WEEI>On Demand>>Spring Training Report: What to look for in first spring training games

Spring Training Report: What to look for in first spring training games

Feb 26, 2014|

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox play their first two spring training games on Thursday in the annual Northeastern/BC doubleheader. WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier talk about what we should expect to see.

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

Welcome back to jetBlue park everybody I'm Mike to try here in Fort Myers joined is always by Red Sox senior writer. For WEEI dot com Alex beer Alex big day were on the eve of the first spring training games. For the Red Sox is defending World Series champions. That's not the biggest deal but the really bigger matter is really developing the talent and getting the players. Used to game action John Carroll talked about that today Wednesday that's really what you're looking at is getting a players from really the workouts. Two game Modi is that what really fans should really be looking for is these. Games begin against northeastern and BC on Thursday. Well with the veterans especially it should measure the way in which you view with the performances I mean if a guy like Mike Napoli goes. -- for fifteen in the first you know the first couple weeks of spring it doesn't matter. There are people for whom there is something at stake with regards to spring training it's not necessary so much in the statistical performance. But instead and kind of how they carry themselves the abilities overall that they show so for instance there there are spots that are open competition. Most notably. Jackie Bradley -- still has to. Prove that he that he is going to be be -- pretty center fielder right up which would also kind of in brackets you know there's going to be an assessment of how ready Grady Sizemore is. To be a regular player after sitting out these last couple of years. Meant there are questions. You know if they're. In all likelihood there'll be an injury at some point that opens up a spot in the bullpen that's just the reality of attrition with pitching staff so some of the guys with. With Don roster invitations minor league deals to camp are going to have an opportunity to put their foot forward guys like Francisco Cordero are Jose Mijares. I'm and then for both those guys who have non roster invitations as well as as well some of the prospects who may never have been in big league camp before. It's an opportunity for them. To show the Major League staff how they respond in moments in the game and again that's not outcome based it's more. How comfortable today looked if maybe they're at a 12 count they still have an approach or two they panic if there on the mound. And there -- couple runners on base from that standpoint those guys are gonna have an opportunity to assert themselves for a future call ups as the season unfolds. You have the opportunity to ask John -- very interesting question I thought and that is -- abuse spring training statistics. You mentioned like if Mike Napoli goes over fifteen by any pats won 85 with you know hit a 340 slugging percentage in spring training. The Red Sox are gonna get that worked up about that but there are certain statistics that do matter. Over Camby and again I think that. I think that for instance at the most important one for a pitcher is going to be strike throwing. To start with you know guys especially the prospect types. The -- Webster's of the world need to show that they can consistently repeat their deliveries. And throw strikes if they had high walk rates in the past so there are -- to be interest didn't seeing in seeing that sort of thing but -- by and large again. It's more about the process it's more about the personality. In game competition. As opposed to being an evaluation based on statistics. Let's move on to the guys that will be catching those pictures and that is obviously AJ Pierzynski. And David Ross neither of them are gonna be playing in the first couple games John Carroll told us. Here on Wednesday they're gonna probably wait until the weekend it really Felix who brought us the first Red Sox regular they will see any action that I believe is. On Saturday. But when we talk about the catchers and specifically AJ Pierzynski 'cause he's new to the system obviously. This is an important camp only insofar as he asked to get used to what each picture reach one of the starting five projected pictures. On the rotation. Can do in certain game situations but is he told us Alex that really doesn't happen till about three or four start state absolutely because. Pitchers start out the spring by just building up arm strength throwing fastballs trying to trying to build up their velocity a little bit so that they're ready. For the start of the season and then they start incorporating their breaking balls and they're full complement of pitches starts and pitching -- situations. May -- run their third or fourth start of the spring so that's really going to be the time for. For the pitcher catcher dynamic to really take shape. But Indian -- is important still. For AJ Pierzynski just to see how this stuff works you know what's the shape of a Jon Lester Conner so that he can get a feel -- you know for when that pitches is a useful on the -- And have had confidence obviously Alex. In handling it and trusting it than not only Lester can command it at that he can catch it in the right situation. Frame it and also if he calls a pitch in the dirt that he can block so that's one aspect to certainly keep an eye on. Finally. I am always entertained by the gentleman that spoke on the park bench outside the Red Sox minor league complex clubhouse today. One Pedro Martinez he is back for a second year as a special assistant. To the general manager and a special assistant to the coaching staff. But it's really how Pedro goes about articulating what he can deliver to the staff that really to me is fascinating. Well there's no one who has greater credibility than Pedro Martinez when he's talking to pitchers given to him. He was one of the most successful pitchers of of his generation and really of all time for it for a stretch. And it was interesting to hear and talk about how. He discovered last year his great joy for being a teacher for being able to work with young prospects. Young pitchers. And help them develop any talk specifically about a guy like Drake Britton seeing him in Portland and getting an opportunity to see him make it all the way to the majors -- -- described himself as being a proud father. For some of good for some of the growth. On and off the field the news -- was -- with a guy like Britain and that's something that he really relishes as he's at the same time he's very excited about the nature of the Red Sox pitching prospect pool. Pedro also said -- told us that he was very proud to be part of the Red Sox organization. As last year was -- it's a really a year that changed the city of Boston and the Red Sox had a huge part in that. Final quick question. Next year he's already in the Red Sox hall of fame and that was a no brainer with Nomar Garciaparra took stick -- and I'm obviously Roger Clemens. Next year is his first year of eligibility it for Cooperstown does he make it of course. He's you know he he will belong. He he didn't hit 300 wins but he was for those years the most dominant of all pitchers in the majors. And so he will be treated me as being in the same class as bad as Steve Maddux is in the Clemens and and be Glavine -- me. Who've made it in with with a whopping majorities you know clearing easily the 75% are this year. All right Alex battle a wrap it up for work -- in the spring training games once again begin on Thursday with a Red Sox playing a pair of seven inning games. First when a 105 PM eastern against northeastern that'll be followed up. By game against. Boston College he is Alex beer I'm Mike which rally up and jetBlue park in Fort Myers WEEI. Dot com.

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