FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On the field, it was just another day as the Boston Red Sox prepare for the first official full-squad workout Thursday at JetBlue Park.
Off the field, Red Sox owner John Henry arrived and addressed the media, David Ortiz once again talked about his desire for a one-year contract extension, and manager John Farrell gave his daily updates.
Besides discussing the importance of Ortiz’s presence in the lineup and in the clubhouse, Farrell addressed a few baseball items, too.
* Who will lead off for the Red Sox this season is one of the big storylines this spring. In the past, it was never an issue because that spot was reserved for Jacoby Ellsbury, but now with the former Sox center fielder wearing pinstripes, Farrell has many options to consider in the leadoff spot. My guess is that Xander Bogaerts will soon be the leadoff hitter for the Red Sox, but other players like Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino have the ability to succeed in that spot, too. And Farrell said Wednesday that Jonny Gomes could be a candidate.
“I don’t want to eliminate anyone that might give us an on-base ability in that leadoff spot,” Farrell said.
* Pitcher Jake Peavy had been dealing with a slight hand/finger issue the last few days, but he was able to play long toss and participated in all fielding drills for pitchers on Wednesday. If he continues to progress, the veteran right-hander is expected to throw his first bullpen session Thursday.
"He’s moving in the right direction,” Farrell said.
* Another storyline this spring is whether outfielder Grady Sizemore will be able to make an impact with the Red Sox. The club signed him last month to a one-year, $750,000 major league contract, with roster and performance bonuses. Due to injury, he has not played in nearly two years, but the Sox are taking a chance he will return to his All-Star form.
“We’re taking all of spring training to get a more accurate read on him, just because of the absence of games played over the last couple of years,” Farrell said. “We’re just taking all of spring training to gauge and evaluate where he is, not just physically but at game speed.”
From a medical standpoint, Sizemore’s health is consistent with the evaluation the team conducted during the offseason.
“He’s come into camp every day and has not needed any additional treatment to the maintenance he’s going through. He’s responding well so far,” Farrell said. “The volume has yet to pick up, but at least the activity he’s going through right now has been very positive.”
* There’s been some chatter that the Red Sox could be in the market to add a veteran starting pitcher to the mix, but Farrell said Wednesday that the team is not in dire need to add an arm at this point.
“I like the group that's here right now,” he said. “We also recognize where we start at the beginning of the year isn’t always where we end up. I know Ben is doing everything he can to always improve the club that we have, but if we don’t add anyone, I like the fact that we’ve got not only youth, but extremely talented youth.”
Farrell spent time with pitcher Allen Webster Wednesday morning and watched his bullpen session. The right-hander worked with veteran catcher David Ross, who said to him afterward: “If you keep throwing like that you’re going to make a lot of money.”
* Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who turned his left ankle Monday, was able to catch bullpen sessions Wednesday and Farrell said he’s fine.