Spring training notes: Nieves mixes things up


Spring training notes: Nieves mixes things up

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- New pitching coach Juan Nieves introduced a new drill to the Sox, having pitchers take spots on the infield during bunt drills.

"It serves a couple of purposes," said Farrell. "One, it allows the pitchers to go through the bunt responsibilities. But it also gives them insight into what every other player on the field and his responsibilities. They get a better understanding of not only reading the pace of the ball, but where can they anticipate and how much distance has to be traveled.

"From that standpoint, it's helpful. There's a little bit of a competitive element in there and when you get into spring training, one of the tough things is getting creative with PFP (Pitcher's Fielding Practice), so that was one of them."

Mike Napoli ramped up his work at first base, taking grounders after batting practice.

"We'll gradually built that up,'' said Farrel. "He had 50 ground balls at first base today. He's got very soft hands. His movements are smooth. We're confident he's going to be a very good first baseman."

Farrell said the list of pitchers scheduled to take part in the college doubleheader against Boston College and Northeastern on Thursday will be posted tomorrow or Tuesday.

The Sox plan to use mostly relievers -- at an inning apiece -- srpead out over the the 14 innings of the two games.

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. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched


Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.