Notes: Red Sox looking at 100 wins in 2011

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Notes: Red Sox looking at 100 wins in 2011

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the past week, giddy Red Sox players have begun talking about the possibility of the 2011 team winning 100 games -- something no Red Sox team has done since 1946.

Josh Beckett was the first to raise the prospect and Mike Cameron Thursday morning echoed the sentiments.

General manager Theo Epstein was asked Thursday if some of the players weren't getting a little ahead of themselves. Epstein didn't exactly slam the brakes on the enthusiasm, but he did managed to tap them once or twice.

"I think it's nice that those players feel good about themselves and their teammates and what we have here," said Epstein. "But let's be honest. We haven't done anything yet. All we have is a bunch of guys in the clubhouse here, trying to set out to do a job.

"We've got a lot to prove. We've got to prove we're not a third-place team. We've got to prove we can stay healthy. We've got to prove we can have repeat performances, what guys have done in the past -- come out and do it again in 2011 or improve upon that. We've got to prove we can come together as a team.

"We don't have win No. 1 yet. We have a lot to prove and the work has just started. That said, I like that these guys feel good about themselves and their teammates and our chances. I don't think they're getting ahead of ourselves."

Over the offseason, even after obtaining two superstars and a 160 million payroll. Epstein said there isn't necessarily a perfect solution to every problem.

Case in point: the team's catching depth.

The Sox intend to have Jarrod Saltalamachia as their primary catcher, with Jason Varitek as his backup. But if injuries or performance issues arise, the team doesn't have much in the way of major league-caliber catching in the system.

"We have a lot of young guys who we feel pretty good about," said Epstein, "who are on the cusp of being major league-ready, so we're going to take this camp in the early part of the season and determine which of them, if any, are big league ready in case of injury."

The Sox also signed journeyman catcher Paul Hoover, 35, who has played 40 major-league games over seven seasons with Tampa Bay, Florida and Philadelphia.

"That's an area we'll monitor closely and continue to scout other camps as the need arises. We hope to first have internal answers; if not, we can always go outside the organization."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

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.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

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.