Red Sox notes: Ortiz gets back in the cage

Red Sox notes: Ortiz gets back in the cage
March 22, 2013, 3:15 pm
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DUNEDIN, Fla. --  David Ortiz is also expected to take some swings in the cage today. It would be his fourth straight day swinging in the cage.

Here are some other notes from manager John Farrell's availability before today's game vs. the Blue Jays.

  • Farrell is glad to have all his players back in camp.

 “Typically the last 10 days timing is starting to become more consistent both for the guys on the mound and guys at the plate,” he said. “So you’re getting more of a realistic feel of what April and beyond is going to be like. So I’m sure the extended time in camp has probably got everybody chomping at the bit to break and get out. But in our camp we still have some decisions to make and some performances to be further evaluated.”

  • Ryan Lavarnway is in the starting lineup, his first start behind the plate since Saturday. He entered the game batting .158, going 6-for-38 in 14 games this spring.

"Consistent footwork, consistent receiving,” Farrell said of what he has seen from Lavarnway this spring. “I think his throwing -- when compared to what we saw last September -- I think dramatically improved and yet he would benefit by more regular play back there. We're trying to rotate guys. To me, he's done a good job handling our staff and he's probably at the point where he needs more regular at-bats as well."

  • Lyle Overbay, who had been dealing with a stiff back the past few days, is in the starting lineup at first base, his first start there since Saturday. Overbay, a non-roster invitee, has an opt-out of March 26.

"But not anymore important than the whole camp has been and he’s done well,” Farrell said. “We're going to take every day we can to make the decisions on how our bench is going to round out. He's a proven big leaguer and a dependable major league player. You look at every player’s strength and match them up in combination with others. A veteran presence who’s been in that role and has been accustomed to it. How the group compliments each other is how we'll settle it."

  • Farrell on Opening Day, and how different the Sox’ and Yankees’ lineups could be with all the injuries:

"Both teams have gone through change. A lot of temporary situations because of injury. I'm sure everyone who pays attention to every opening series, you want to see the marquee players perform on the field. In both cases we're dealing with banged up rosters."

  • Like his last trip to Dunedin, Farrell faced some questions from the Toronto media. Asked if he were looking forward to the second series of the regular season, when the Sox travel to Toronto, Farrell replied: 

"There's been a lot of change with Toronto. They've got a damned good team, one that everyone will be shooting for this year in terms of trying to compete and contend in this division. We're looking forward to every game played and series no matter where it is," Farrell said.
 
Asked if he thought there would be negative attention focused on him, Farrell replied:
 
"There may be. We'll soon find out. But this game is always about the players first and foremost and that's where the attention should be."