, the guys in competition,” said Farrell regarding the competition for the last bullpen spot. “We’€™ll have more information to factor in by Saturday, which would include Kelly’€™s next outing. There’€™s one scenario that could have us break with eight relievers. And the first time we would need a fifth starter would be on the 15th. That’€™s all being factored into this as well.”

Clay Buchholz will pitch against the Braves in Orlando Friday, with Steven Wright joining Kelly in facing minor leaguers.

The group of relievers projected by this writer to make the team in such a scenario would be: Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica, Craig Breslow, Alexi Ogando, Anthony Varvaro, Tommy Layne and Matt Barnes.

– Porcello was optimistic in regards to his outing, having now allowed three earned runs over 10 innings.

“I feel strong,” the pitcher said. “My sequences and the way I’m thinking on the mound is there. The consistency of the pitches isn’t where I want it to be. That’€™s why we’re here in spring training right now. I’ve just got to keep working on the consistency. I like the sequences. The changeup was really a lot better today, and that was really the one pitch I had been working on in between starts. It’s there, and there’s spots where everything is really good and working together, and there’s some spots where it’s a little inconsistent. Overall I feel strong and healthy and ready to go.”

David Ortiz could see some at-bats in minor league games over the next few days, but is still eyeing a Thursday return to the regular lineup.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

FORT MYERS, Fla. — With two weeks to go in spring training, Shane Victorino has weighed his options and made his decision — hitting exclusively from the right side will be the way he goes from here on in.