By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
TORONTO -- Both Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez were out of the Red Sox' starting lineup in the series finale.
Ricky Romero, a lefty, was starting for Toronto, but Francona said that wasn't much of a factor in his decisions.
"We're going to have a late arrival," said Francona. "If you give them a day off, you'd like to pick a day against a guy they don't see the ball well against. When we went to Gonzie (Wednesday) night, he was OK with (sitting). When he says that, it will be good for him.
"We'll give Carl a break on this turf. We're going to turf next (in Tampa). We're just trying to balance getting rest and production and do it where it fits."
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Jed Lowrie 3B
Jason Varitek C
Josh Reddick RF
Darnell McDonald LF
Andrew Miller P
Sean McAdam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.
Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.
Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.
Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double.
The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.