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02/19/2013 - 10:02pm
Wakefield set for Dunedin to watch Wright

FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell will apparently have a reunion with Tim Wakefield on Monday in Dunedin as the former knuckleballer visits his former team and their current knuckleball prospect, Steven Wright.

“Right now, he’s tentatively scheduled to see him up in Dunedin on Monday, see him throw,” Farrell said Tuesday. “He’s coming off a family vacation but he has every intention of seeing that game and then be down here [in Fort Myers] the rest of the week.”

Farrell initially said he hadn’t decided whether or not to make that trip to Dunedin or the much shorter trip to Port Charlotte for the other split-squad game against the Rays, in which Alfredo Aceves will be pitching. Pressed on the matter, Farrell said with a smile, “I’...

02/19/2013 - 8:14pm
Doubront: 'I don't take anything for granted'

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront arrived in spring training this year in what team officials considered suboptimal condition. He was not considered badly out of shape, but there was a sense of disappointment that, with an opportunity to solidify a place in the rotation, potentially for years to come, he was a bit behind other members of the staff in his conditioning. That, in turn, is believed to have been responsible for the fact that the 25-year-old experienced what he described as “discomfort” in the early stages of his spring throwing program, resulting in his being shut down and held about 7-10 days behind other pitchers on the staff.

Now, Doubront’s...

02/19/2013 - 3:28pm
Farrell: Salty is 'our lead catcher right now'

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The way Red Sox manager John Farrell looks at his catching situation, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross is not a platoon situation. It’s much better.

Still, Farrell made it clear on Tuesday, two days before the Red Sox begin playing games, that Saltalamacchia is still his choice as the No. 1 catcher on the roster, with Ross providing a very capable back-up.

There has been some talk this spring that a platoon could develop with the pair, as the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia has 50 of his 64 career home runs from the left-handed side of the plate.

“The majority of his home runs came left-handed and again, I want to be careful, I’m not outlining a platoon,” Farrell said. “Salty would be our lead catcher right now. But we know that we have a...

02/19/2013 - 3:13pm
Bogaerts starts taking grounders at 3B

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It wasn’t exactly a watershed, but it was a first. On Tuesday morning, for the first time in his career, Xander Bogaerts took groundballs at third base rather than shortstop as part of his preparation to play as a third baseman and designated hitter for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. He will also take groundballs at third on Wednesday before starting at third base in an exhibition game against Boston College on Thursday.

Sox manager John Farrell suggested that Bogaerts had a favorable first day of work at the position.

“[It was] just an early look today. Typically corner infielders are going to use a one-handed fielding technique, which he naturally...

02/19/2013 - 3:11pm
Buchholz: Lester should be Opening Day starter

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Unlike two years ago, when then-Red Sox manager Terry Francona informed Jon Lester during the offseason he would the team’s Opening Day starter, current Sox manager John Farrell has not identified his starting pitcher for the Sox’ season-opener April 1 at Yankee Stadium.

One of two two candidates for the honor, Clay Buchholz, had no hesitation when talking about the subject.

“Jonny Lester should be the guy,” Buchholz told WEEI.com after the team’s Tuesday workout. “He’s been the horse over the last four years for us. I don’t think you can go in any other direction with it. He’s just been our guy who has gone out there, who is a hard-throowing lefty, who had pretty special off-speed stuff. So I...

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