Spring training notes: Nieves mixes things up


Spring training notes: Nieves mixes things up

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- New pitching coach Juan Nieves introduced a new drill to the Sox, having pitchers take spots on the infield during bunt drills.

"It serves a couple of purposes," said Farrell. "One, it allows the pitchers to go through the bunt responsibilities. But it also gives them insight into what every other player on the field and his responsibilities. They get a better understanding of not only reading the pace of the ball, but where can they anticipate and how much distance has to be traveled.

"From that standpoint, it's helpful. There's a little bit of a competitive element in there and when you get into spring training, one of the tough things is getting creative with PFP (Pitcher's Fielding Practice), so that was one of them."

Mike Napoli ramped up his work at first base, taking grounders after batting practice.

"We'll gradually built that up,'' said Farrel. "He had 50 ground balls at first base today. He's got very soft hands. His movements are smooth. We're confident he's going to be a very good first baseman."

Farrell said the list of pitchers scheduled to take part in the college doubleheader against Boston College and Northeastern on Thursday will be posted tomorrow or Tuesday.

The Sox plan to use mostly relievers -- at an inning apiece -- srpead out over the the 14 innings of the two games.

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'


Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.


Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.