Sunday, February 17, 2013
Today's takeaways: So far, so good
By Joe McDonald
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaways from Day 7 of Camp Farrell:
* Season debut: The Red Sox will begin the exhibition season with their annual college doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College on Thursday at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Sunday that he will use a total of 14 relievers to work both games.
* He's no J.D. Drew: He’s been here just one week, but already it's clear that Stephen Drew has a noticeably different personality from his brother, former Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew. Stephen, a shortstop, is more outgoing and a bit more intense on the field, even during normal spring training drills.
“A lot more talkative than J.D.,” Farrell said with a laugh.
Drew has been showcasing his solid defensive skills during infield drills this week. Farrell said the veteran continually asks for feedback.
It didn’t take long for Drew and second baseman Dustin Pedroia to look comfortable up the middle.
* Speaking of shortstops: Prospect Deven Marrero is enjoying his first big-league camp after he was selected by the Red Sox in the first round (24th overall) in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft last June. He was invited to camp as a non-roster player.
“This is an awesome feeling. This is great. Not everybody gets to be here after their first draft,” Marrero said. “It’s pretty cool how the guys have accepted me and that’s how professional they are about their business.”
Like Pedroia, Marrero is a product of Arizona State, and the two constantly chirp at each other.
“We’ve got to stay together, us Arizona State boys," said Marrero. "He’s out there teaching me a couple of things, teaching me how to be a professional. He’s awesome. He keeps this clubhouse fun and he’s a great guy.”
Before Pedroia became an All-Star and MVP second baseman in the majors, he was a shortstop at ASU.
“We just go at it,” Marrero said. “He walks into Arizona State and he’ll say he’s the best shortstop to ever play there, and I’m that guy who told him, ‘Hey, relax. No you weren’t.’ He definitely set a high standard at Arizona State and I want to follow him, and definitely follow his career here. He plays the game the right way, and that’s what I want to do, I want to play the game the right way and have that reputation that he has.”
* Lackey looks good: Red Sox pitcher John Lackey threw his first live BP session of the spring on Sunday. Farrell was pleased with what he saw.
“He threw the ball today consistent with his bullpens. There’s no change in the time needed to warm up. He’s throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate, so in the early going he’s doing everything we had hoped to see coming off the surgery,” said Farrell.
Lackey has completely recovered from Tommy John surgery, which forced him to miss the entire 2012 season.
* Overbay impresses: Veteran first baseman Lyle Overbay is in camp on a minor-league deal and has been impressive. He could end up being a surprise candidate to make the 25-man roster out of camp. The 36-year-old gives the Red Sox a left-handed hitting option at first base. The team, however, is looking for a left-hander who can play both first and left field. At some point this spring, Overbay will get some work in left field.
"The one thing we know, defensively he’s a well-above-average first baseman. As far as the positional fit, we’re looking for that left-handed first baseman, or a player to be able to play first base as a left-handed bat to be able to spell a guy in left field, potentially,” said Farrell.
Daniel Nava, a switch-hitting left fielder, has also been working out at first base.
* Loud and clear: The enthusiastic Shane Victorino was putting on a vocal display on Sunday. During communication drills between the infielders and outfielder on pop-ups, Victorino could be heard from two fields over screaming, “Hey, get out of the way, I got it” numerous times.
* Fan appreciation: The Red Sox held an open house at JetBlue Park on Sunday. Red Sox players signing autographs were: Craig Breslow, Ryan Lavarnway, Pedro Ciriaco, Daniel Bard, Daniel Nava, Will Middlebrooks and Jonny Gomes.