Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Takeaways from the Fort: Gang's all here
By Gordon Edes
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaways from the Fort, Day 2:
* Two days before the first full-squad workout, all 26 position players on the spring-training roster are present and accounted for, David Ortiz, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino completing the set with their arrival in camp Tuesday.
* Ortiz sat down with Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, but advised the rest of the media he will address them Wednesday morning on the Bench of Truth (a variation of what CNNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury calls the picnic table of truth in Clearwater). Ortiz, his son D’Angelo in tow, took batting practice, stood out in center field after he hit and chatted with Dustin Pedroia, then sat in the dugout and chatted amiably with a few reporters. He mentioned that there was a move afoot to have the Red Sox and Yankees open in the Dominican in 2017, then joked that if it happened, he might be around only to throw out the first pitch.
He exchanged high-fives with a conga line of visitors, signed some autographs, then called it a day after his one-on-one with Rojas. Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, was here, having accompanied his client into camp the night before. He also represents reliever Francisco Cordero, who signed a minor-league deal with the club after being out of baseball a year. Cuza said he expects to have a chance to talk to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington this week. The owners are expected to be here for Thursday’s first full workout, which may lend itself to Cuza broaching the topic of tacking on another year to Ortiz’s contract. There has been no discussion on the topic other than an exchange in December, Cuza said.
* Gomes looked “like a high school freshman,” Victorino said, when he showed up in camp clean-shaven. “It’s just a friggin’ beard,’’ Gomes joked. “Nobody died.’’ He also alluded to the elaborate tattoo he commissioned to commemorate last season’s odyssey. “Would have made a pretty good T-shirt or bumper sticker,’’ he said. “I got a tattoo.’’
* Victorino is still in the dry swing phase of his hitting progression, Farrell said. But he’s already throwing and expects to be ramping up other baseball activities. Still, it is clear the team will proceed slowly after Victorino had surgery to release a nerve in his thumb last December. He said the thumb feels good.
* Jake Peavy, who saw a hand specialist Tuesday morning, engaged in long toss but did not throw a bullpen. It is expected to be just a temporary setback.
* A.J. Pierzynski, who turned his left ankle Monday, was kept out of catching drills. “He fought us,’’ Farrell said, “but we thought it better that he take a day.’’
* Farrell said Ryan Lavarnway has shown enough early aptitude at first base that he likely will see some game action there when exhibitions begin.
* The Sox will take an hour Wednesday morning for a session of media training. Former sports broadcaster Lisa Levine, the CEO of the Cleveland-based Media Zone, will conduct the training. The hour will pre-empt the media’s normal pre-workout access to the clubhouse.
* Non-roster lefty Jose Mijares has evidently overcome his visa issues and was due to arrive Wednesday, Farrell said.