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.”
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
The latest feud between Shank and Papi was discussed.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed the disgusting protests at the scene of Officer Moynihan's shooting.
John Farrell has named Clay Buchholz the starter for Tuesday's opener. Koji and Christian Vasquez are already ruled out. Vasquez on the 60 day DL.
Wrestlemania was a trial run for Super Bowl 50. More Christian dog stuff. Superintendent in Chief William Gross of the BPD deals with some idiotic protesters after the fatal shooting in Roxbury on Friday night.
Shawn Thornton is now a member of the Panthers, who come to town tomorrow night. Thornton spoke about Claude Julien's control of the Bruins locker room, and his own team playing his former team on Tuesday night.
As the testimony of Hernandez' fiancee wrapped up today, we checked in with attorney Michael McCann for all the latest developments and analysis.
We wrap up the day with the best in sound that you may have missed throughout the day.
We listen in on Adam Shefter's deflategate report on NFL Live on ESPN, and discuss when we can expect this whole mess to come to a head.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Kirk's massage and crap all over Sausage.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
The guys discussed the disgusting protests at the scene of Officer Moynihan's shooting.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show