A Monday morning of Red Sox stuff
|03.08.10 at 10:17 am ET|
– Francona said there are no new updates with Mike Lowell, and that the infielder would like to shoot for the end of the week to get in games.
– The plan is for Josh Beckett to get about three innings in against the Cardinals.
– Daisuke Matsuzaka’s next bullpen session might have to be pushed from Tuesday to Wednesday because of the team’s travel schedule and subsequent availability of pitching coach John Farrell.
– Outfielder Zach Daeges is being sent back to minor league camp, where he will be able to treat a troublesome lat muscle that hasn’t allowed him to swing in camp.
– There’s a chance Jason Varitek could be back with the team Monday night after tending to a personal issue.
– Talking about outfielder Josh Reddick, Francona said he has improved his plate discipline compared to last spring training. “When he learns to swing at strikes,” the Sox manager said, “he’s going to be pretty successful.” Comparing Francona to another young outfielder in Sox camp, Ryan Kalish, Francona noted that Kalish might have the ability to steal a few more bases than Reddick and that the comparison to Trot Nixon was a pretty solid one.
– On working with the new coaching staff, Francona said it’s “Actually been kind of fun … Enjoyable.” He also noted regarding the practice of coaching third base — which is now Tim Bogar’s duty — “If you don’t get guys thrown out than you’re probably making some mistakes.”
– John Lackey said that after taking time to work on his changeup for the past few spring trainings, he isn’t going down that route and will prioritize his primary pitches.
– Dustin Pedroia said he feels the best he has in any spring training, noting that he feels as though if the season started today his timing is where it needs to be to be successful. Pedroia also explained that physically he feels better than in past years, having taken a slightly different approach to lifting in the offseason.
– And, finally, Jacoby Ellsbury offered what he believed was his most impressive feat of athleticism. “Doing a reverse, 360-degree dunk in college,” the outfielder said. Ellsbury said he first dunked a women’s basketball as a 5-foot-8 8th-grader. For the best video proof of Ellsbury’s athleticism, check out the following segment, put together by Nike:
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