Spring training notes: Napoli to receive follow-up MRI

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Spring training notes: Napoli to receive follow-up MRI

FORT MYERS, Fla. Mike Napoli is scheduled to undergo a follow-up MRI on Thursday. Napoli, who signed a one-year, 5 million contract with the Red Sox as a free agent in January, was found to have avascular necrosis in both hips during his physical with the team in December.

He has been restricted from doing any impact activities. Manager John Farrell said the teams hope is the results of the next MRI will allow Napoli to take on more impact and baseball activities.

And thatll be a gradual increase in baseball activities, Farrell said. Right now theres no impact or pounding, so to speak. Well get the evaluation of his doctor in New York once its reviewed, the MRI results, and then therell be a work plan laid out, not only volume but the type of work that will follow from that point.

Farrell is optimistic Napoli will be ready for Opening Day.

Right now everything still points to him being ready for opening day, Farrell said. Thursday and the next couple of days is going to give us a lot of information on how we can start his progression with more on field baseball activity.

Despite Will Middlebrooks break-out rookie season, which was cut short by a fractured right wrist, Farrell said there are a few things he would like the third baseman to work on.

I think theres areas defensively, just with his consistency of the footwork, maybe his range to his glove side I know are focal points that hell work with Brian Butterfield at here, Farrell said. But once again, when you talk about a young talented player still going through that cycle and full season for the first time well get to know more about him as well. I know one thing, Im glad hes here.

An area Farrell would like the team to work on is working counts better. Which may be accomplished just by the turnover the team has undergone this offseason.

I think when you look at the change in personnel probably had as much to do with that as anything, Farrell said. And the hitters that have been brought in here, the position players that have been brought in here, theres a distinct track record along those lines.

Daniel Nava, Mitch Maier, Lyle Overbay, and Mauro Gomez all worked out at first base today.

They will continue to take ground balls because as we mentioned yesterday theres that left-handed hitterback-up first basemanleft fielder thats one of the positions that you see those four guys in competition for, Farrell said. So barring any other additions well get as many reps as we can from each of those guys.

Left-hander Felix Doubront, who has been held back because of shoulder weakness, threw from 75 feet on Wednesday. Farrell said Doubront is expected to throw from 90 and 120 feet on Thursday, and remains on track to throw from a mound on Feb. 20.

All the position players, along with pitchers and catchers, have reported to camp except for right-fielder Shane Victorino. Jacoby Ellsbury has been in but has not worked out on the field yet. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Friday.

Bob Tewksbury, the Sox sports psychology coach, is conducting mental skills clinics with the players. He met with starting pitchers Wednesday, and is scheduled to meet with the relievers on Thursday and position players after that.

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.