Quick hits from Farrell

February, 11, 2013
2/11/13
5:01
PM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Some quick hits with manager John Farrell, who did his second sitdown session with the media Monday afternoon even though the Red Sox don’t hold their first official workout until Tuesday:

On Doubront, Breslow: Farrell reported that left-handed starter Felix Doubront and left-handed reliever Craig Breslow will be held back “a little bit” in the initial stages of camp because of shoulder discomfort they felt while long-tossing. He stressed it was precautionary in both cases. Otherwise, Monday’s physicals did not detect any physical issues, he said.

On Victorino: With outfielder Shane Victorino and the other World Baseball Classic participants scheduled to report to their national camps on March 1, Farrell said he wants the team’s new right fielder to play with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury as much as possible before he departs.

“The maximum time he and Jacoby spend together in the outfield is going to be critical,’’ Farrell said. “Understanding how much range each has, their communication with Shane moving to right field full time, the time they do have in camp is critical in terms of reps together.

“Time missed can’t be made up," added Farrell. "Shane and I talked about this. One, to make sure he gets [sufficient] number of at-bats [in the WBC]. Whether he starts in one position, we don’t know yet. Joe Torre guaranteed him a certain number of at-bats. As far as getting acclimated here, we’re upwards to three weeks max he can miss. I’m not going to say, ‘crash course,’ but to me that’s a focal point, their understanding defensively.’’

On pitchers and catchers: Farrell has met individually with all the pitchers and catchers in camp, with two exceptions -- Japanese pitchers Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara, whom he intends to meet with Tuesday. The Japanese interpreter hasn’t arrived yet, he said. “And my Japanese is not that good," said Farrell, who spent the winter after Daisuke Matsuzaka signed studying the language.

On a key focus this spring: Farrell said there will be a greater emphasis on baserunning in camp than in past springs.

“One thing that might be a little different is the amount of time and energy we put into baserunning, from the new terminology that will be implemented to what we expect," Farrell said. “Certain things might be done in a controlled setting -- not with reckless abandon, by any means -- but probably with a greater emphasis on that than what they’ve been exposed to in the past.

“Outlining what we would look to exploit in certain situations, a matchup with a pitcher and catcher we can exploit," he added. "Try to put pressure on defense on first and thirds. They’re dealing with a new third-base coach [Brian Butterfield], a new first-base coach [Arnie Beyeler], there are a lot of things we have to cover. A lot of in-game terminology. When a guy gets to first base, how Arnie is going to [communicate] to him, both verbal and nonverbal. We’ll have chalk-talk sessions, drill work.’’

On his expectations: Asked what kind of team he’d like to have, he said, “Relentless." And the key to managing, he said, is “to be brutally honest with the guys you deal with day in and day out. [Terry Francona] did such a great job of blending so many personalities who walked through that door. He had his own unique way of doing that.

“To suggest I’m a player’s manager or 'old school,' I don’t know if any of those apply. I take an interest in each guy. I care about them and want to be sure they’re put in a position to succeed, and along the way deal with challenges head-on, not try to skirt around things. And with the number of new players here, I’ve got to earn that respect."

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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