SARASOTA, Fla. — Felix Doubront completed his simulated game Wednesday successfully in Fort Myers and has passed the final hurdle for starting a spring game, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. That start will come Monday afternoon at JetBlue Park against Tampa Bay.
The lefty was slowed at the start of camp due to fatigue in his left [throwing] shoulder and was held back. He began throwing a week later than the other four projected starters in the rotation. He threw live batting practice earlier this week before throwing his simulated game on Wednesday.
“He was very good. Two sim innings and he’s on tap for Monday,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s game against the Orioles.
After some confusion, another pitcher, Alfredo Aceves, will indeed pitch for Mexico for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Farrell had initially informed his right-hander, who was initially on the provisional roster, that he was not selected for the regular roster and would not be playing. That apparently was not the case.
Farrell said it’s likely that Aceves will start for Mexico, which is part of the reason the Red Sox wanted to stretch him out to start camp.
David Ortiz left the team Wednesday for the Dominican Republic to take care of a personal matter.
“He’s taking a couple of personal days,” Farrell said. “He’s got a personal issue he’s taking care of right now.”
Other pregame notes included Farrell’s reaction to St. Louis manager and former catcher Mike Matheny instructing his catchers to avoid all contact at the plate when possible: “You want the aggressiveness to always remain in the game,” Farrell said. “But at the same time, when a catcher can be opened up, in some cases, for a very severe injury, you almost have to listen to the comments of Mike and Bruce Bochy, former catchers who have sustained a serious injury from it. Their comments probably resonate more than those of who have not been back there. I guess I take the view of the game from the traditional standpoint that you want good, hard play as long as it’s not a cheap shot. Where do you draw the line on a play at the plate? If it’s a hard slide that makes contact. Maybe just a mandatory slide rather than just a head-up, full-on collision, I can see the merit in preserving guys’ health. They can be scary, no doubt about. [Jorge] Posada took one from Hinske that I still don’t know how it got up from it but he did. I think the last thing anyone want is to hurt anyone in the game. “The way they’re schooled, the way they’re taught, there’s a way to receive that blow and still protect the plate and themselves.”
Farrell confirmed the report earlier in the day that Mike Napoli has been cleared following base-running drills on Wednesday in Fort Myers. He will start at first base Friday night against Pittsburgh and get at least two at-bats: “Yeah, he’s on tap to start and get a couple of at-bats on Friday. He’ll play first base and look forward to getting him on the field. Play under control, particularly if he gets on base. The one thing we’re still be a little cautious with is just the sliding. We’re not in a position to say, ‘Don’t slide’ but if he does, just give himself ample time to stop before jarring himself on the bag.”
Farrell on Napoli playing first: “I think instinctually, that will take over. But the most important thing is that he initiates that well before the bag and not get into a really jamming situation with the hip.
“Just in talking with him, I know that is still an ongoing process with him and he’s gaining a little bit more comfort with it, probably as much the cuts and relays as it is fielding a ground ball. By his own admission, he’s talked about when he was with Texas and or sparingly with the Angels, when he was put out there knowing that he was a catcher first, and he would play first on occasion. But, in this case, where he’s been able to go through the drill work and talk at length with Butter, that’s put a lot of those unknowns at ease with him.
Already, you can see his hands work very cleanly with balls in the dirt. He plays low to the ground, I think by virtue of having spent so many years behind the plate. So you see his footwork. For a guy his size, he’s still got quick feet; he’s agile. In time, I think he’ll become a very good first baseman.
On Franklin Morales starting against the Orioles: “It’s going to be one inning of work. Again, just to get out in competition for the first time in spring training, going to see how the ball comes out of his hand, knowing that he finished last year with some shoulder discomfort but there hasn’t been any effect or evidence of that throughout spring training. First chance to get back on the mound in live competition.
On Red Sox minor league pitching in “B” game against Twins Thursday at JetBlue Park: “The Twins had asked to see if we could put together a “B” game. they’re in need of the innings from a pitching standpoint. Get some time on the field for Marrero and Henry on the infield. This is a chance to help out the Twins a little bit and get our pitchers who we continually bring over from the minor league complex in games, keep them in the mix.”
On Buck Showalter: “Very consistent. Obviously, he did a great job with their bullpen last year, when you consider the number of one-run games they won. There were clearly roles established in that bullpen and they performed very well, probably much in part to knowing what their role was and when they’re going to be called on late in the game. It was clear that they gained a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence despite what everybody saw in the run differential. They defied that. When you look at the last two years, the culture has certainly changed with the Orioles.”
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with ESPN's great play-by-play man Mike Tirico for a look around the NFL, and a preview of Pats/Browns.
We tackle four topics centered on the movers and shakers in MLB right now.
We start talking about Robbie Cano and the reported 10 year, 240 million dollar contract on the table from the Mariners, and a little debate about him vs Pedroia broke out.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
Mike Lupica of the Daily News joined the show to give the New York reaction to the Ellsbury signing. He said that the Yankees drastically overpaid.More from this show
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.More from this show
Johnny Damon joins Mut and Merloni to clear the air about his free agent signing with the Yankees and discusses Ellsbury's signing.More from this show
Buster Olney joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees and the possibility of the Red Sox trading for Andre Ethier.More from this show