WEEI>On Demand>>Spring Training Report: Dalier Hinojosa, Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore

Spring Training Report: Dalier Hinojosa, Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore

Feb 24, 2014|

FORT MYERS, Fla. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier talk about Cuban defector Dalier Hinojosa and his chances with the Red Sox pitching staff, the story behind Mike Napoli‘s return and what’s on the line this week for Grady Sizemore.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome back to jetBlue park everybody my name is Mike Pedroia joined is always fight. Red Sox senior writer for WEEI dot com Alex -- this is day number eight of Red Sox 2014. Spring training. And it will begin today Alex starting about talking about a story that I find fascinating. They be a topic you delved into. A Cuban immigrant if you will. He migrated to the United States for baseball opportunity -- -- -- -- -- -- I think his story is fascinating. You got into the details. He is a 28 year old right handed. Hard thrower 91 to about 94 miles an hour what stands out to you about his story and and his chances of making this team well I. The you know the question of him as a pitcher was almost secondary here has a really interesting guy I've defector from Cuba. Who made the kind of you know the extraordinary decision I don't think we can ever. Exaggerate how hard a decision this is to essentially sever ties with the life that you've had in order to defect from the country where you've spent your life. You may never see gambling some family members can you may never see you know between me which you grew up again. Yet you make bad jump in order to pursue opportunities. In order to pursue the opportunity -- of furthering yourself that the competing against the highest level of competition in part. But also having a better life -- -- told me that he was making fifteen dollars a month while he lived in Cuba he said you can imagine. How what what someone's life is like when you're making fifty dollars a month. He then signed a four million dollar contract. As he received a four million dollar signing bonus but you said you know I'm still trying to make sense of what that means. I'm not -- so he's using gauged in this. In this transition of -- like he was able to defect. With his wife his mother also has been brought over since then. Meant so that that gives him some anchors off the field and he's really warm and and he's connecting really quickly with his teammates which is a pretty. Remarkable thing in its own right as a pitcher. He's an interesting depth option for the Red Sox he signed a minor league deal. So he's not on the forty man roster but he has stuff that suggested. There's a chance that he could become a contributor at the big league level this year as a 28 year old he's -- powerful guy you know about six foot one barrel chested guy. With a 9195. Mile an hour that has a fastball. There has real carry through the zone as well as a slider that got a lot of swings and misses. Both in Cuba and an international competition he told me that he dominated -- status when they both played against each other. In Cuba. But it remains to be seeing how we'll be able to compete cavities and now that he's in the states. Know it's interesting to me Alex is the fact that the Red Sox are taking a chance on a guy that. He may not as you -- -- as you mentioned he's not on the forty man roster he's not a lot guaranteed to certainly make this team coming out of camp -- as a matter of fact it. To be more accurate -- it be -- shot indeed for him to make the team. But the fact that they look at him as a talent they can develop this is not as she told me off camera this is not a role this Chapman. Signing thirty million dollars with the Cincinnati Reds defecting from Cuba this is a different store different kind of story altogether. Right and he he offers them what they what they -- which is in depth. -- for the roster and flexibility because he's not on the forty man roster. That means that you know that that has. Positive implications for them in terms of in terms of how their luxury taxes calculated -- sort of thing but. Their hope is simply that you know that he gives them depth even beyond the forty man roster. All right let's talk about another story Alex that did you -- about on the weekend. Another story at found fascinating and and humorous at the same time and that is David Ross's reaction. That the pull quote if you well about there being in the -- mutiny. When if there was a chance of Mike Napoli may not return to the Red Sox he told the story of him parading down -- stay in street and really. Savoring the chance to enjoy a World Series win I believe it was two years earlier. 2011 World Series came within one strike and that chance was that ripped away by the St. Louis Cardinals. Now that Mike Napoli returns in the offseason John Ferrell was flooded with a lot of text messages this if you will talk about. What it was like for the Red Sox to pursue Mike Napoli and make sure he was part of this clubhouse again well in a sense there was. Very hard because Mike Napoli made it very clear -- his agent from the start of free agency that he wanted to come back to the Red Sox and really didn't want to entertain the idea. Too much of going anywhere else that said he was receiving attractive contract offers elsewhere. And so there was this you know there was this very adamant and engaged moment where it kind of -- revealing about. What -- kind of what it -- important personality he became a very short period of time. Both within the Red Sox clubhouse and John Carroll said. He got text messages from fourteen or fifteen players on the day when it looked like Mike Napoli -- contract situation was coming to a head. And in the city of Boston more -- more broadly because he became this he embraced the idea of the celebrity. And more or more specifically. He be he embraced the idea of becoming a celebratory celebrity. Who likes to really throw down with the people of Boston say that to me Alex right there is why he gets Boston the Boston gets him because. He doesn't cranes at the fact of celebrity he embraces it. Yeah no question it made in this kind of like handing Glover had no light beard on face it. For the city ends you know he just he he really enjoyed it. And it you know I asked him about the whole like you know whether or not. Any of his any of his his teammates are talking trash or anything. During the Twitter documented dot escapades up and down boils them to do right now man they know who I am I hope I get to do it again some time. Are at the news. Elements of -- number eight guy here in Fort Myers first of all. Grady Sizemore who I took some batting practice against live batting practice against stuff Felix -- brought. Here on Monday he will start in the first game against northeastern on Thursday afternoon what are what are your expectations from Grady Sizemore. I am -- I don't know what to expect I think I'm interested and my curiosity is piqued regarding what he's going to be able to do when he's on the field I do think that. He's going to have my guess is that the most notable thing is just the excitement these are going to be feeling to be in a uniform and in the game for the first time in years. All right and the other news. Item today that I came out was Daniel -- he was over. Not on field number three taking some ground ball some -- goes up fielding. You know. Recreating what it is to take some bad throws at first base. Not I was there with Mike Napoli and Mike Carp taking some fielding practice at first base but he is not yet swung a bat. John Carroll hopes that happens tomorrow. Indeed but dud none of us said that -- is a little bit vague about what didn't exact nature of the problem as he just said that right now he's been able to go through his defensive work spent. He's not ready to swing a bat there when I knocked it out now rather than having it linger for a couple of weeks and really impair his preparations for the season. All right tomorrow. Tuesday. And he number nine in spring training here at Fort Myers will take a look at had to what you can expected a little bit more. From the first couple games that the Red Sox will be playing the college doubleheader a northeastern and Boston College on Thursday here at jetBlue park for Alex spear. I'm -- the trolley in Fort Myers with the Red Sox WEEI. Dot com.

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