Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Some quick-hit notes from the Fort
By Glenn Miller, Special to ESPNBoston.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A few more morning notes from the Fort, where it’s still cloudy, breezy and a few raindrops have splattered down on JetBlue Park. Nothing significant, though. As noon approaches the Red Sox are taking batting practice and the Blue Jays are loosening up.
The Toronto first baseman today is Lars Anderson, who played in 30 games and hit .167 for the Red Sox from 2010 through 2012.
* Pitcher Alfredo Aceves, back from his role in the big Mexico-Canada World Baseball Classic brawl, is scheduled pitch a minor-league game Wednesday on a practice field against a visiting team of Twins minor leaguers.
* The Blue Jays brought two-time AL home run champ Jose Bautista on the 130-mile trip from their Dunedin spring home.
* The Red Sox continue to lag in the power department. Entering Tuesday’s game they had hit only nine homers all spring, last among American League teams. The Mariners have clubbed 31, more than triple Boston’s total.
* The Red Sox may not have much power so far in spring training but they are striking out a lot. They’re leading American League teams with 131 strikeouts.
* Outfielder Jackie Bradley is second among AL players in batting average, (.519) and first in on-base percentage (.618). His batting average is second in the Grapefruit League.
* Jon Lester is second among AL pitchers with a 1.29 ERA and tied for the lead in innings pitched with 14.
* Red Sox catchers have thrown out 8 of 15 would-be base stealers. That rate of 53.3 percent is second best in the majors behind only the Marlins' 69.2 percent.
* The Red Sox are packing ‘em in at JetBlue Park. Their average home attendance of 9,595 ranks second in Florida to the Yankees’ 9,761. The Red Sox have sold out all 24 games they’ve played since moving into the park last year.
* The best baseball players in the park were the Blue Jays and Red Sox, but the team with the best record was the St. Joseph College Monks of Standish, Maine. The 5-0 Division III Monks were guests of the Red Sox and watched batting practice before the gates opened.
* More from Daniel Bard's early morning chat in the clubhouse:
How important is mechanics for a tall pitcher?
“Important for anybody. I think you see smaller guys, shorter guys have a little bit easier time repeating their delivery where taller guys it’s a little bit more of a challenge to have consistent mechanics throughout the season. So just something you continue to do.“
On the importance of confidence:
“It’s huge. That’s 80 percent of pitching, at least. Going out confident and feeling that sense of control. Definitely had that the last couple of outings. That’s a good feeling to have. ... Pitching against these college guys a couple of weeks ago, that’s a step in the right direction. Anytime you see the hitter’s reactions where they don’t feel very comfortable, that does a lot for your confidence out there on the mound.”
On pitcher Jon Lester and his smooth delivery:
“Jon is the same guy he’s been his whole career. I think last year was kind of like for me, kind of an anomaly, might have been a little out of whack mechanically. It can be such a minor thing. The average fan can barely see it. It’s just a matter of getting a downhill plane on the ball and making it hard for hitters to see and to square it up.”
On those days when everything clicks on the mound:
“There’s times you don’t think about a thing. Just see the (catcher’s) fingers and throw the pitch. Those are fun times. They are few and far between. You learn to pitch when things aren’t perfect. “