BOSTON Before a charity event at Fenway Park Friday night, new Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke about several of the items on his to do list between now and spring training.
One of his priorities:
It will be to work through the pending World Baseball Classic situations, what players are still on the provisional rosters. Those provisional rosters are going to come out here in the next four, five days, and then to understand whos going to be in camp and whos not. Because this is a critical spring training for us with the number of new players. Pretty much a complete and new coaching staff. So weve got to gain a lot of familiarity with one another. Theres some history. Theres a lot of work to be done in terms of getting to understand the individual strengths of each players.
On who his first baseman is:
Well, Mauro Gomez is on our roster right now. Obviously, Mark Hamilton is a young guy that weve signed. But were all well aware of the situation with free agent Mark Napoli thats still being worked through. I know general manager Ben Cherington is doing whatever he possibly can so that when we report to spring training weve got that position answered.
Its understood. This isnt a major surprise at this point. I have the utmost confidence that that question will be answered in due time. Were working through it.
Farrell and his staff met at the Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers in December to familiarize themselves with the park, which is new to most of the staff:
As a staff we met in early December just to get familiar with the facility. In talking with people after they went through it for one full year there was some bugs to be worked out in the daily schedule. So we had a chance to go down, not only walk through the internal part of the facility but to get to the layout, the amount of space that needs to be covered. So hopefully we can keep our daily schedule as efficient and as tight as possible.
Ive been there as opposition but never saw the inner workings and whats available. But compared to where they moved from: state of the art facility. Its a tremendous place.
If hes talked with everybody he feels he needs to talk to at this point in the offseason:
I dont think youre ever done having conversations, whether it's the acquisition of a player that affects another guys situation, that youre always being clear and communicating what the vision is going into spring training, whether or not our rosters completely built at this point, which probably isnt likely. So theres still those initial contacts to be made with those players yet to be joining us. But again, I dont think youre ever done being in touch with given players.
If he is comfortable with his roster and familiar with his players:
A familiarity, yes. To get to knowing them fully, well take advantage of spring training as best we can. Again like I said, ultimately what players go and participate in the WBC that could take away from that a little bit, if its a player that signed here during the offseason or a trade. Well get a better handle on that probably over the next 7-10 days. But as far as the overall roster, I like what we have now. Certainly on paper, not only are they a talented group but its a group that has shown and has a very strong history to be solid team players and ones that have had success and have won.
If players have committed to the WBC:
No not fully yet. The first step is the provisional rosters and then you start to get some feedback from MLB on whos likely or potentially to be on that roster. We dont have complete clarity to that yet. And I dont know that any team or any country has really solidified their rosters.
If there are advantages to players participating in the WBC:
The thing about it is youre hopefully, whatever player participates theyre getting the appropriate number of at-bats, the number of innings, the progression is what you typically go through in a normal spring training. However, theres a competitive element that gets thrown in the mix in March that is probably a little bit more than a normal spring training would hold. But the benefits that it has to grow the game worldwide, its a very popular thing at MLB.