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SoxProspects News

February 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Fort Report: Pitchers and catchers report

Today is the mandatory reporting date for major league pitchers and catchers, but many other players are already in camp. That includes several minor leaguers, who are generally not required to report until late February or early March. As we have for the past four seasons, we’ll bring you the “Fort Report” several times a week this spring, documenting the goings on from minor league spring training in note form. I'll aim to have reports up each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, but I can’t promise that there will be a whole lot of interesting news until minor league camp officially opens, as until that time most of the minor leaguers are simply participating in drills each morning with the big leaguers.

With that being said, here’s are first round of notes for 2011 spring training:

  • The minor league players in the system who are not invited to major league spring training are generally required to report in waves, some in late February and others in early March. The reporting dates vary based on position, status, and where they’re travelling from.

  • Look for the major league club to move their equipment from the Player Development Complex over to City of Palms Park during the last weekend in February. At that point, the minor leaguers will take over the Player Development Complex, the crowds should die down, and parking at the PDC will be a whole lot easier. For those travelling to Fort Myers after that time, head on over to minor league spring training for a few hours. On some occasions you can catch two to four exhibitions games at once - for free.

  • The official minor league exhibition schedule will run from March 16 to April 1, with games exclusively against the Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore affiliates. The Triple-A and Double-A affiliates will generally travel together (alternating at home one day, on the road the next), as will the A-Ball and Rookie Ball Squads. As a result, there will almost always be two exhibition games at the PDC around 1:00 pm each day during this time.

  • From there, the full-season teams will head north in early April, with their seasons beginning on April 7 (Pawtucket, Portland, Greenville) and April 8 (Salem). The short-season players then remain in Fort Myers for extended spring training.

  • We’ll be sending five members of our staff down to Fort Myers for a scouting trip in mid-March. During that time, we’ll bring you first-hand reports and possibly try our first live podcast. I can smell the grass now!

  • Among the minor leaguers already in camp are Drake Britton, Ryan Westmoreland, Lenny DiNardo, Jeremy Hazelbaker, David Renfroe, Stephen Fife, and Madison Younginer.

  • Major League non-roster invitees Andrew Miller, Jason Bergmann, Ryan Lavarnway, Tim Federowicz, Nate Spears, Juan Carlos Linares, and Che-Hsuan Lin all reported last week.

  • 40-man “prospects” who reported to camp early include Luis Exposito, Oscar Tejeda, Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, and Felix Doubront.

  • Ian Browne of Redsox.com reports that righty Junichi Tazawa, who missed the entire 2010 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, is also in camp. According to Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, Tazawa is throwing off of a mound with restrictions. He still has about two months of rehab left, and seemingly won’t be ready for game action by Opening Day.

  • Similarly, Cuban catching prospect Adalberto Ibarra will also be on a rehab track this spring. Ibarra is returning from off-season shoulder surgery, but is expected to be game-ready during the first half of the season.

  • Bradford’s colleague at WEEI, Alex Speier, reports that Sox reliever Robert Coello remains in limbo for up to ten days in Fort Myers after he was designated for assignment on Wednesday to make room for the newly-signed Alfredo Aceves. The problem is that Coello rented a condo in Fort Myers for the spring, which he may end up not needing if some other team claims him off waivers. He's still working out with the club for now.

  • Over the spring, make sure and keep up to date on the top prospects in the system with our Prospect Previews, penned by SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Chris Mellen.

  • Here are your transaction notes for the past week. Boston added LHP Dennys Reyes and RHP Alfredo Aceves, both of whom will be in major league camp, and both of whom appear to be on the bubble for a major league roster spot. The team also signed Japanese 29-year-old LHP Itsuki Shoda to a minor league deal. He'll compete for a spot on a minor league affiliate, possibly Portland or Pawtucket. The Red Sox also acquired the contract of catcher Matt Kramer from Sioux City of the American Association and signed him to a minor league deal. Boston will attempt to convert Kramer, a 2008 Harvard gradute, to pithing. In case you haven't heard from the barrage of reports, the club also signed 17-year-old New Zealand softball player Beau Bishop, a catcher, to a minor league deal. Bishop will spend the spring in Fort Myers and the summer at the Australian Baseball Academy. The club also re-signed LHP Tommy Hottovy, a 2004 fourth-round pick, to a minor league deal. Hottovy will compete for a spot in the Pawtucket bullpen. In other transaction news, the signings of international prospects 2B Aneury Tavarez and SS Denier Lopez became official. Both players are likely tabbed for the Dominican Summer League in 2011. Four DSL players were released last week - OF Javier Guttierez, OF Raoell Kortstam, RHP Kiler Gil, and RHP Israel Perez.