Spring training notes: Napoli taking it easy

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Spring training notes: Napoli taking it easy

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Other than Clay Buchholzs right hamstring strain, Red Sox manager John Farrell was pleased with the first official workout for his pitchers and catchers.

We got our work in, Farrell said. The guys that threw off the mound today did what we anticipated. Thats just to begin to develop some rhythm, repeat their delivery. No ones certainly going to make the team today, but I thought overall a good work day.

The new manager, who was the Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 before leaving to manage the Blue Jays, believes his pitching staff has a lot of upside for 2013.

The potential of the staff when you look at the ability thats here, the talent that is here, the track record that many have had in recent years, to me this has got the ability to be a well-above-average pitching staff, he staff. Now we also know that there are individual needs along the way here that weve got to get guys back to what they've done well in the past, the consistency to which they execute. But this is a staff that I think is very talented. To start to put numbers on it, were not in that position to do that. But at the same time this is a staff thats got a lot of veterans on it that have had very successful careers to date.

First baseman Mike Napoli, who was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips this offseason, will be limited in his initial spring training workouts.

Hes still restricted from any kind of impact or pounding, Farrell said. So right now its a matter of him taking batting practice, keeping his arm in shape. Hell go through another MRI later this week for an update and a re-check. Provided everything goes as we anticipate at this point then well start to introduce more baseball activities including the defensive side. Just talking to him hes looking forward to the reps there to gain comfort at the position but everythings pointed toward later in the weekend or early next week that hed be at that position.

Asked how much calling of pitches he planned to do from the dugout, Farrell replied:

Hopefully none. We have the full trust of the guys that are going to be back behind the plate. Were confident that the system that well use as far as preparing a game plan will be carried out. But its very common to have constant conversation between innings whether thats with pitching coach Juan Nieves and Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Juan and David Ross or Ryan Lavarnway. Thats normal in-game dialogue that will be used. But if we prepare the right way that game plan will be starting point that well be able to adjust off of consistently. But the most imp thing is the work we do leading up to the beginning of that game.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.