Monday takeaways: Aceves' agent in camp
February, 18, 2013
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaways from Camp Farrell, Day 8.
* A day after pitcher Alfredo Aceves ruffled a few feathers with his odd approach to his batting practice outing, his Tampa-based agent, Tom O’Connell, was in camp.
A planned trip, O’Connell insisted, saying he was making the rounds of all of his clients training in Florida. He did speak with Sox GM Ben Cherington about the incident the day before, which he downplayed as something that was quickly resolved by both sides. “We had a good talk,’’ he said. “The Red Sox want the best for Alfredo.’’
O’Connell also tried to spark some interest from Cherington in another client, left-handed hitting first baseman Mike Carp, who was recently designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners. There were reports that the Brewers might be closing in on a deal for him.
* More agent sightings: Brian Grieper, the Miami-based agent for Mike Napoli, was asked if he was reasonably optimistic that his client would be able to play this season. “That’s too conservative,’’ Grieper said. “I’m absolutely optimistic.’’
Napoli took 100 ground balls Monday, said Farrell, who the day before had commended Napoli for his soft hands.
* Clay Buchholz had a tidy session throwing in the bullpen Wednesday and is slated to face live BP on Wednesday, manager John Farrell said. Pitcher Felix Doubront was throwing at 160 feet Wednesday and should throw his first bullpen Wednesday.
* Things are progressing a bit more slowly for lefty reliever Craig Breslow. His shoulder discomfort remains, Farrell said, and he continues to receive treatment.
* The Maine “zumba” scandal reached down here. A ballpark employee last spring was not invited back after his name surfaced on the “zumba” list. That’s all we’re saying on the subject.
* Jonny Gomes has a pronounced leg lift in his batting stance. Shane Victorino has one, too, but it’s not as exaggerated as that of Gomes.
* The outfielders took fly balls at all three positions in JetBlue Park, giving everyone a chance to familiarize themselves with the Florida facsimile of the Green Monster.
* Pedro Martinez insisted he never considered himself a great player, which must have come as news to those who wrote they detected a little diva in Martinez’s personality while he was with the Sox.
* Things we didn’t know: Farrell played with Triple-A manager Gary DiSarcina in the Angels’ system. Farrell, coming off two reconstructive elbow surgeries, was 3-12 with a 7.35 ERA for the Angels in 1993 and pitched three more games for the Halos the next year. DiSarcina, who is five years younger than Farrell, was in 1993 beginning his second season as the Angels’ every-day shortstop.
* Signs the Sox see that shortstop Jose Iglesias still has a bit of growing up to do. On Sunday, Iglesias was briefly summoned to the field where most of the big leaguers were working out, but then was dispatched back to the field where he’d been working out with minor-leaguers Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero. He let his unhappiness show, displaying what around here is called a “mule lip.’’ The Sox hope the day comes when Iglesias isn’t dismayed by such trifles.
* Want a quick and entertaining primer about the advanced stats that increasingly are becoming a staple of baseball coverage? Bruce Miles of the Arlington (Ill.) Herald breaks it all down for you here.
* One of my colleagues looked up and saw No. 20 running agility drills and for just a second wondered how Kevin Youkilis wound up back here. It takes some getting used to, seeing Ryan Lavarnway wearing that number.
* David Ortiz’s son, D’Angelo, went through agility drills with his dad. What inspired the biggest smile from Papi was when he finished hitting in the cage and D’Angelo, without being asked, went to the cooler and pulled out a bottle of water for Dad.
* More than 90 minutes after Monday’s workout concluded, Shane Victorino was among the Sox hitters back in the cage with new hitting coach Greg Colbrunn.
* Even though Rangers shortstop phenom Jurickson Profar reportedly is withdrawing from Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, Farrell said the Netherlands is still planning to use Xander Bogaerts at third and DH. Andrelton Simmons of the Braves is expected to play short. The Netherlands’ first-round play is scheduled to be held in Taiwan, so Bogaerts will be leaving for WBC camp on the Feb. 23, giving Farrell just a few days to give Bogaerts some time at third. Only Will Middlebrooks and Drew Sutton have regularly been taking grounders at third.
* After 20 years away from the game, former Sox outfielder Tom Brunansky, best remembered for his game-saving catch in the right-field corner that put the Sox in the playoffs in 1990, is back in baseball as the Twins’ new hitting coach. The guy who hit the ball that Brunansky caught with a sliding catch? Ozzie Guillen.
* And am I the only one who considers it sacrilege that the Padres call catcher Yasmani Grandal “Yaz?’’