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SoxProspects News

February 28, 2008 at 7:33 AM

2/28 Fort Report: ST Games Begin

The spring training season kicks off today with exhibitions against Boston College and Northeastern. Many prospects and minor leaguers should see significant playingtime. Here are the expected line-ups:

Against BC at 1:05 pm

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  3. David Ortiz DH
  4. Mike Lowell 3B
  5. Jason Varitek C
  6. Kevin Youkilis 1B
  7. Julio Lugo SS
  8. Bobby Kielty RF
  9. Brandon Moss LF

Josh Beckett
Kyle Snyder
Javier Lopez
Manny Delcarmen
Bryan Corey

Against Northeastern at 6:05 pm

  1. Coco Crisp CF
  2. Alex Cora 2B
  3. J.D. Drew RF
  4. Manny Ramirez LF
  5. Sean Casey 1B
  6. Chris Carter DH
  7. Doug Mirabelli C
  8. Jed Lowrie SS
  9. Keith Ginter 3B

Justin Masterson
Michael Bowden
Craig Hansen
Craig Breslow
Hunter Jones
Kyle Jackson

In other minor league news, Bartolo Colon reported to camp overweight, even for him, although he claims that his arm feels good – look for him to pitch on March 9 and start the regular season in Extended Spring Training … Gordon Edes writes a nice piece on Zak Farkes, who grew up a Red Sox fan on Beacon Street, and who has been working on his catching skills this spring with Varitek and Mirabelli … Amalie Benjamin gets to know Justin Masterson ...
Baseball America’s recently published Top 100 Prospects List includes seven Red Sox, tied with Tampa Bay for most of any one team: 4. Buchholz; 13. Ellsbury; 40. Lars Anderson; 64. Masterson; 73. Lowrie; 94. Michael Bowden; and 96. Ryan Kalish.

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February 26, 2008 at 8:25 AM

2/26 Fort Report: MLST

Minor League Spring Training is all but upon us – many Sox minor leaguers have been conditioning with the big league club, and then taking part in separate workouts in the afternoons … This Wednesday, most of the big leaguers will head up to Washington D.C. to visit the White House, at which point the minor leaguers will take over the Development Complex … The MLST game schedule probably won’t be released until early March, but expect the first scrimmages against other teams to start on or around March 14 … Jed Lowrie and David Mailman had a bad collision on Monday, with Lowrie’s face smashing into Mailman’s shoulder during rundown drills – both players got up unharmed … Rob Bradford reports that Michael Almanzar is in camp and “is a physical presence among the group despite his age” … Bryce Cox is reportedly rehabbing from a strained upper back muscle … The trade market for Coco Crisp has been somewhat dry, likely due to the fact that Corey Patterson and Kenny Lofton are still unsigned … Bartolo Colon is expected to report to camp this morning after signing a $1.25-million incentive-laden minor league deal … Daniel Bard’s move to the bullpen for 2008 is official … Clay Buchholz is likely to stick with the No. 61 this season unless the Red Sox allow him to wear No. 21 on his back, which is highly unlikely … Jon Lester has impressed pitching coach John Farrell with his improved command and power this spring … The Greenville Drive – new website and all – will host a tournament at West End Field between nine collegiate programs, Team USA, and Chinese Taipei in mid-March … In Rangers camp over in Surprise, Arizona, old friend Kason Gabbard is a favorite for grabbing the fifth starter sot, while ex-prospect David Murphy is expected to make the club as a fourth outfielder.
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February 25, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Hurst rejoins Sox in player development

Red Sox Director of Player Development Mike Hazen announced today that former Red Sox Bruce Hurst has rejoined the organization with the title of Special Instructor for Player Development. Hurst will be working as a pitching instructor and evaluator in the Sox system. After participating in the off season Rookie Development Program, Hurst has been with the organization since the opening of spring training. Hurst served as the pitching coach of the China National Team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and spent four years in that role. From 1980-1988 Hurst owned an 145-113 record with a 3.92 ERA in 379 games with the Red Sox, and was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004.
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February 24, 2008 at 8:33 PM

Colon reportedly signs ML deal

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Red Sox have signed RHP Bartolo Colon to a non-guaranteed minor league contract. Furthermore, sources tell ESPN's Buster Olney that if Colon makes the major league roster that it would be "for a low baseball salary with performance bonuses." Colon won the 2005 Cy Young award, going 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 222.2 IP over 33 starts, but suffered a torn rotator cuff in 2006 and was shut down last season with elbow soreness. He was 6-8 with a 6.34 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts) in 99.1 innings with the Angels last season, allowing 70 ER on 132 hits, and striking out 76 and walking 29. Colon, 34, is 146-95 with a 4.10 ERA over 11 major league seasons.
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at 2:59 PM

Sox lock up Francona

The Red Sox and manager Terry Francona have announced their agreement to a three-year contract extension through 2011, with team options for 2012 and 2013. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but are reported to be in the three to four million dollar per year range, making him one of baseball's highest paid managers. Francona's 375-273 record as manager of the Red Sox ranks second best among managers of more than 350 games. He has been the manager of the Red Sox since 2004, having previously managed in Philadelphia (1997-2000) and serving as bench coach for the Rangers (2002) and Athletics (2003).
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February 23, 2008 at 11:29 AM

2/23 Fort Report: Full squad workouts

Second full squad workout this morning – position players and pitchers started with fielding drills, and then the hitters took live BP of the pitching staff … The team followed up with conditioning and strength work ... Top prospects Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson will be keeping diaries at Boston.com chronicling their experiences this spring … Lowrie spent a day earlier this month testing new style bats for Louisville Slugger … Rob Bradford reports on his blog that pitching prospect Kyle Jackson has an MLB tattoo on his neck, ink that he got back in the day … We’ve heard more positive comments about Dusty Brown, as Jason Varitek complemented his physical strength, motivation, and bat … Brown, Varitek, and the other catchers partook in catching drills earlier this week where they were required to catch superballs shot at them in rapid succession … NRI Dan Kolb has also received some praise, as Theo Epstein cites him as a low-risk, high reward signing, and a professional pitcher … Chris Carter has impressed a lot of onlookers with his work ethic this spring, reporting to camp in excellent shape and getting to the park early every day … Javier Lopez is focusing on getting lefties out this spring with his slider, after his odd reverse splits in 2007 … Lopez is out of options and may not accept a minor league assignment in April - there's seemingly a position battle between he and Craig Breslow … 2006 27th round pick Brantley New retired from baseball earlier this week … Venezuelan righty Victor Galue was released by the organization … One year deals for the pre-arb players such as Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester are presently in the works ... Theo Epstein stated that he is looking to make a minor move or two to shore up the starting pitching depth ... The Lancaster JetHawks will play three exhibition games against Cal Lutheran, Master’s College, and Antelope Valley College from March 30 – April 1.
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February 20, 2008 at 6:35 PM

2/20 Fort Report: Position players report

Today is reporting day for major league position players … The only player not yet accounted for is Alex Cora … Many minor leaguers are also slated to arrive at camp today, although the big league club still has the run of the development complex until 2/27 … Jed Lowrie and Dustin Pedroia have been working out as a double play combo under the tutelage of Luis Aliciea … The starting center field spot is perhaps the only position spot up for grabs this spring – Jacoby Ellsbury and Coco Crisp are both keeping it professional, each wanting to start while appreciating that they have to earn the spot … Crisp reportedly put on 14 pounds of muscle during the off-season … Jimmy fund chairman Mike Andrews has been in camp, and yesterday appointed Pedroia as the honorary chair of the third annual Rally Against Cancer … Terry Francona announced some of the pitching rotations for the early spring games: Josh Beckett and Kyle Snyder will toe the rubber against Boston College on 2/28; Justin Masterson, Craig Hansen, and Michael Bowden will take the mound against Northeastern later that night; Daisuke Matsuzaka, Julian Tavarez, and Hideki Okajima will open Grapefruit League play on leap day; Jon Lester, Devern Hansack, and David Pauley will pitch on 3/1; and Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz will make their spring debuts on 3/2 … Odalis Perez turned down a minor league deal with Boston earlier this week, ultimately optingto Washington … Boston’s 2007 17th round draft pick, Jaren Matthews, whose NCAA eligibility had been at dispute because of a signing-day contract snafu, has been allowed to play for Rutgers in 2008 … Look for a Q&A with SS Will Middlebrooks to be posted here in the coming week.
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February 18, 2008 at 12:51 PM

2/18 Fort Report: More arrivals

Jacoby Ellsbury arrived in camp this weekend ... Word is that Elsbury will be featured in a spread in this month's Vogue ... Brandon Moss is also back in camp, after heading home to Georgia for the weekend ... Don't expect Moss to get too much play at 1B this spring, contrary to the plan earlier this winter ... Manny Delcarmen reported to camp in the best shape of his career after working out during the off-season with his personal trainer brother-in-law ... Delcarmen also focused on improving his fastball and curveball command this winter ... Chris Carter has been working two sessions a day on his fielding, starting at 5 AM every morning ... Beau Mills, Cleveland's first round pick in 2007 and son of Sox coach Brad Mills has been training at Boston's facilities this past week, and is expected to report to Indians Camp when it opens this week.
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February 16, 2008 at 11:29 AM

2/16 Fort Report: Initial Workouts

This morning the Red Sox pitchers and catchers participated in some initial workouts down at the Sox Minor League Complex … The workout was actually televised by NESN, which is believed to be the first time a Red Sox spring training workout has been televised … All team workouts from today through 2/27 will take place at the Minor League Complex … For those of you heading down to Ft. Myers, there’s no parking available at the Minor League Complex through the 27th – until then, fans are advised to take the shuttle from City of Palms Park … According to Terry Francona, all pitchers and catchers arrived on time … On Friday, the team underwent physicals and then rand some shuttles for conditioning … This morning’s workout started with pitchers’ fielding practice (“PFP”), proceeded to initial bullpen sessions, and then finished up with some running and conditioning … Francona and Theo Epstein looked to be paying close attention to the bullpen sessions of top prospects Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, and Justin Masterson … Bowden packed on a lot of bulk, after beign placed on a 4,500 calorie-per-day diet during his off-season workouts at API … Edgar Martinez looks like he slimmed down a little bit, perhaps ten pounds or so from last year at this time … Bruce Hurst is back in a Red Sox uniform, working with the young pitchers in an instructor’s role … Luis Tiant is also filling the same role, as he did last year … During the pitchers’ running drills, Julian Tavarez and David Pauley looked to be huffing and puffing a litte bit more than the rest …Kyle Jackson is wearing # 83 for the second year in a row, the highest number in camp … Jed Lowrie reported to camp early this morning … George Kottaras took some BP this morning along with the other catchers, as he looks to follow up on his late successes in 2007 … Epstein had some high praise for catcher Dusty Brown, stating that he can “catch and throw with anyone” … Bobby Kielty is expected to report to camp late, as his wife is expecting in late February … After the morning workout, Buchholz and others took some time to sign autographs for a hoard of fans … The players are expected to take live batting practice for the first time on Wednesday.

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February 14, 2008 at 8:28 AM

2/14 Fort Report: Pitchers & Catchers

Its February 14, and pitchers ad catchers are officially reporting for duty today. SoxProspects will be following the Red Sox closely this spring, and we hope to bring you regular updates on the prospects' participation at big league camp as well as notes from minor league spring training. Several staff members and other community contributors will be heading down to Ft. Myers this February & March, so we should be able to bring you updates several times per week. Many of these updates will be in "notes" style to keep our readers generally aware of whats going on down on both ends of Edison Avenue. Here's the first of hopefully many "Fort Reports":

Today is the first official reporting day for pitchers and catchers ... Position players are required to report on 2/ 20, the first full-squad workout will be 2/22, and the first game will be on 2/28 ... Many of the minor leaguers are slated to arrive on 2/20 ... Among those players who reported early: Daniel Haigwood, Ryne Lawson, Hunter Jones, Chris Jones, Ryan Colvin, Jeff Natale, David Marks, Chris Carter, Jeff Corsaletti, Chad Spann, Craig Breslow, Michael Bowden, Justin Masterson, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Manny Delcarmen ... Both Lester and Buchholz packed on ten pounds of muscle over the off-season ... Among the non-roster pitchers and catchers who will be initially participating at big league camp: Bowden, Lee Grokiewicz, H. Jones, Dan Kolb, Masterson, Jon Switzer, Michael Tejera, and Kevin Cash ... 2006 27th round draft pick Brantley New retired from baseball before reportrting to camp ... Amalie Benjamin reports that Delcarmen should get some save opportunities this year when Jonathan Papelbon needs a rest ... As previously reported this winter, Craig Hansen underwent successful surgery to correct a sleep apnea disorder, which was interrupting his sleep on average of fifty-six time per hour, previously only letting him get two hours of sleep per night ... While its been rumored that uber-athlete Buchholz may be just as fast as much speedster Jacoby Ellsbury, Buchholz has been warned by the club that he will be fined if he attempts to prove it by actually racing Ellsbury - alas, the truth may never be told ... While Breslow hopes to break camp with the big league club, another of his goals may be to showcase himself to other organizations, as he's out of options and he'd prefer not to spend another year at AAA on a minor league contract ... Rumor is that the Sox will carry twelve pitchers to start the season ... Look for Julian Tavarez, Kyle Snyder, David Pauley, Devern Hansack, and Buchholz to compete for the 5th starter spot for April and May, and regardless of that outcome we expect the the reigns to be handed over to Buchholz full time by Memorial Day ... Papelbon, Curt Schilling, and Kevin Youkilis arrived at camp this morning.
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February 8, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Greenville PDC extended to 2012

The Red Sox have extended their Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League through the 2012 season, Director of Player Development Mike Hazen announced today. Greenville has been Boston's low-A affilliate since 2005. The agreement had been set to expire at the end of the 2008 season. Greenville's West End Field, which boasts a miniature Green Monster in left field, was named Ballpark of the Year by baseballballparks.com in 2006, it's debut. The Drive finished 2007 with a record of 29-40, in sixth place in the Southern Division.
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February 6, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Org announces new ML coaches

The Red Sox have announced the assignments of Chuck Smith as Lancaster pitching coach and Tom Goodwin as a coach at Lowell. Smith pitched in the Astros, White Sox, Rangers, Marlinsm Rockies, Braves and Orioles systems, and was 11-11 with a 3.84 ERA in 34 starts in the majors with Florida in 2000-01. Goodwin, the former fleet-footed outfielder, stole 50 or more bases in for major league seasons, with a career high 66 with the Royals in 1996. He had a .268 average with 24 HR, 284 RBI and 369 SB in his 13 year big league career with the Dodgers, Royals, Rangers, Rockies, Giants and Cubs. He was the manager of the independent Louisville Lizards of the Continental League in 2007.
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at 5:47 PM

Kielty back with ML deal

OF Bobby Kielty, who joined the Red Sox last season for the stretch run to the post-season, has agreed to return to the organization with a minor league deal, which includes an invite to major league spring training as a non-roster player. In 20 games with Boston last sason, Kielty posted a .231/.295/.237 line (12 hits/52 AB) with one HR and two doubles, scoring six runs and batting in nine. Kielty began the 2007 season with Oakland but missed significant time early with a knee injury and later with a torn left calf muscle before being released July 31. He has been assigned to AAA Pawtucket. Late last month the Red Sox also signed journeyman submarine RHP Matt Miller. Miller has two-plus years of big league experience, most recently with Cleveland, and will provide minor league depth.
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February 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Red Sox ink Sean Casey

The Boston Red Sox have come to terms with lefthanded hitting first baseman Sean Casey in a move to add depth to the bench. The deal is one year, $800,000 and pending a physical. The 11 year veteran brings a .301 career average into 2008 after spending the 2007 season with the Detroit Tigers. One of the more personable players around baseball, Casey is expected to be a great addition to the Sox clubhouse as well as serve as the backup behind Kevin Youkilis.
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