Results tagged ‘ Boof Bonser ’

A Minny matinee

It is a noon local time start out here in Minneapolis after a leisurely day off yesterday.

How was that off-day?

“I did nothing,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “It was good. I think the extent of my exercise was I opened my curtains.”

Some of his players had a day that was slightly more strenuous.

“We had a lot of guys come out there yesterday and do various things, some of the pitchers worked out. I know our catchers were out there with Tucks,” Francona said. “Some guys lifted.”

Jacoby Ellsbury is again out of the lineup with sore left ribs. He isn’t expected to return until the homestand, which starts on Friday night.

Boof Bonser will get looked at by Boston’s medical staff on Friday. This, a day after Bonser was shelled for the second straight time at Pawtucket.

Tito still plotting lineup

What will the Red Sox’s starting lineup be on Opening Night — which is one week from today — against the Yankees? Well, the nine players are a given, but manager Terry Francona said he is still trying to figure out the exact order.

One “A” lineup the Sox have had out there a few times this spring is Ellsbury-Pedroia-Martinez-Youkilis-Ortiz-Drew-Beltre-Cameron-Scutaro. But the one dilemma with that alignment is that the five-six spots are back-to-back lefties and the last three spots are all righties.

Francona said he recently had assistant director of baseball operations Zach Scott do some statistical research for him, so he is waiting for some answers on that.

“Tthere’s probably going to be some things in our lineup where either you’re going to set it up for the beginning or the end. I don’t know that there’s a way to set it up where it works perfect. We have a few more right-handers then we’ve had in the past,” Francona said. “They may line up together. I don’t know. We’ll see. That lineup we’ve used so far this year, we’ve had 7-8-9 have been right-handed, five and six have been right-handed. I don’t know that that sounds perfect.

“At the same time, there’s other things we’re trying to account for also so we’ll see. The one thing I don’t want to do is put a lineup out there for Opening Night because it’s [CC] Sabathia that’s not our lineup. I think sometimes that can get overdone. We’ll see.”

Marco Scutaro has the ability to hit at the top or bottom of the order, and Francona has enjoyed the shortstop’s attitude.

“He’s really good about it,” Francona said. “He goes, ‘just put me out there, I’ll play.’ He’s really good about that.”

In other news:

Phenom Casey Kelly will make a one-day return to Major League camp on Tuedsay when he starts against the Rays in Port Charlotte. Tim Wakefield will stay back in Fort Myers that day and throw three innings in a Minor League game, and then come back on three days rest and start the exhibition game against the Nationals in D.C. on April 3.

Kelly’s workload is being monitored closely, similar to Jon Lester in 2006, because his innings will take a significant jump this year. At any rate, it will be fun to watch him pitch again.

“I think it will be a nice day to let him start,” Francona said. “It will be fun for us to get to watch. I think it will be a good experience for him.”

Kelly is expected to throw 60-65 pitches.

Corner infielder Mike Lowell dodged a bullet with that foul ball he nailed off his left knee on Friday. Lowell seemed to be moving around well before Sunday’s game and should play third base on either Monday or Tuesday.

Monday will be a busy day for Francona and his staff. Boof Bonser, Manny Declarmen and Daisuke Matsuzaka will all pitch in the Minors in the afternoon, and Josh Beckett, Scott Schoeneweis and Alan Embree are all on tap that night at home against the Rays.

Outfielder Jeremy Hermida is fine, a day after tweaking his right hamstring. He should return soon.

Big game today, as the Red Sox can clinch the vaunted Mayor’s Cup Trophy with a win against the cross-town Twins.

Saturday subjects

Jeremy Hermida left todays’ game with right hamstring tightness. Will follow up with more when I get more.

Back in Fort Myers this morning, Scott Schoeneweis arrived, Kevin Frandsen arrived, and Mike Lowell discussed the foul ball that nailed him in the left knee and knocked him out of Friday’s game.

Manager Terry Francona said it’s hard to know just when Lowell will be ready for a return to action.

“He’s tender, but not horrible,” said Francona. “Pretty tender. He kind of popped his head in before we left. I don’t know when he’ll play. We’ll see. I guess not as bad as it could have been but again, I kind of come back to what I told you guys – you guys saw the same thing I did. It was painful.”

“When I saw that yesterday, he went down in a hurry. You know he wanted to play. We’ll just keep an eye on him. He’s in there today and he’ll do what he can do.”

As for Schoeneweis, he is fully into his spring routine, having just been released by the Brewers a few days ago. The Red Sox will try to get a quick read on him and determine if he is a fit.

“We’ll see, we’ll just try to cover everything,” Francona said. “We have Alan [Embree] here. We know it’s going to be kind of a short look. That’s why we’re trying not to mess around and prolong it. We want him to be able to get out there and pitch a few times so we can make some good decisions.”

MLB.com’s Maureen Mullen was among the reporters who spoke with the lefty in Fort Myers this morning.

Schoeneweis is excited that the Red Sox have given him a chance. He has gone through a lot in the last year, with his wife dying suddenly last May. His kids will spend time with him in Florida this week.

“They have spring break next week and they’re going to come out and hang out at the beach,” Schoeneweis said. “That takes the sting of having to be this far away. Most guys would rather be without their family in Spring Training. My situation’s a little different. I feel much better with them around. So it took the sting out of having to leave so suddenly, and come out here to Florida. So it’ll be fun for everybody.”

He has thrived throughout his career at Fenway, and used to attend games there as a kid.

“It’s a special [place] for me,” he said.  “Came to Fenway as a little guy, all through my life growing up. It’s always been a special palace. I’ve always pitched well there, and I think it’s just because I love it so much. I’m an East Coast guy,anyway. I enjoyed my time in New York [with the Mets], bought a house in Connecticut. I like the weather in Arizona, but with everything else I’m an East Coast guy. So, this should be pretty special.”

The Red Sox will do as much evaluating as they can over the next few days. With that in mind, they will break up their pitching on Monday. Boof Bonser, who had a minor groin injury during his last start, will pitch in the Minors that day, and so will Daisuke Matsuzaka. Josh Beckett will start the Monday night game, with both Embree and Schoeneweis pitching out of the bullpen that night.

After breaking camp on Friday, the Red Sox will play one exhibition game on Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital against the Nats. Tim Wakefield and Dice-K are expected to pitch in that one.

A Francona slip?

The Red Sox have still not announced the rotation for the first handful of games of the 2010 season, mainly because of the unique dilemma of having three off-days before the eighth game. But it sure stands to reason that Josh Beckett is pitching Easter Sunday night against the Yankees. All you have to do is look at the way the schedule lines up, and Beckett’s last Grapefruit League start is Monday, meaning he would have five days of rest before Opening Night.

Asked if all the pitchers would be making the trip to Washington D.C. for the one exhibition game on April 3, Francona said, “Everybody will go with us. I think even Beckett.”

Veteran Red Sox scribe Sean McAdam kiddingly asked Francona why he would single Beckett out. Everyone laughed. Francona was then asked if this was a good time to announce his Opening Night starter. But he respectfully declined, saying that the staff is still going through the process of communicating with each pitcher and that players should be informed of all decisions before the media is informed. Fair enough.

As for other matters, Boof Bonser’s groin tightness from the other day was nothing more than a minor ailment. He is long tossing today and should throw a bullpen tomororw. No word yet on when he will get back into game action.

Staying in the minor injury department, Dustin Pedroia (sprained left wrist) will be back in the lineup for Friday’s home game against the Blue Jays.

“He actually probably could have gone today,” Francona said. “I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. He’s already in the cage. The medical staff has no problem with him going through his normal day. If there’s any red flag at all, we wouldn’t play him tomorrow but I don’t see that happening. He’ll drive everybody crazy if we don’t play him.”

Bonser takes a breather; Embree set for Wednesday

Boof Bonser set that he felt his groin tighten up during the last batter he faced on Monday, so he was in no way using that as an excuse for a shaky performance against the Rays. The Red Sox held Bonser back from baseball activities on Tuesday, but the injury is not believed to be serious.

“It was only the last hitter I faced, like the fourth pitch,” said Bonser. “They want to make sure this is completely gone and we’ll go from there.”

Will Bonser do baseball activities soon?

“I’m hoping so,” said Bonser. “I wanted to do it today but they said, ‘don’t do anything stupid and just take the day off’.”

Bonser is on the bubble to make the team, so he obviously doesn’t want to be held back by this injury. At the same time, the Red Sox don’t want him to push it too fast, mindful of the fact he had rotator cuff and labrum surgery 13 months ago.

In other news, lefty Alan Embree is all set to pitch in a Minors game on Wednedsay, representing his first game pitch of any kind since his right leg was broken on a line drive last July. Embree was signed to a Minor League deal by the Sox on Saturday. This marks his return to the team he pitched for from 2002-05.

Jed Lowrie? He is still sapped from mono, and not doing much of anything.

Any update?

“Unfortunately there really isn’t,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “The update is that he doesn’t feel that well. He doesn’t feel well enough to do a lot besides, really, walking. He’s kind of got on the bike for short stretches. That’s kind of where we’re at. The problem with this is not only what he’s going through but probably trying to regain when he comes back. You know how you lose so much when you’re just laying around. That’s just how he feels. He’s kind of stuck in neutral.”

Is Francona worried about the potential lack of depth at shortstop come Opening Day? Despite Bill Hall making two errors there on Monday, Francona sounds confident he can do the job there when needed.

“I think Billy has really embraced going out there. He likes it, he enjoys it,” Francona said. “Just, again, the more reps he gets, the better off he’ll be. And he’s getting his at-bats all over the place but a lot lately we’ve played him at short because there’s been at-bats there. I think it’s been good for him.”

Meanwhile, the roster size continues to shrink. Michael Bowden, Aaron Bates and Ramon A. Ramirez were optioned to Pawtucket today and Jorge Sosa was re-assigned to Minors camp. That leaves 40 players in Major League camp, 39 if you consider that Dice-K is all but certain to begin the season on the disabled list.

Father Farrell watches a hit

For just a moment on Friday afternoon, Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell became father John Farrell.

In a classy gesture by the Pirates, they brought Minor League infield prospect Jeremy Farrell on board as a Minor League extra for Friday’s game against the Red Sox.

So with John Farrell watching intently from the dugout in the bottom of the seventh, Jeremy belted a single up the middle against Red Sox righty Jorge Sosa.

Though Farrell was fairly modest in his comments to reporters after, you can bet he was beaming with pride. So, too, was Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

“Was that great? I hate to root against our guys but that was pretty cool,” Francona said. “That was fun to watch.”

John Farrell’s take?

“You don’t get to see him very often but to see him in this setting is pretty special and we appreciate the Pirates for bringing him over for half a game,” Farrell said. “You like to see the aggressiveness about him. He looks to be in great shape. I know he loves what he’s doing. We’ll see where it takes him.”

As for Farrell’s job as pitching coach, the Red Sox have some juggling to do over the next couple of days. The club has split squad contests on both Sunday and Monday. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield draws Saturday’s home start vs. the Orioles. On Sunday, Jon Lester takes the ball at home against the Astros, while Felix Doubront pitches at Dunedin against the Jays.

Monday, Boof Bonser pitches at home against the Rays, with Michael Bowden drawing the Jupiter assignment against the Cardinals. John Lackey will also pitch Monday, in a Minor League game. Obvioulsy the Sox gain more from monitoring Bonser, a bubble candidate to make the team, up close, than Lackey, who has breezed through the spring.

“A guy like Bonser, we want him to pitch in an A game,” Francona said. “You’ll see some guys pitch over at the complex. We do that every year. Lackey is to the point where he’ll go get his work in and he’ll be in good shape and we can watch the other guys pitch.”

As for Friday’s game, David Ortiz and Jeremy Hermida both belted longballs, but they had some help from a friendly wind gusting out to right.

“David, real good swing,” Francona said. “Like you were kind of alluding to, though, today’s a day where if you elevate it, it’s going to leave the ballpark. If he got the barrel to it, it went out. It’s a difficult day to judge your pitching. [Junichi Tazawa] gets one and looks like it’s a lineout or a double and it’s a homer. That happens. But it also kind of re-affirms, throw strikes, keep the ball down.”

Meanwhile, Bill Hall took a solid step forward in his quest to show the Sox he can be a backup shortstop, among the other roles he will fill. Hall made all the plays and looked smooth in completing a double play.

 “I thought he had a good day,” Francona said. “I thought he had a real good day. I thought he moved his feet. That was good to see. I thought he did a good job.”

Pitching for a spot

While Clay Buchholz (two innings, five hits, three runs, two walks, 37 pitches) had a somewhat forgettable day, he is past the point in his career where he needs to be measured by Spring Training stats. Yet there is still one little problem: The Red Sox have more Major League-worthy starters (six) than spots (five).

Buchholz can add. He knows this. Is it a little awkward?

“It would be awkward for anybody. I guess there’s four guys regardless what happens will be on the staff,” Buchholz said. “The other two, three guys, yeah it’s awkward. Got to basically do what I did last spring, do what I did to finish he season last year, and I think everything will take care of itself.”

It was a pretty good deay for a couple of other guys trying to make the team in the bullpen. Scott Atchison had a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.

Boof Bonser looked extremely sharp for the second outing in a row, striking out three and giving up one hit over two innings. Bonser is being stretched out like a starter, but has the inside track on a spot in the bullpen.

“He’s got a nice, clean delivery,” said Francona. “For a guy who has gone through some things with his shoulder, he likes to pitch. He doesn’t look scared. He’s a really interesting guy. We’ll try to build him up and see where it will take him. I think as he builds up and gets some of that velocity back, he gets a little bit more interesting.”

 Atchison, meanwhile, is competing with Joe Nelson, Brian Shouse and some others for what would probably be the 12th slot on the staff.

The big story of the day was the hometown kid, Casey Kelly, firing off two shutout innings. It was Kelly’s first time back at Ed Smith Stadium since he led Sarasota High School to a state championship in 2007.

Even veteran umpire John Hirschbeck was taken aback that Kelly is only 20.

“Even the umpire, between innings, was like, how old is that kid?” Francona said.

In other news, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, citing a source familiar with the talks, says that early discussions between Josh Beckett and the Red Sox have been amicable, perhaps creating optimism that the ace will never get to free agency at the end of the season. It should be noted that it is still very early in the process.

Opening Day lineups set (in a way)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — OK, so it’s not really Opening Day, per se, but it is the first game of the 2010 season (never mind the fact that it doesn’t count, and it’s a doubleheader against two college programs). Anyway, the Red Sox finalized the lineup for that Wednesday exhibition-opening doubleheader at City of Palms Park. Victor Martinez will bat third in the opener, and captain Jason Varitek will make his spring debut in the nightcap.
vicandtek.JPG

Here it is …
Against Northeastern (1:05 p.m. ET)
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Bill Hall, 3B
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Lars Anderson, 1B
Darnell McDonald, RF
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF
Gil Velazquez, 2B
SP: Casey Kelly
Against Boston College (6:05 p.m.)
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Tug Hulett, DH
Josh Reddick, CF
Ryan Kalish, CF
SP: Boof Bonser
By the way, I’m filling in for Ian Browne on Red Sox duty today. Follow along if you’re on Twitter (@Alden_Gonzalez), and feel free to drop me a line via e-mail (Alden.Gonzalez@mlb.com).
– Alden Gonzalez
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