Spring training notes: Napoli taking it easy

Spring training notes: Napoli taking it easy
February 12, 2013, 9:53 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Other than Clay Buchholzs right hamstring strain, Red Sox manager John Farrell was pleased with the first official workout for his pitchers and catchers.

We got our work in, Farrell said. The guys that threw off the mound today did what we anticipated. Thats just to begin to develop some rhythm, repeat their delivery. No ones certainly going to make the team today, but I thought overall a good work day.

The new manager, who was the Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 before leaving to manage the Blue Jays, believes his pitching staff has a lot of upside for 2013.

The potential of the staff when you look at the ability thats here, the talent that is here, the track record that many have had in recent years, to me this has got the ability to be a well-above-average pitching staff, he staff. Now we also know that there are individual needs along the way here that weve got to get guys back to what they've done well in the past, the consistency to which they execute. But this is a staff that I think is very talented. To start to put numbers on it, were not in that position to do that. But at the same time this is a staff thats got a lot of veterans on it that have had very successful careers to date.

First baseman Mike Napoli, who was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips this offseason, will be limited in his initial spring training workouts.

Hes still restricted from any kind of impact or pounding, Farrell said. So right now its a matter of him taking batting practice, keeping his arm in shape. Hell go through another MRI later this week for an update and a re-check. Provided everything goes as we anticipate at this point then well start to introduce more baseball activities including the defensive side. Just talking to him hes looking forward to the reps there to gain comfort at the position but everythings pointed toward later in the weekend or early next week that hed be at that position.

Asked how much calling of pitches he planned to do from the dugout, Farrell replied:

Hopefully none. We have the full trust of the guys that are going to be back behind the plate. Were confident that the system that well use as far as preparing a game plan will be carried out. But its very common to have constant conversation between innings whether thats with pitching coach Juan Nieves and Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Juan and David Ross or Ryan Lavarnway. Thats normal in-game dialogue that will be used. But if we prepare the right way that game plan will be starting point that well be able to adjust off of consistently. But the most imp thing is the work we do leading up to the beginning of that game.