Overbay looking to make the most of his chance with Sox


Overbay looking to make the most of his chance with Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. As a non-roster invitee with the Red Sox, Lyle Overbay knows he has something to prove this spring. He was brought in to compete to back-up first baseman Mike Napoli, who was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips during his physical with the Sox this winter. While he had other opportunities, Overbay believed the Sox gave him the best chance.

Just trying to figure out which one worked for me and what was important to me and the opportunity to make the big league club and to win a World Series, those are kind of the two that are more important for me, Overbay said So those are and this is the place to do that.

But, these are all things I hate talking about it yet because I havent done anything yet. I havent made the team or anything. But I think Mike being in there every day, hes going to be successful, but if he needs a day off then hopefully I can match up with that Ive had success with and maybe not lose anything and give him a blow.

Overbay, who turned 36 in January, is a veteran of 12 big league seasons and five teams, including five seasons in the American League East with the Blue Jays. He is a career .270 hitter with a .353 on-base percentage and .438 slugging percentage. At Fenway Park, he is a career .323 hitter, going 51-for-158, with a .395 OBP and .500 SLG.

I love Fenway Overbay said. It plays right into my game. I feel real comfortable and I dont feel like I have to change anything.

One thing he would be willing to change if it offered him more opportunity would be his position. While he has strictly played first base in the big leagues. He was an outfielder at the University of Nevada-Reno when the Diamondbacks drafted him in the 18th round in 1999.

Whatever helps my chances, he said. Im here to help this team win and whatever I can do. Whatever. I played outfield in college. When I got drafted I never played first base in my life. So its something that I had to learn. But playing the outfield, I dont know its been a while since I played it but its something that I would love to explore if thats going to help my chances.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory


Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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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.