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John Farrell ‘a little surprised’ Robinson Cano no longer in pinstripes as Red Sox skipper assesses Yankees 03.19.14 at 10:46 am ET
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David Ortiz (left) and Robinson Cano share a laugh before a 2013 Red Sox-Yankees game. (AP)

David Ortiz (left) and Robinson Cano share a laugh before a 2013 Red Sox-Yankees game. (AP)

TAMPA — For all the talk Tuesday about Jacoby Ellsbury, there is a player absent from the Yankee clubhouse this season that could play just as big a factor this year in the Red Sox-Yankees dynamic.

Robinson Cano signed with the Mariners in December for 10 years and $240 million. The second baseman who broke in with the Yankees in 2005, is a lifetime .304 hitter, with a .509 slugging percentage and a career .860 OPS. Against the Red Sox, he hammered 21 homers, just over 10 percent of his career 205 total, and his other lifetime marks against Boston (.308/.356/.502) are right at his career averages.

“I know one thing, I’m glad we don’t have to face him 19 times,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “From across the field, he was the type of type of player you thought would be in one place for his entire career, as dominant an offensive player, as dominant a player as he’s been, we have full respect of the player. You never know how things are going to transpire. Maybe a little surprised he’s not in a Yankee uniform.”

Cano had a root canal on March 5 but time will tell if the Yankees will need one for their aging infield.

The Yankees are going with the low-budget alternative to start the season at second base in Brian Roberts. Kelly Johnson is a second base/third base option, Mark Teixeira is at first and Derek Jeter will start his final season at short. And, of course, Stephen Drew is still out on the market.

“They’ve got tremendous resources,” Farrell added. “This division is going to be difficult, top to bottom. Teams might go about it differently based on their own model. From the outside, you anticipated some changes. To what extent, that remains to be seen. A lot of new names. A lot of really good players.”

The Yankees decided to spend $471 million on longterm investments in the offseason on four players – namely catcher Brian McCann, starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, outfielder Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury.

“I don’t know if there’s any one guy that stands out more than another,” Farrell said. “I think the one thing that kind of jumps out is the pace in which they got Jacoby. As quick as they moved to sign him, that was the one thing that was [surprising]. That offer obviously had to be so much greater than anything Jacoby was fielding, not knowing anything. To make that decision that quick in the offseason, obviously they were very aggressive going towards him.”

Ellsbury signed for $153 million for seven years in early December, just over a month after the center fielder won his second World Series ring in seven seasons. The media attention this week, with the Red Sox playing the Yankees twice, falls naturally on Ellsbury.

“I don’t know if we have any way of knowing what an individual player’s market is going to be,” Farrell said of his former center fielder. “He was a good player so he was going to draw the attention of a lot big market teams because he’s in that class of player.”

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury, MLB, New York Yankees
Mike Petraglia, Rob Bradford on Jacoby Ellsbury, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Felix Doubront 03.18.14 at 5:36 pm ET
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TAMPA — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Rob Bradford assess the first rocky outing of the spring for Red Sox starter Felix Doubront in an 8-1 loss to the Yankees Tuesday at Steinbrenner Field. Petraglia and Bradford also go in depth on Jacoby Ellsbury, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Grady Sizemore.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, felix doubront, grady sizemore, jackie bradley jr.
Felix Doubront shelled as Jacoby Ellsbury sits in Yankees early rout of Red Sox Tuesday at 3:30 pm ET
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Felix Doubront struggled with release point throughout his outing Tuesday against the Yankees. (AP)

Felix Doubront struggled with release point throughout his outing Tuesday against the Yankees. (AP)

TAMPA — On this day, the Yankees didn’t need Jacoby Ellsbury against his former team.

Sitting out the first game between the two archrivals since he followed the path of Johnny Damon, Ellsbury (sore right calf) watched as the Yankees banged out 10 hits and seven earned runs off Red Sox starter Felix Doubront in an 8-1 win over Boston Tuesday afternoon at Steinbrenner Field.

Doubront, who had not allowed a run in six innings over two previous spring starts, was in trouble from the start Tuesday. He worked out of the first inning with only one run scoring. But in the next frame, Doubront was rocked for four runs on five hits and a walk as the Yankees sent eight batters to the plate in building a 5-0 lead.

After a seven-minute delay due to a swarm of bees along the left field line, Doubront took to the mound for the third inning. Doubront gave up a leadoff triple to catcher Francisco Cervelli but the Red Sox lefty showed his best stuff of the day, working out of the jam without the run scoring.

“Just taking positive things like that,” Doubront said. “I went out there and I didn’t care. The man on third. I want to throw strikes.

Looking to increase his pitch count and build him up for the regular season, the Red Sox sent Doubront out for the fourth. He allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner before inducing a double play from Derek Jeter. But with two outs, Carlos Beltran doubled before Mark Teixeira walked.

Doubront was pulled for Brandon Workman, who gave up a home run to Soriano, charging two more runs to Doubront’s line. The Sox lefty allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits, walking three, striking out two. He threw 79 pitches on the day.

“Bad feeling,” Doubront said afterward. “I didn’t feel the grip, changeup was bad, left the pitches over the plate. One of those days.”

‘€œHe probably didn’€™t have as much finish to his pitches as we’€™ve seen in his first couple of outings,” manager John Farrell added. “Quite possibly, we’€™re into that part of camp where he’€™s battling through a little bit of a dead arm which is completely normal and expected but we got him up to 80 pitches which is in line for the progression we’€™re trying to get him to.’€

‘€œDidn’€™t see the consistent tempo of the game that we’€™ve seen the first [two] starts he’€™s made. It was a challenge for him to get into the flow of the game today.’€

Doubront tapped himself on the shoulder several times Tuesday in an effort to remind himself to slow down and get into proper mechanics.

“I threw a couple of pitches good and then I went back to the wrong mechanics. But it’s just a thing where I have to repeat my delivery,” he said. “That last inning, I gave up that double, I started my delivery too fast and missed my release point. You can have an outing like that and learn from it.

“My arm feels good. It was just my release point. That was the tough part to find today. I threw some very good pitches but sometimes 0-2, 1-2 I left the pitch in the zone and good swings from them. Nothing I can do but throw my bullpen and pitch in the next five days.”

The Red Sox meanwhile couldn’t do much against Yankees starter Michael Pineda. The right-hander held the Sox scoreless on four hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking none. He left in the fifth inning with an 8-0 lead.

The Red Sox broke through in the top of the seventh for their only run, when Jonathan Herrera singled home Corey Brown.

As for the bizarre developments before Doubront took the mound in the third, Red Sox left fielder Mike Carp first noticed the swarm of bees and took off for center field while four groundskeepers sprayed the infested area.

“Not a big fan of bees flying around my head,” Carp said. “It’s just one of those things I’ve never seen happen — or, I’ve seen it happen, but it’s never happened to me. I’m sure they’ll get their laughs on ESPN tonight.”

Ironically, the game was broadcast on ESPN Tuesday, so there will be plenty of video from which to choose.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, MLB, New York Yankees, spring training 2014
Morning notes: John Farrell can ‘envision’ Grady Sizemore on roster to start season while Jackie Bradley Jr. could start in Triple-A at 12:59 pm ET
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Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava (29) could get some playing time together in the outfield. (AP)

Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava (29) could get some playing time together in the outfield. (AP)

TAMPA — Red Sox manager John Farrell knows he has a crowded outfield. Before Tuesday’s game with the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field, he acknowledged just how crowded when he was asked if he could imagine a scenario where he starts the season with Grady Sizemore and Shane Victorino being his only outfielders with center field experience.

“Yeah, I could envision that,” Farrell said, before adding, “but we’d also want to maybe get some exposure with somebody else out there, too, just to take the look while we have the opportunity in spring training.”

The suggestion, of course, is that Jackie Bradley Jr. would start in Triple-A under a scenario where Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp and Daniel Nava are all on the roster.

Obviously, injuries or a trade late in camp would change all of that.

Farrell also wouldn’t rule out Daniel Nava getting some looks in center field, in either minor league or major league game this spring.

Farrell said his main priority is to go into the the season with Victorino serving as his primary right fielder.

“We’ve had a couple of conversations but didn’t want to get into anything,” Farrell said. “We still feel like before camp is out, we want to get him some reps in center field but he’s aware and we remain consistent that our intention is to keep him in right field as much as possible. He’s fully on board with that. There might be a time in a given game where he might end up in center field for a couple or three innings if we’ve done something with a pinch-hit situation. I don’t have an answer yet because it’s based on what our final roster is going to look like.

“Shane’s a baseball player and he’s fully confident that he can play both positions equally well. He’s open to what’s best on a given day.”

Bradley played center on Tuesday and made a nice running catch toward the warning track off the bat of Alfonso Soriano to end the second inning.

After his two spectacular catches against the Cardinals at JetBlue Park Monday, Sizemore will return to game action on Wednesday in a minor league game. Most importantly, Sizemore’s body was none the worse for wear after going full out on Monday.

“Grady came in today fine,” Farrell said. “He’ll be in a minor league game [Wednesday] and then the following night in center field.”

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, daniel nava, grady sizemore, jackie bradley jr.
Sunday Red Sox notes: Christian Vazquez continues to impress as ‘one of the premier catching prospects,’ Bo Greenwell signs 03.02.14 at 11:30 am ET
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Bo Greenwell had been playing in the Cleveland system before signing with Red Sox. (AP)

Bo Greenwell had been playing in the Cleveland system before signing with Red Sox. (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Christian Vazquez continues to impress in Red Sox camp.

The latest raves came from John Farrell after Vazquez threw out Minnesota’s Jermaine Mitchell trying to steal second base in the seventh inning at Hammond Stadium.

“Another one you probably saw last year,” Farrell said Sunday, referring to the many runners he threw out for Double-A Portland in 2013.

That’s something that has continued this spring in camp. “He’s thrown out every runner in camp he’s come across. He’s now 11-for-11,” Farrell reported.

“What’s impressive to me is the progress he’s making with the bat. There’s more strength in his swing, there’s more solid impact, drove the ball good to right-center field and then there was the home run the other day. When you look at the numbers, it’s heading in the right direction. He’s on a very good path.”

What will it take for Vazquez to reach the next level?

“Number of at-bats and I think as he’s getting stronger, that’s the thing that starts out,” Farrell said. “This is a guy when he first signed, there were some difficulty getting through a nine-inning game and now he might be one of the premier catching prospects in the game.”

What makes him that premier prospect is an arm unrivaled in the Red Sox system, throwing down to second in less than 1.9 seconds, a release that puts him in the very above-average category.

“1.86 on the throw to second,” Farrell said. “We [also] encourage all of our guys to [throw to first base]. We want any kind of deterrent to either an extended lead or a secondary lead or any kind of running the bases with freedom, we want to try to cut that down as much as possible.”

The latest on Grady Sizemore is that he will play Tuesday against Tampa Bay and Friday against Atlanta, both games scheduled for JetBlue Park.

“I wish we could fast-forward and get the answer but so far, so good,” Farrell said.

Anything unexpected from Sizemore? “Yeah, running into the center field wall,” Farrell laughed. “He got up and threw the ball so I guess some things don’t change.”

“Talking to him early this morning, he felt like he had a legitimate bead on that ball and time ran out. But he bounced right back up and is good to go. There’s been a couple of at-bats where he’s getting down the line. The times getting down the line are getting more in line with what’s expected, and I think that’s his mind is being a little more free and not guarded and so those are things, when you ask what are you looking for, you’re starting to see them play out in games in times down the line or how he’s responded to game situations. It’s been good.”

The team announced Sunday that they signed Bo Greenwell, the son of former Red Sox All-Star left fielder Mike Greenwell. Bo, 25, was originally drafted by Cleveland in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft. It won’t be a long trip to camp as he went to Riverdale High School in Fort Myers.

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Read More: Bo Greenwell, Boston Red Sox, christian vazquez, felix doubront
Sunday lineups: Jonny Gomes leads off vs. Orioles as Mike Yastrzemski visits grandfather Carl at 9:26 am ET
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Mike Yastrzemski, here with Vanderbilt, is hoping to go all out for the Orioles. (AP)

Mike Yastrzemski, here with Vanderbilt, is hoping to go all out for the Orioles. (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It will be a family reunion of sorts as Baltimore Orioles minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski visits JetBlue Park to take on the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m.

Carl Yastrzemski, Mike’s grandfather and Red Sox hall of famer, arrived at the Red Sox minor league clubhouse around 8 a.m. and is expected to take in the game and watch his grandson play.

“I think anytime those bloodlines are so recognizable, I’m sure for many it brings back visions of the older and I think anytime we can see generations play out on the field, it’s one of the unique things that sports offers,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday morning before the game.

The grandson, who starred at Vanderbilt University, has been drafted not once, not twice but three times by major league teams.
The Red Sox selected him in the 36th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from St. John’s Prep (Danvers, MA). Then, the Seattle Mariners chose him in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB draft before signing with the Baltimore Orioles, who selected him in the 14th round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft.

Lefty Felix Doubront makes his first start for the Red Sox and Jonny Gomes gets his second start as a leadoff hitter in Sunday’s game. The Red Sox will be looking for their first win of the Grapefruit League season after losing two straight to the Twins, Friday and Saturday.

Here are the lineups for the Red Sox on Sunday:

Jonny Gomes LF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Xander Bogaerts SS

Will Middlebrooks 3B

David Ross C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Bryce Brentz RF

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski, mike yastrzemski
Grady Sizemore ‘fine’ after falling down on warning track, hopeful to play Tuesday vs. Rays 03.01.14 at 5:21 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Once he got up immediately in the first inning Saturday, John Farrell knew Grady Sizemore was fine and ready to stay in the game against the Twins.

It was just another test along the path to seeing if the former All-Star outfielder’s body is up to the task of returning to major league games in 2014.

Brian Dozier laced a double to deep left-center and Sizemore tracked the ball from his position in center. He got to the warning track and lost his footing and fell awkwardly.

“I’m fine,” Sizemore said after the 6-2 loss to the Twins. “I think all game reps are good right now. Everything helps. As much work as I can get in games is going to be very beneficial. I felt good today. Everything felt good, as good as I could hope for, as far as the body and knees and so forth.

“I’m happy to just get through these games and feel good and feel strong and not come in the next day with any lingering issues. So far, it’s going to be good.”

Sizemore and Farrell both agreed after the game that while Sizemore doesn’t want to lose his aggressive style of play, he also needs to be practical as he attempts a comeback from back and knee issues that have kept him out of baseball since 2011.

“I’m not going to think about it,” Sizemore said. “Obviously, I’m going to try and be smart but I’m going to still play aggressively and try not to change the way I play or think about it while I’m out there.”

Added Farrell, “The fact that he’s more conscious of what he’s been through and maybe the cause for some of the previous injuries because of that style of play, we can’t say we’re going to eliminate that completely but there’s also a willingness on his part to maybe anticipate things a little bit differently.”

Farrell said after the game that the hope is to start giving Sizemore some days off before ramping up his load. Sizemore, who played in games in two of three days, is now tentatively set to play Tuesday against the Rays at JetBlue Park.

“I think he’ll answer some of those questions as we get deeper into camp,” Farrell said of the workload. “We’re also going to build in some recovery days as well and that’s coming up for him. He’ll be back on the field probably on Tuesday and give him another three or four days off after that to gradually ramp up the workload.”

“When we start putting multiple days together, whether it’s games or workouts, there will be days where I’ll be sore or not as strong as the other days but for the most part, the last week or so has been really good,” Sizemore added. “I’ve bounced back well.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, grady sizemore, spring training 2014,
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