FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz is expected back in Red Sox camp some time tonight after leaving camp on Wednesday for personal reasons. He traveled to the Dominican Republic. While Farrell declined to elaborate on the reason for Ortiz’s departure, he did say that it was unrelated to his recovery from last year’s right Achilles strain.
– Farrell said that the team elected to give Will Middlebrooks “one more work day” on Friday before having him return to the lineup after his right wrist scare on Wednesday night. The third baseman continues to show no symptoms of the “zinging” he felt in his wrist on an awkward check swing. Middlebrooks is currently slated to play against the Twins on Saturday.
– Insofar as any incidents with Alfredo Aceves — such as the one in which he lobbed pitches towards home plate in live batting practice a couple weeks ago — tend to be placed under a microscope, it is worth noting that he has been on good behavior ever since he raised eyebrows in the early stages of camp. Asked about Aceves’ recent comportment, manager John Farrell said he’s been acting “like a model citizen. His work has been good. He’s got two innings tomorrow. He’s been fine.”
Farrell noted that Aceves’ competitiveness and passion for the game have been evident, such as when he’s returned to the bench to watch the final innings of games he’s pitched this spring. (Veteran pitchers are typically permitted to go home from the park once they’ve concluded their own work.) Farrell said he’s simply looking to mix Aceves’ enthusiasm for the game with an approach that’s consistent with the needs of a full roster.
“I think it’s important for players to be themselves, and as long as being yourself doesn’t start to take away from our team, that’s when conversations like that come into play, to understand that we are 25 people working in the same direction, and how you sacrifice in some ways to give to the team, that’s a priority,” said Farrell.
– Farrell said that Craig Breslow, sidelined all spring as a precaution due to some left shoulder weakness, will begin a flat-ground throwing program on Saturday. Barring a setback, the Sox believe that the left-hander has time to get ready for the start of the regular season, although with a need to spend roughly 10 days throwing before he can get on the mound, there is little leeway for a setback if Breslow is to get the six or seven innings of work that Farrell would like the reliever to have prior to Opening Day.
– There are no plans to have Jose Iglesias work at any position other than shortstop. The idea of grooming him for potential utility infield work hasn’t been visited.
“We still view him as a primary front-line defensive shortstop. So that’s currently where his reps will come from,” said Farrell.
– With Shane Victorino slated to depart for the World Baseball Classic on Sunday, the Red Sox plan to have him play right field next to Jacoby Ellsbury on both Friday and Saturday. Ordinarily, players would play on an every-other-day basis at this juncture of the spring, but given that Victorino will be absent for some time, the Sox wanted to sneak in a few extra innings with the two players patrolling the same outfield.
– While Victorino is gone, the Sox will give time to both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jonny Gomes in right field. With Bradley, his time in right suggests a potential depth option at that position if Victorino were to get injured at some point. In the case of Gomes, the Sox want him to be comfortable in right, since he’ll likely play there when the team is in Yankee Stadium and other parks that feature expansive left fields and less ground to cover in right.
– Gomes is still out of the lineup while healing after requiring three stitches in his left knee on an unsuccessful attempt to bring back a home run while crashing into the left field fence against the Orioles.
– Farrell’s son, Jeremy Farrell, a minor leaguer in Pittsburgh’s system, is making the road trip with the Pirates tonight.
“It will be good to see him. Those are always rare and special moments,” the Sox manager said of the opportunity to see his son play.
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