Spring training notes: Nieves mixes things up

Spring training notes: Nieves mixes things up
February 17, 2013, 11:24 pm
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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.