Spring training notes: Brentz injured by gun

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Spring training notes: Brentz injured by gun

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Outfielder Bryce Brentz, who finished last year at Pawtucket, will not be ready for the start of spring training after suffering a gunshot wound in his lower leg a few weeks ago.

"He had an accident,'' revealed general manager Ben Cherington. "It was at home, cleaning a gun. It accidentally went off and he was injured in the process. Fortunately for him, it's something he's going to recover from and be fine. It won't affect his baseball career. But he won't be 100 percent at the beginning of camp, so we ended up not bringing him to big league camp because he won't be able to participate.''

Cherington said "the bullet went into his leg and out the other side. I guess you could say he got lucky, relative to what could have happened. He's got to be careful. He's doing well. We wouldn't rule him out being in games at the end of spring training. We'll see how it goes the next couple of weeks.''

Cherington said the team doesn't have an established policy about players under contract having guns.

"Certainly, we've talked to Bryce,'' said Cherington, "and had a couple of conversations about how serious this is. He wasn't doing anything illegal or anything like that. He had a gun he was trying to clean and there was an accident. It's something we have to deal with case-by-case. We've talked to Bryce about it.''

In something of a departure, the Red Sox have invited shortstop Deven Merrero, their first-round pick from last year, to big league camp this spring. Typically, young players aren't invited to major league spring training until they've had a few seasons of pro ball.

"We haven't taken a college position player that high in a while,'' explained Cherington, "but he's a kid we've known for so long, back to high school. Typically, it's not something we do -- bringing in a draftee from the previous draft into camp.

"But we felt in this case, we knew him well enough, that he'd been through a lot, played a lot of baseball -- college, Team USA and played a premium position. We just want to get him exposed to the major league staff and we felt like it was appropriate to do it at this case.''

"We felt he was ready to be exposed to major league camp and he'll handle it in a way that's productive - despite the fact that he just joined us. I think we were a little comfortable with that because we've known him for so long. I don't think it's a departure (from policy) or anything. It doesn't mean that he's going to start at this level or that level. -- that will be determined at the end of camp.''

The organization's top two position prospects -- infielder Xander Bogaerts and outfielder Jackie Bradley -- will also be in major league camp.

"Both guys are pretty mature for their age and level,'' said Cherington, "and they've both accomplished some things on the field. I expect both to come into camp and be professional, treat the older guys with respect and when they're on the field, do what they can do.

"They're both talented kids and they don't need to take a back seat to anyone once they're on the field, so, it will be good for them and fun for us to see them.''

The Sox are still trying to determine how former players Jason Varitek and Pedro Martinez will be utilized in their new roles.

"We're still working on it,'' Cherington said. "Both he and Tek will be here periodically, maybe a few different times during the spring, probably for a similar amount of time. We're just trying to expose them to some different things on the field and off the field, to allow them to take advantage of what they have to offer but also for them to learn what areas they like the most, what areas they're most interested in. We expect this to be an evolving thing going forward. We'll start off this way and see how it goes and maybe it goes in a different direction going forward, depending on what their interests are.

"I think you'll see them both here, a few days here and there. It won't be a full-time role this spring.''

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.