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February 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Fort Report: February 17

The Fort Report returns for 2012 and will be running every Friday with notes on prospect activity from Fort Myers, Florida. This week's minor league notes:

  • Minor league mini-camp players and staff are required to report by February 22, remaining minor league pitchers and catchers by March 1, and the remaining minor league position players by March 9.
  • While players are required to report by those dates, many are in camp early.  SoxProspects.com's #1 prospect, Will Middlebrooks hinted on his Twitter account that he was there as early as February 6, which would be among the earliest of any players.
  • Middlebrooks was not alone as you can see from this picture from Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe with as many as 30 players in attendance on February 12.
  • Abraham also reported that Ryan Westmoreland is in camp as he continues his recovery from the   cavernous malformation in his brain that required surgery in 2010. Abraham says that Ryan Kalish is in camp working out but has not been cleared to swing as he continues to recover from the labrum surgery he underwent earlier this year. Others who were reported to be in camp included Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, Luis Exposito, Rich Hill, Daniel Nava, and a "big herd of minor leaguers."
  • Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal notes that Alex Wilson, Alex Hassan, Dan Butler, and Juan Carlos Linares also received invitations to major league camp.
  • In addition to that list, Alex Speier of WEEI adds Doug Mathis, Jason Repko, and Pedro Ciriaco to the list of players receiving invites. Teams usually start with a large list of invitees before reassigning them to minor league camp as it progresses.
  • The Red Sox have also added former Pirate, Yankee, and Diamondback Ross Ohlendorf to a minor league contract that includes a spring training invite. Our own James Dunne provides some more detail on the signing.  Alex Speier adds that Ohlendorf has one options remaining and will not reach free agency until after the 2015 season, which makes this signing very similar to that of Alfredo Aceves. The Red Sox will look at him in both starting and relief pitcher roles.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports Red Sox pitching coach, Bob McClure, said that Junichi Tazawa will start the year as a reliever. There is lots of minor league starting pitching depth after the signings of Ohlendorf, Aaron Cook, Carlos Silva, Brandon Duckworth, as well as Clay Mortensen who came over in the Marco Scutaro trade and younger options Alex Wilson and Felix Doubront.  This will give Tazawa the best chance to impact the major league roster at some point in 2012.
  • It seems Red Sox catching instructor Gary Tuck is not in camp because of physical issues according to Nick Cafardo. Tuck is widely regarded as one of the best catching instructors in the game, and his absence certainly does not help the preparation and development of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway, Luis Exposito, and the rest of the Red Sox catchers. Hopefully it is nothing serious and he can return soon.
  • This year Chris Mellen continues with his Prospect Previews column every Monday, Wednesday and Friday leading up to opening day. Each one covers two prospects looking into their strengths, developmental needs, and 2012 outlook.  Thus far they have included: (1) Madison Younginer/Jordan Weems, (2) Williams Jerez/Heiker Meneses, (3) Reynaldo Rodriguez/Kendrick Perkins, (4) Jeremy Hazelbaker/Brandon Workman, and (5) Cody Kukuk/Henry Ramos.
  • The Red Sox released their spring training schedule for their minor league affiliates. Note that this is the schedule for the Triple-A and Double-A clubs. The A-Ball and Rookie-Ball squads will play the same schedule, but will simply be away against the same opponent on the days that the Triple-A and Double-A clubs are home, and vice-versa.
DATE                        OPPONENT                      AFFILIATION    SITE              TIME
Wed. March 14          vs Rochester Red Wings    Twins                Ft. Myers        1:00 pm 
Thur. March 15          @ Norfolk Tides                 Orioles              Sarasota        1:00 pm 
Fri. March 16             vs Norfolk Tides                 Orioles              Ft. Myers       1:00 pm 
Sat. March 17            @ Rochester Red Wings    Twins               Lee County      1:00 pm 
Sun. March 18           CAMP DAY 
Mon. March 19          vs Durham Bulls                 Rays                Ft. Myers          1:00 pm 
Tues. March 20          @ Durham Bulls                Rays                Port Charlotte    1:00 pm 
Wed. March 21          vs Rochester Red Wings    Twins                Ft. Myers         1:00 pm 
Thur. March 22          @ Norfolk Tides                 Orioles              Sarasota         1:00 pm 
Fri. March 23             vs Norfolk Tides                 Orioles              Ft. Myers        1:00 pm 
Sat. March 24           @ Rochester Red Wings     Twins                Lee County      1:00 pm 
Sun. March 25           CAMP DAY 
Mon. March 26          vs Rochester Red Wings     Twins                Ft. Myers        1:00 pm 
Tues. March 27          @ Durham Bulls                 Rays                Port Charlotte   1:00 pm 
Wed. March 28         vs Durham Bulls                  Rays                 Ft. Myers         1:00 pm 
Thur. March 29         @ Rochester Red Wings      Twins                Lee County      1:00 pm 
Fri. March 30            @ Norfolk Tides                   Orioles              Sarasota         1:00 pm 
Sat. March 31            vs Rochester Red Wings     Twins                Ft. Myers         1:00 pm