Notes: Red Sox announce weekend starters


Notes: Red Sox announce weekend starters

By SeanMcAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Red Sox announced Tuesday some scheduled pitchers for the first three days of exhibition games.

Stolmy Pimentel will start Saturday's afternoon contest with Boston College, followed by Michael Bowden and Jason Rice. Against Northeastern Saturday night, the Sox will go with Kyle Weiland, Alex Wilson and Rich Hill.

In the Grapefruit League opener Sunday night against the Minnesota Twins, Josh Beckett will start, with Clay Buchholz to follow. On Monday, also against Minnesota, Daisuke Matsuzaka will start.

Junichi Tazawa, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last spring, threw his first full bullpen session Tuesday morning.

Tazawa had thrown a shorter distance Sunday. On Tuesday, he threw the normal distance, though he concentrated solely on fastballs.

"It's getting gradually better and better,'' said Tazawa through a translator. "I still have a little bit of anxiety about throwing, but it went well.''

It's unlikely that Tazawa will be ready for the start of the minor-league season in early April.

"I don't know the timetable that far ahead,'' he said. "Currently, I've only been given a week at a time, so I only know that.''

Tazawa said he could feel some "tension'' in his right shoulder, but added: "There's no problem at all with the elbow.''

When cleared, Tazawa is slated to be part of the Pawtucket rotation, providing some starting depth for the major league team.

The Red Sox had a morning meeting with umpiring supervisors Larry Young and Joe Garagiola Jr. to go over issues and answer questions from staff and players.

"It was actually a good meeting,'' said Terry Francona. "They told us what they feel they needed to tell us and then guys were allowed to ask questions. They're good listeners. I think they made some good points. I thought it was a good meeting.''

J.D. Drew, who complained last season about inconsistency with the strike zone, said he did not speak up during the meeting.

"I don't want to reflect back on my complaints too much, because it doesn't do me any good,'' said Drew. "I just want to get back to being more patient at the plate, regardless of the situation. There might be a lot of called strike threes against me that I'll still have questions about, but I've got to learn to not expand the strike zone, regardless.''

Adrian Gonzalez took another 30 swings off a tee Tuesday morning. Gonzalez has been given the option of repeating the work Wednesday or taking a day off and resuming swings Thursday . . . Jonathan Papelbon, still battling the flu, remained inside and didn't participate in the workout for the second time in the last three days . . . Jason Bergmann, who was sidelined with shoulder weakness last week is improving but still hasn't been cleared to throw.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.