February 24, 2011 at 4:09 PM
Today’s minor league notes:
- Pitching prospect and big league bullpen candidate Felix Doubront has been shut down for at least 10 days with tightness in his elbow, as Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reports. While he is viewed as a potential impact reliever for Boston in the near-future, Doubront was likely to begin the season in the Triple-A rotation. It is unknown how this will affect his status for opening day.
- Alex Speier of Weei.com brings us his latest installment of excellent reporting on the farm system, this one focused on recovering outfielder Ryan Westmoreland. Speier details Westmoreland's often monotonous rehabilitation from brain surgery last spring and gives a clearer picture of his status coming into this season.
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes on Milton, Mass. native Rich Hill's transition to pitching sidearm this spring. Hill says the motion is natural for him, and that he would often drop his arm down during long toss sessions for that reason. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe also wrote on Hill's new delivery, which has drawn positive reviews from Terry Francona so far. Francona also discussed Andrew Miller, saying the Red Sox are taking somewhat of a hands-off approach to allow Miller to enjoy pitching again.
- Speaking of Miller, Speier wrote an in-depth piece on his unusual decision to sign with the Red Sox this off-season. In it, Speier reports on some interesting details of his contract, including a club option for next year that vests should Miller “be assigned to another club,” meaning that should he be promoted to Boston, then exposed to waivers when he is sent back to minors, any club picking him up would have to be committed to his long-term success and not just taking a flier.
- Cafardo caught up with Lars Anderson in Fort Meyers and discussed his take on the Red Sox bringing in Adrian Gonzalez during the off-season. While Anderson sees his path to majors as somewhat more blocked, he knows his big league future ultimately comes down to how he performs at Triple-A. The article also features quotes from Gonzalez and his struggles with being blocked in a similar fashion during his time with the Florida, Texas, and San Diego organizations.
- Daniel Nava is astonished with some of the attention from fans he is getting this spring, according to MacPherson. Nava talked about being unsatisfied with just making it to the big leagues and how he is working to improve defensively.
- Kyle Weiland and Jason Rice discuss the pressure of being prospects in big league camp, in this piece penned by Tony Lee of NESN.com. Weiland explains that its hard to keep the adrenaline down when he knows higher-ups in the organization are watching, while Rice talks about just trying to play baseball regardless of who may be viewing his throwing sessions.
- Here are some further details on how the pitchers will lineup for the early exhibition games, as reported by the Boston Herald: Saturday vs. BC: Stolmy Pimentel, Michael Bowden, Jason Rice, Clevelan Santeliz, Matt Fox, Randy Williams.
Saturday vs. NU: Kyle Weiland, Alex Wilson, Rich Hill, Tony Pena, Matt Albers.
Sunday at Twins: Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Brandon Duckworth, Hideki Okajima, Scott Atchison, Dan Wheeler.
Monday vs. Twins: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller, Daniel Bard.
Tuesday at Twins: Jon Lester, Alfredo Aceves.
Wednesday vs. Braves: John Lackey, Weiland.