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Bobby Valentine notes: Jose Iglesias can catch pop-ups like nobody’s business

03.05.12 at 4:40 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. ‘€“ The biggest news Bobby Valentine delivered before heading up Daniels Ave. to Hammond Stadium for the Red Sox‘€™ game against the Twins Monday night was regarding Carl Crawford.

According to Valentine, Crawford will be shut down from participating in any hitting or throwing for the next 5-7 days, and classified any chance the outfielder had at being ready for Opening Day as ‘€œprobably not realistic.’€

In other news ‘€¦

- David Ortiz is in the lineup at first base Monday night, which may be the last time he mans the position for a while.

‘€œThis is the time. If he gets his foundation in, you know, working the PFP’€™s (pitchers fielding practice) the way he’€™s working and then taking them into the game where he’€™s used to doing that, I don’€™t know that it’€™s going to take many more games,’€ Valentine said. ‘€œMaybe a couple of refreshers before the end of spring, but not many.”

Valentine also said that Adrian Gonzalez will probably play some outfield in a game before spring training concludes.

Daniel Bard‘€™s sore back is better and he is slated to start Tuesday.

Andrew Bailey came away from his bullpen session ‘€“ in which he threw 30 pitches ‘€“ Sunday in good health. The Red Sox have mapped it out so the closer should make seven spring training outings before the team breaks camp.

– Valentine talked at length about Jose Iglesias (which you can read in a subsequent blog post). In a nutshell …

On Iglesias’ offense: “I don’€™t think that his technique is what they need to be yet. If we start adding just a little more technique, a little more rhythm, a little more something to give him the ability to recognize the pitch a little earlier so he can time it when he gets to the plate, he might be close.”

On Iglesias’ defense: “Here’€™s what the specialness: He has a special tracking device on fly balls, OK, unique to very few from what I’ve seen so far. And he has a special ability to transfer the ball from the glove tp the hand. That’€™s all I’ve gotten to see. I don’t know about specialness moving off the bat and range and game awareness and those things. He can transfer the ball from a longer distance than just about anybody I’ve ever seen. And he has that GPS in his mind. He can track a popup. … I dare say no one in this camp [could make those catches Iglesias did the other day], just based on the skill set that I’ve seen. Very few maybe anywhere. Ozzie could do that. Rey Ordoñez could do that. There’€™s a few, very few.”

– Valentine hinted that the Red Sox may go right up until the start of the regular season before figuring out who will be at the back-end of their starting rotation.

‘€œMy initial impression, and I haven’€™t talked it all the way through with Ben [Cherington] and Bob [McClure] and all, but I think we have more time than people think.

‘€œI don’t know whoever the fourth or fifth guy is, I don’t know when they’re going to pitch in the big leagues. I’ve seen a lot of (stuff) where they don’€™t break with the team or they’re even a couple guys left. I’€™m not there yet. ‘€œ

In case you missed it, the first two pitchers Monday night for the Red Sox will be Clay Buchholz and Vincente Padilla.

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