Today's takeaways: Camp Farrell kicks off

February, 15, 2013
2/15/13
7:33
PM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The first official day of full-squad workouts was rather uneventful here on the backfields at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. That just means everything went according to plan for manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo. The team held its annual spring training meeting in the morning, and the session lasted 50 minutes before the players took the field.

After they stretched, the players broke off into groups. The position players first focused on baserunning drills. Longtime Red Sox staffer and batting practice pitcher Ino Guerrero served as a third-base coach and waved the runners home. One small problem emerged: He was waving his arm the wrong way (counterclockwise), which had the players, especially Dustin Pedroia, giving Guerrero a hard time. Even Farrell got a laugh from it.

[+] EnlargeAlfredo Aceves and John Farrell
AP Photo/Chris O'MearaAlfredo Aceves, chatting with John Farrell on Wednesday, is being stretched out as a starter for Mexico in the WBC.
The catchers worked out as a group, with new bullpen coach Dana LeVangie leading the way. After the pitchers worked on some fielding drills, some select hurlers tossed bullpen sessions, including Jon Lester, John Lackey, Alfredo Aceves, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa.

The position players took BP, and the day was complete by 11:45 a.m.

* Lester is dedicated to bounce back from a horrible 2012 season. His session looks more like a real game, and he wasn't messing around with his session on Friday. The lefty was under the watchful eye of new pitching coach Juan Nieves and Farrell. Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was behind the plate.

"Jonny looked great," Saltalamacchia said. "This is the second bullpen I've caught him this spring. All fastballs, which is great, and he's working on just keeping the ball down and commanding. I was trying to give him some feedback on how he was doing. You don't want to say 'great job' on every pitch even though every pitch was great."

* Aceves' bullpen was an interesting one. Prior to each pitch during the session, he would yell out a teammate's name to the catcher. He started with Ellsbury, Pedroia and Ortiz and worked his way through an imaginary batting order. "I try to simulate a game, so when it's real I'm ready," he said. "It helps."

Aceves is being stretched out this spring as a starter because he'll represent Mexico in that role at the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

"To represent your country, for me, it's something huge, man," he said. "Not too many people can play baseball, play in the field, can throw a baseball, can hit, can run. Not too many people can do it. I'm excited to take advantage of that."

Once the WBC is completed and Aceves returns to the Red Sox, he's prepared to fill any role given to him by Farrell.

"Play. Play baseball. I just want to play baseball," Aceves said. "It's not just a game. I like to play. I have the skills, thank God. He gave me the skills and my father's. My parents, they gave me the genetics. I like to be around my teammates, have fun, study, to learn and to hang out."

Farrell understands and respects Aceves' versatility because he can pitch in any role needed.

* Sox starter Felix Doubront is set to throw his first session of the spring on Wednesday. He'll play long toss at 135 feet on Saturday. Each of his workouts has increased in intensity.

* Reliever Craig Breslow played catch at 75 feet today and is making steady progress. He's still in the early phases of a throwing program, and there's no timetable when he'll get on the mound.

* Starter Clay Buchholz (hamstring) played long toss at 120 feet on Friday. He's likely to get back on the mound to keep his arm strength up before he's given clearance to return to full baseball activity. He's had no ill effects while playing catch.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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