Early Sox notes: Crawford, Drew to sit

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Early Sox notes: Crawford, Drew to sit

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON With left-hander Jason Vargas starting for the Mariners Friday night at Fenway Park, Red Sox manager Terry Francona used the opportunity to start right-handed hitters Mike Cameron in right field and Darnell McDonald in left field, resting lefties Carl Crawford and J.D. Drew. Cameron has not started since April 24, McDonald since April 19.

Wanted to get a couple of right-handers in there, Francona said. Wanted to keep them sharp and there's not a lot of lefties coming up in the near future. So we thought it would be a really good day to do that.

Crawford, mired in a season-long slump (.160), has hit lefties at a .267 mark in his career but just .171 this season. He has been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan on his approach at the plate, Francona said.

Mags spends a lot of time and I really think he does good, Francona said. If there's one thing I know they're talking about, is just getting ready sooner. When its a rush -- and theres different terms, get your front foot down -- and its a rush its a little bit harder to see the ball and react so theyre trying to get him ready a little more earlier.

Which should help improve Crawfords pitch selection.

It certainly should, yeah, Francona said. Hittings so finicky. People talk about mechanics, but if you're not seeing the ball, you can't have good mechanics. It just kind of all goes hand in hand.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who jammed his left hip on a slide Thursday in Baltimore is in the lineup.

I think hes a little sore but I dont think its so sore he can't play, Francona said.

Today is the 25th anniversary of Roger Clemens first 20-strikeout game. The Red Sox were also playing the Mariners at Fenway Park in that game, which the Sox won, 3-1. Phil Bradley led the Mariners with four strikeouts. The Sox had a combined five strikeouts, led by Don Baylor with two.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Trenni sits with Chris Sale and David Price during spring training in Fort Meyers.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.