WORCESTER -- Bobby Valentine has been on the job for two months, but now that spring training is drawing closer, the new Red Sox manager is eager to really get to work.
"I actually made out the first week's workout (recently),'' said Valentine Wednesday night, appearing at Worcester Technical High School where the Red Sox hosted a 2012 Town Hall with fans. "We're making sure that the new program being sent out to the players is palatable . . . But it will be a work in progress, to be sure. This will be new, different, exciting.''
For the past few weeks, Valentine has been reading scouting reports.
"I'm tired of reading,'' joked Valentine. "I've read too much. My eyes are tired. I'd like to get out in the sun and see the players."
Valentine has spoken with a number of players in recent weeks, some of whom are eager to get going on the 2012 season.
"I've talked to a few who are definitely going to be there early,'' said Valentine. "A lot of guys will show up before the mandatory reporting dates. We'll start with a volunteer session on Feb. 16 and we'll be off and running.''
Valentine has heard from new closer Andrew Bailey and starter Jon Lester -- among others -- who are set to be in Fort Myers in the next week or so.
Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the day off and Christian Vazquez get the start at catcher as the Red Sox look to extend their winning streak to 11 games today against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.
Andrew Benintendi replaces Bradley in center, Chris Young is in left and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7, 4.84 ERA) is on the mound as the Red Sox close in on the A.L. East title. Their magic number to clinch the division is three with seven games left.
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.73) is on the mound for the Rays.
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Andrew Benintendi CF
Christian Vazquez C
Eduardo Rodriguez LHP
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SS
Mikey Mahtook RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Curt Casali DH
Luke Maile C
Richie Shaffer 1B
Jake Odorizzi RHP
Bill Belichick has a pair of young quarterbacks dealing with injuries at the moment. Jimmy Garoppolo was inactive for Thursday's win over the Texans due to a Grade 2 AC joint sprain he endured in Week 2 against the Dolphins, and Jacoby Brissett sustained a minor injury to his right thumb in his first pro start last week.
Asked if he was concerned about either player being available for New England's Week 4 contest against the Bills, Belichick didn't provide much in the way of hints one way or another.
"Well, we'll all give our injury report on Wednesday, as we always do, as we're required to do," Belichick said. "Based on where things are at that point, that'll be represented in the report."
If there's concern over both quarterbacks as the team gets closer to its final game without Tom Brady, it may be forced to add a quarterback so as not to subject an emergency option, like receiver Julian Edelman, to extended snaps behind center.