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 with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Danny Amendola joined the show to talk about the addition of Reggie Wayne to the receiving group, the offensive tempo in game 3 of the preseason, and who is the most stylish in the locker room.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run in the win over the Mets.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart, who hit his first career inside the park home run and propelled the Red Sox to a 6-4 win over the New York Mets.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Dave Portnoy gave us the latest from the Brady Goodell hearing.
The Big O announces his return to WEEI.
Jesse Spector of Sporting News on Schilling.
The guys discuss Kanye's ridiculous statements from last night's MTV VMA's, in which Kanye complained about how he's treated by everyone EXCEPT artists, and his announcement that he'll run for president in 2020.
Dont'a Hightower joined the show on a Patriots Monday. He spoke out the benefits of getting "calloused" as the season wears on, how he likes being on the outside because he can go after the QB, and his appreciate for how Rob Ninkovich climbed the Patriots ranks to become a starter.
We check in with Gary Myers of the NYDN about his tweets reporting the NFL's best settlement offer to Brady... a one game reduction for a full admission of guilt. The offer obviously went nowhere.
We wrap up a Monday with some of the best sound bites you may have missed.
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss their favorite transfer moves of the window, Alex shares his dislike for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and just how far can the Revs go this season?
Gerry and Kirk discuss deflategate and the Patriots relationship with ESPN.
Danny Picard and Bill Speros discuss the state of the Boston Red Sox after taking two of three from the NY Mets, and the state of the Patriots after their third preseason game.More from this show
Dave Portnoy gave us the latest from the Brady Goodell hearing.More from this show
The advance guard is all set up in St. Louis as D&C opened up the show from Busch Stadium. On the menu: Another homer from Ortiz, the return of Beltran, and a big mistake from Breslow.More from this show
We go inside the audio from 98.7 Arizona Sports Radio/ESPN and listen in as well as Chris Mortensen finally details the circumstances behind the infamous "11 of 12" footballs tweet, and also claims that the Patriots ownership called him personally to apologize... for what he doesn't specify.More from this show