Bailey gives up run in Red Sox debut

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Bailey gives up run in Red Sox debut

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Andrew Bailey made his Red Sox Grapefruit League debut Monday afternoon against the Marlins, although not in his expected ninth-inning slot as it will be in the regular season.

Bailey pitched one inning, the sixth. Facing six batters, he gave up a run on three hits with a wild pitch. Bailey allowed hits to the first three batters he faced a double to Omar Infante, and singles to Austin Kearns and Aaron Rowand to score Infante, before getting out of the jam. He got Chris Coghlan to pop out to Mike Aviles at shortstop. Terry Tiffee reached on a fielders choice, with Kearns getting thrown out trying to score. And Matt Dominquez grounded out to Kevin Youkilis at third.

First guy, hit a double and immediately your mind switches to that closers mentality where you never want to blow a game, Bailey said. It doesnt matter for me if its in spring training. So for me it was kind of cool to have your first outing be that kind of tight of a ballgame and for me kind of act like it was regular season. And obviously I have some things to work on. Thats why we start with spring training. But it was nice to get in that situation. But for me you never want to give up runs no matter what inning you pitch.

I felt comfortable out there. Kind of normal, for me just the first outing in spring. And obviously had the mindset of going in and working on things. Soon as a guy gets on base that switches gears. So it was fun.

Bailey had been delayed this spring by a lat strain suffered during the vertical leap portion of his psychical early in camp. He came through his first outing fine.

Nothing hurt. No this is just all for show, he said, joking about a large ice pack on his right shoulder. No, I feel great. Like is said its great to be back out there. Obviously with the little lat thing, kind of frustrating. But its good that it happened when it did, in early part of spring. And hopefully I dont have to vertical jump next year.

Manager Bobby Valentine was satisfied with Baileys outing.

Andrew was able to go out there and start it and get off the mound, Valentine said. He feels healthy right now and thats a big step forward. Thats good. Now, Id rather have him strike everyone out and miss all the bats. But bats happened to find the ball a couple of times today.

Bailey, who would like to pitch seven or eight innings in spring training, believes he has enough time to get ready for Opening Day.

Yeah, yeah, for sure, he said. Theres plenty of opportunities to get in games. I shouldnt miss too much. I think some of the guys are even scheduled extra off day here or there. And for me Ill just keep on going through and get ready for Opening Day.

We have him scheduled for seven or so innings, Valentine said. If we have to back to back depending on how he feels. Hell have enough.

At some point he is likely to pitch more than one inning.

Hes slated for a two-inning outing once but well see, Valentine said. In a perfect world I always like a guy to throw one more inning than hes going to be asked to do during the season, other than 10 for starters. Just so they have it in their mind, at least go back out that other inning, just to know that you can do it.

Bailey knows he is taking the place of Jonathan Papelbon, the most prolific closer in Red Sox history. But he is not pressured by that.

I know what he did here obviously, the all-time save leader here, Bailey said. For me its a new opportunity in my career. So for me the pressure is what you put on yourself and in my eyes its an opportunity in my career to further my career and pitch for the greatest franchise in baseball. So Im just excited about that.

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

BOSTON — Sonny Gray is not what the Red Sox need.

As of Monday, the power rankings of their trade targets should go as such: 1. Third baseman 2. Reliever 3. Back-end starter.

When he was addressing the addition of Doug Fister three days ago, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted that a premier starter is not what he lacks.

“Unlike maybe some other clubs, I don't believe that we need to add a top-of-the-rotation-type starter,” Dombrowski said. “We have [Chris] Sale. I think David Price continues to make strides to come back. His stuff is good he's just got to get back. [Drew] Pomeranz has thrown well for us. [Eduardo] Rodriguez has thrown well. We know Rick Porcello is a good pitcher.

“So we're not, maybe other clubs are looking for that No. 1, No. 2 type starter. That's not really important for us. I think it's more important to be in a position where we add depth for us, somebody that can help us win major league games if needed.”

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on Monday reported that the Red Sox “have quietly sent some of their most respected evaluators to his last two starts. This could fall under standard due diligence, but one source familiar with their intentions said the Red Sox are keen for Gray – and when president Dave Dombrowski targets a player, the price for other teams jumps accordingly.” 

Due diligence is indeed all the Red Sox are up to, a baseball source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told CSNNE.com on Monday.

The Red Sox’ trade chips are limited, if they don’t want to drastically diminish their farm system. Gray is very close with David Price, but Gray's 4.45 ERA isn’t inspiring. He has a 3.60 FIP — fielding independent pitching — and has great talent. But again, he doesn’t play the hot corner.

Offense on a whole is a greater need. The Sox entered Monday with the third lowest slugging percentage in the AL. Hanley Ramirez is now battling some left knee pain as well as his shoulder issue, after he took a pitch off the knee Sunday.

It’s warmed up, but the Sox power bats have not also warmed up.

“I wouldn’t hinge this all on just temperature,” manager John Farrell said Monday. “And I don’t know that we use that as an excuse prior. . . Over the last three or four weeks, it’s kind of stagnated a little bit. I think the biggest thing for us as a group is to still maintain a consistent approach at the plate. When we think about getting too much muscle in a swing, eventually the strike zone expands, you don’t get the pitch that you’re looking for. We can’t afford to maybe go away from that approach for the sake of maybe trying to drive the ball with greater consistency.”

Tzu-Wei Lin was starting for the Sox on Monday, yet another in the third-base carousel. Jhonny Peralta and Pablo Sandoval (rehab assignment) are going to alternate time at third base starting Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. 

That’s where they need help.

The bullpen can’t be overlooked either. Carson Smith started a throwing program again Monday, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return, or at what effectiveness.

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

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Mike Giardi reports that there are some people in Paul George's camp that think the Boston Celtics would be a great fit, both short and long-term.

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