Red Sox Spring Training update
Red Sox Spring Training is finally fully underway as all of the players have reported to Fort Myers to gear up for the 2013 season. There are plenty of storylines to cover and questions to be asked. How will John Farrell manage the team? Will Jon Lester bounce back? Here’s an overview of what has been happening over the past week.
Lackey’s weight loss:
John Lackey showed up early to camp and has looked good so far. Lackey looks to have dropped 10-20 pounds over the offseason. While weight loss is no indicator of his pitching ability, it does show he is committed to taking care of himself and wants to compete in 2013. Lackey will be slated as the No. 3 starter. If he can grind out 10-15 wins this season, the Sox will be in a much better position than in 2012.
Bard improving after difficult year:
Daniel Bard might have returned to form, showing life on his fastball and more movement on his off-speed pitches. Bard worked closely with Farrell over the offseason to boost his confidence and get back to form, and an improved Bard will be key for this team. Bard’s effectiveness late in the game is a much needed asset for the Sox in 2013. Farrell said he is proud of the improvements Bard made as he praised him to the media.
“He looks really good right now,” Farrell said. “We’re long from outlining what roles are going to be. But I think most importantly is Daniel’s outlook, having learned from the struggles of a year ago and knowing what makes him an effective pitcher.”
Lester opens up to media:
Speaking of pitchers looking good, Jon Lester has evidently been working hard on improving upon his disastrous 2012 campaign. Lester is generally known for his stoic demeanor; however, he spoke to the media on Wednesday after a bullpen session and freely shared his thoughts on 2012.
“Sometimes I kind of want to strangle myself,” Lester said. “It can be intimidating, especially when you have seasons like last year. It’s tough. You know you suck and your teammates are trying to pick you up and everybody else knows you suck. You’re just trying to kind of break even on the whole deal. It’s tough. But at the same time, it’s the greatest place to play.”
Nava working to become more well-rounded:
Daniel Nava has been making a strong case to stay with the Major League club rather than go back down to Pawtucket. Nava has been taking ground balls at first base in order to diversify his skill set should the Sox need a backup first baseman. Nava has worked very hard to get where he is, and that he continues working just as hard should be an example to the other players on the team.
It wouldn’t be Spring Training without a few injuries: David Ortiz is still recovering from his Achilles tendon injury from Aug 2012. Clay Buchholz pulled a hamstring during a fielding drill although he is back to throwing with no discomfort. Felix Doubront complained of shoulder soreness and has been shut down for the past few days although he is now throwing at 75 feet so the hope is that he will bounce back quickly.
That’s it for the current updates. Stay tuned for more news as the Sox start to come together and prepare for the 2013 season.