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Quick hits from Farrell

2/19/2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A few quick hits from manager John Farrell’s post-workout media session Tuesday:

* Top prospect Xander Bogaerts will start at third base in Thursday’s exhibition against Boston College, as the Red Sox try to give him a little exposure at the position he may play for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. Bogaerts took ground balls at third Tuesday.

* Farrell said no decisions have been made on how much backup catcher David Ross will play, or whether he could wind up being paired with a particular pitcher. It sounds like Ross may get much of his playing time against left-handers. Farrell referenced that 24 of Saltalamacchia’s 25 home runs came against right-handers, but cautioned against assuming the Sox will use a lefty-righty platoon behind the plate.

* John Lackey will start and pitch just an inning in Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against Tampa Bay, one inning fewer than Jon Lester is scheduled to throw the next day. That’s an acknowledgment, Farrell said, of the fact that Lackey missed the 2012 season because of Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. Lackey’s workload will increase by 15 to 18 pitches -- the equivalent of an inning -- in each successive start this spring.

* Rookie right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who is scheduled to throw two innings after Lester on Sunday, will be kept at a two innings’ limit throughout camp, Farrell said, even though he is ostensibly being prepared as a starter. The reduced workload is a result of De La Rosa having thrown a total of 53 innings in the past two seasons combined because of Tommy John surgery. The most he has thrown in a season is the 110 1/3 he threw in 2010. De la Rosa turns 24 on March 4.

* No date has been set for Mike Napoli and David Ortiz to begin play in exhibition games, though it sounds like Napoli will get there before Ortiz does. Ortiz has not yet been cleared to run the bases; he’s still going through agility drills.

* Farrell, who as Sox pitching coach had some exposure to Junichi Tazawa before he underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2010, is astounded at the transformation. “He came back with almost different stuff,’’ Farrell said. “The increase in velocity, I don’t think anyone projected that he’d be throwing in the mid-90s.’’