Red Sox Notes: Alfredo Aceves’ agent visits, Clay Buchholz gets back on mound
|02.18.13 at 3:28 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — One day after Alfredo Aceves baffled players, coaches and front office members alike with a live batting practice session in which he lobbed 15-20 pitches to the plate rather than using a full mix at close to game intensity, the pitcher’s agent, Tom O’Connell, was in Fort Myers and talked both with Sox GM Ben Cherington and Aceves. Though the visit was part of O’Connell’s previously scheduled tour of spring training visits with clients throughout Florida, the timing on the heels of Sunday’s incident added intrigue to the conversations, which seemingly underscored the idea that the Sox value Aceves as a valuable, versatile contributor, but need him to continue to operate within a team framework.
– Clay Buchholz, who suffered a mild hamstring strain last week, returned to the mound on Monday for a bullpen session what “no restrictions,” according to manager John Farrell. While there are still some limits on his overall baseball activities in the short-term, he’s now in line to throw live batting practice in two days.
– Felix Doubront continues to make strides in his return from some mild shoulder weakness. He extended his long toss to 150 feet, and he will throw his first bullpen session, as scheduled, on Wednesday. While there were concerns about Doubront’s conditioning upon his arrival in camp, it’s worth noting that he wasn’t in terrible shape — not to the degree he was, for instance, in 2011. The greater concern for the team was seemingly the fact that Doubront did not treat his opportunity to take his career to the next level with the desired gravitas during the offseason. Team officials remain confident that he will be in shape for the season; they simply want the 25-year-old left-hander to remain focused on maximizing his talent. That message was further reinforced by Pedro Martinez.
– Left-hander Craig Breslow is progressing more deliberately than expected in his return from left shoulder inflammation. An MRI “didn’t show any significant changes,” Farrell said, since the condition was first diagnosed.
– First baseman Mike Napoli took 100 groundballs at first base and showed (as one might expect of a catcher) good hands. The team plans to ramp up his activity in the coming days, working with him on exercises that involve greater movement such as working on making the double play throw to second and pickoffs in the dirt at first.
“There’s some progression that we’ll go through, but he looks pretty smooth, pretty fluid at first,” said Farrell.
– The Sox plan to have 14 different relievers work an inning each in Thursday’s doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College. The lineup:
Northeastern: Joel Hanrahan, Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Alex Wilson, Clayton Mortensen, Pedro Beato, Anthony Carter
Boston College: Koji Uehara, Andrew Bailey, Oscar Villareal, Terry Doyle, Jose De La Torre, Junichi Tazawa
The Sox will try to get all the position players in camp two at-bats, with players from minor league camp also taking part to fill in any gaps.
– Farrell confirmed a WEEI.com report that, even though Jurickson Profar is not expected to play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, Xander Bogaerts will still be used by the team as the third baseman and DH, with Andrelton Simmons of the Braves still representing the team at shortstop.
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