|Five things we learned||02.12.09 at 7:50 am ET|
A few tidbits taken in from Wednesday’s activities around the Red Sox’ spring training complex…
1) Josh Beckett’s shoulder showed more strength in tests than it did at any point in the 2007 season. The right-hander, who reported to camp at 228 pounds, looked strong in his first bullpen session of the spring.
2) Jon Lester weighed in at a robust 233 pounds, up five pounds from his season-ending weight of a year ago.
3) Both Brad Penny (who arrived in camp yesterday and threw his first bullpen session) and Takashi Saito (who threw for the second time) are slated to follow the same schedule as the rest of pitchers in camp. While pitching coach John Farrell allowed that Penny might receive an extra day of rest here and there this spring, the status of both pitchers is noteworthy given the injury issues that dogged both hurlers last year. Saito, incidentally, has received raves for his pinpoint precision in early bullpen sessions. Pitcher John Smoltz, meanwhile, does not have an established timetable for his progression this spring.
4) Manager Terry Francona insists that neither Mike Lowell or David Ortiz are physical question marks this spring.
5) Back in ’03, before the Red Sox acquired a fellow by the name of David Ortiz (and before Ortiz became one of the most formidable hitters in baseball), Boston likely would have been thrilled to acquire a player like Adam Dunn–a high on-base percentage masher with significant defensive limitations. That’s no longer the M.O. for players whom the Sox try to acquire.
And, for bonus things we learned, it is worth mentioning that both Nick Hagadone and Bruiser are doing quite well, and that Junichi Tazawa (who threw in front of Farrell for the first time yesterday) has not only a nice little pitch mix but also a bit of funk in his delivery, as he curls the ball behind his back during his leg kick, bearing slight resemblance to the motion employed by Rick Sutcliffe.
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