|Red Sox Saturday morning notes: Clay Buchholz throws 37 pitches in simulated game||02.23.13 at 11:17 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Clay Buchholz threw his first simulated game Saturday morning on the training fields outside JetBlue Park as the Red Sox prepared to take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the main park in the official Grapefruit League opener.
Buchholz threw a majority of off-speed and breaking pitches in the two-inning simulation with minor league outfielder Juan Carlos Linares and Mike Carp standing in and taking occasional swings against the Red Sox.
Buchholz threw a live batting practice session on Wednesday prior to Saturday’s test on the practice field beyond left field. Saturday’s starter John Lackey, Ryan Dempster, John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington all stood behind the batting cage watching as Buchholz completed his session. Franklin Morales also threw a simulated game Saturday morning, while Buchholz took a 10-minute break.
In other notes, Farrell confirmed that star infield prospect Xander Bogaerts will leave Saturday night for Taiwan to train with the Netherlands for the upcoming WBC tournament.
Mike Napoli and David Ortiz did some light running on the bases during Saturday morning’s batting practice on the main field but Napoli will go through a more formal base-running drill on Sunday before getting cleared for game action, likely in the middle-to-latter part of next week. Ortiz, meanwhile, is still behind Napoli but Farrell and the Red Sox have not outlined a specific timetable for his return to game action.
Farrell also said Saturday morning that the only way Napoli will be used as a catcher this season is in an emergency situation late in a game when Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross are unavailable.
For more, visit the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox.
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