Healthy again, Masterson seeking career reboot in Boston

Back with original team, righty throws free and easy in first batting practice session

Healthy again, Masterson seeking career reboot in Boston

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's easy to look like a former All-Star in live batting practice.

Justin Masterson threw the ball free and easy Saturday in his first shot against hitters, and he said after that it was a positive step toward reestablishing himself. Masterson, an All-Star in 2013, was plagued by injuries with Cleveland and St. Louis last year before signing with Boston in December.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nava giving up switch-hitting, will only bat from left side

Red Sox outfielder's swing, approach to remain same, but he'll likely alter stance

Nava giving up switch-hitting, will only bat from left side

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Daniel Nava is switching out of being a switch-hitter. He is taking on a huge chore this spring in learning how to hit left-handed against left-handed pitchers.

The Red Sox think their outfielder can be more productive if he only swings from the left side of the plate, and they have a litany of statistics to support their cause. Nava, 32, is a career .293 hitter with a .428 slugging percentage against righties, but he sinks to .209 and .298 against left-handed pitchers.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kelly's stuff, location sharp in first spring session

Red Sox righty uses fastball on Pedroia, Napoli to paint spots down and away

Kelly's stuff, location sharp in first spring session

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Joe Kelly lived up to advance billing Saturday when he took the mound for live batting practice for the first time this spring. Kelly threw 25 pitches to veterans Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli, using his fastball to paint spots down and away to catcher Christian Vazquez.

Manager John Farrell, speaking a few hours later, came away impressed.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baserunning early point of emphasis in camp

Manager Farrell wants stolen-base success rate of 80 percent in 2015

Baserunning early point of emphasis in camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox don't expect to run wild on the basepaths this season, but they do hope to have more skill at stealing bases. Boston was one of just seven big league teams with fewer than 70 stolen bases last season, and it ranked 17th in stolen-base percentage (.716).

Brock Holt led the Red Sox with 12 stolen bases in 2014, and nobody else was able to reach the double-digit steal plateau. Part of that was due to injuries and inconsistent personnel, and manager John Farrell hopes his players are able to be a little more successful and daring on the basepaths in 2015.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell: Opening Day starter will sort itself out

Farrell: Opening Day starter will sort itself out

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's never too early to ask about the Opening Day starter.

The Red Sox are more than a month away from the start of the regular season, but that won't stop the media from speculating as to whom will get the ball first for Boston. Manager John Farrell entertained that question Friday, but he said there wasn't much information to share yet.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB raising awareness about domestic violence

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox will have several important things to do on the field Saturday, but they'll also have a pressing matter in the clubhouse. Boston's players and coaches will sit down with Major League Baseball staff for a primer in how to avoid domestic-violence situations.

"This is new. It's mandated for everyone to take part in," said manager John Farrell of the impetus for the meeting. "We as a staff are not allowed to be in with the players. That's their time. We'll go through that education separately, but everyone is required to go through it."

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Victorino likely to resume switch-hitting

Injuries forced veteran to hit from only right side of plate starting in '13

Victorino likely to resume switch-hitting

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Look for Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino to return to switch-hitting this season, something he hasn't done since August 2013.

Thanks to a variety of injuries, Victorino hit right-handed only for the final two months of Boston's World Series championship season in 2013, and he got red-hot in the process. He remained as an exclusive right-handed hitter for that postseason, and in his injury-plagued season of '14.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tek's tutelage paying off for Vazquez

Red Sox's everyday backstop soaking up wealth of knowledge from former captain

Tek's tutelage paying off for Vazquez

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Christian Vazquez sometimes feels like he has an encyclopedia at his disposal each morning as he goes through catching drills at Spring Training.

"Great, great teacher," Vazquez said of former Red Sox catcher and captain Jason Varitek. "I call him the Google of baseball. It's so great to have somebody like him. It's a pleasure."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Pitching will eventually determine Red Sox's fate

Lack of ace to lead rotation not a concern to Farrell, Nieves

Pitching will eventually determine Red Sox's fate

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There has been much attention paid to a dramatically improved Red Sox lineup, and justifiably so.

But so often, entire seasons rise or fall on the performance of the pitching, particularly the starting pitching.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holt will once again embrace being jack of all trades

Farrell plans on keeping utility player involved at various spots all year

Holt will once again embrace being jack of all trades

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Most players come into camp wanting a defined role. Brock Holt is no different. It's just that his defined role consists of playing here, there and everywhere. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Holt played seven positions for the Red Sox last year, and he didn't hurt the team defensively at any of them. The only thing Holt didn't do was pitch and catch.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despite logjam, Nava not fretting about playing time

After opening last season as a starter, will play reserve role in '15

Despite logjam, Nava not fretting about playing time

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though there is a logjam that will likely squeeze Daniel Nava out of the same playing time he's had the past two years, the outfielder isn't stressing about it.

Nava has rare perspective, considering he was undrafted and had to be discovered from the independent league before the Red Sox even found him. And in Spring Training 2012, Nava had gone from the guy who hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues to someone who wasn't even on the 40-man roster anymore.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Here's Bill Lee doing yoga at Red Sox Spring Training

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Here's Bill Lee doing yoga at Red Sox Spring Training

We all know that at some point in his career, former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee probably won the paper plate award for "Most Likely to Get Really, Really Into Yoga." After all, his nickname is "Spaceman" and he reads books by self-described "mystics."

So it's not a huge surprise that he appears to be turning Boston's Spring Training facilities in Fort Myers into a great place to practice his downward dog.

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Passionate as ever, Papi motivated to win fourth ring

Slugger has chance to join 500-homer club this season, not worried about legacy

Passionate as ever, Papi motivated to win fourth ring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Someone asked David Ortiz how much longer he intends to play. Innocent question, right?

"I don't know," Ortiz said while meeting with the media on Wednesday.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ortiz not a fan of new batter's box rule

Veteran steps out between pitches to figure out what's coming next

Ortiz not a fan of new batter's box rule

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz isn't a fan of the rule being instituted this season that batters must keep one foot in the batter's box throughout an at-bat.

"When you come out of the box, you're thinking about what the guy is trying to do," said Ortiz. "This is not like you go up to the plate with an empty mind. When you see guys pitch, come out of the box, we're not doing it just for doing it. Our minds are speeding up.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moncada arrives at camp for physical

Ownership put faith in scouting department for acquiring prospect

Moncada arrives at camp for physical

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Top Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada took a big step toward formalizing his contract with the Red Sox when he arrived at the club's Spring Training facility on Wednesday morning to undergo the first part of his physical.

Moncada, who is just 19 years old, will travel to Boston later this week to complete the physical, and his contract -- which includes a record-setting bonus of more than $30 million -- will likely be made official by the start of next week.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell provides encouragement in team meeting

Farrell provides encouragement in team meeting

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before taking the field for their first full-squad workout of 2015, the Red Sox gathered as one in the cafeteria for a meeting that included speeches by manager John Farrell, general manager Ben Cherington and chairman Tom Werner.

Each Spring Training, the Red Sox consider this meeting to be an important tone-setter. By the end of the 2013 championship season, some players were still talking about the impact of Farrell's speech at the start of that Spring Training.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rusney Castillo is sporting some amazing hair art

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Rusney Castillo is sporting some amazing hair art

Rusney Castillo is an impressive man. Last summer, he signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox, posted a .928 OPS in his first taste of the Majors (albeit only 40 at-bats) and enters the 2015 season ranked as the 21st-best prospect by Baseball America.

But all of that pales in comparison to Castillo's hair. The outfielder showed up to camp with a golden flecked, racing striped mohawk. 

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Papi pumped to have some 'thunder' with him in lineup

Veteran excited Panda, Hanley joined Sox; expects Napoli, Pedroia to bounce back

Papi pumped to have some 'thunder' with him in lineup

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz essentially was the Red Sox's offense last season. While it was another gratifying season individually for the slugger, he didn't enjoy watching the postseason on television. And that's why Big Papi has a little hop in his step entering 2015.

"Looking good," Ortiz said of a lineup that includes new additions Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. "We've got a couple of [hitters with] thunder. Young, talented players like Hanley and Panda. Those guys have that great history of winning. They know how to win. They have a lot of talent. It's all about coming in and getting to enjoy them. They're fun to watch. Like I say, hopefully everything goes well this year."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Snow-bound Fenway should be ready for opener

Snow-bound Fenway should be ready for opener

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Despite a winter of historic snow in Boston, Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino is confident that Fenway Park will be ready for baseball on April 13, when the Washington Nationals come to town for the home opener.

Boston opens the season with a six-game road trip to Philadelphia and the Bronx.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lucchino remains in thick of all things Red Sox

Entering 14th season with club, president/CEO plays big part in countless issues

Lucchino remains in thick of all things Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino turns 70 in September, and he arrived at camp wearing a sling on his right arm after a recent motorcycle accident. And yet he remains as energetic and passionate as ever about his position in Boston's ownership structure.

"At some point, I'll slow down," said Lucchino. "But we'll just take it year by year, which is what we've been doing for the last few years. Scaling back [at some point] appeals to me. Dropping off the face of the earth doesn't appeal to me. It's about being active and doing things, continuing to do things. I can see that day will come, sure."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Henry not afraid to take risks on high-ceiling players

Red Sox owner views acquiring Moncada as equivalent of having No. 1 pick

Henry not afraid to take risks on high-ceiling players

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though there are still some details to finalize before Yoan Moncada officially becomes a member of the Red Sox, owner John Henry made it clear on Tuesday why the organization was bold enough to make a commitment of more $30 million for a 19-year-old.

"High-ceiling players, you have to take risks on, but especially young players," said Henry. "If there's one thing I know, it's that until the deal is done, it's not done. There's no deal yet. If it were to happen, would I be uncomfortable? No. We did an analysis, and you take risks with every player. More and more we prefer to take risks with younger players rather than older ones."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Good chance' all outfielders could stay in organization

Cherington hopes group provides more offensive production this season

'Good chance' all outfielders could stay in organization

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Despite the glut of outfielders the Red Sox have, general manager Ben Cherington thinks it's possible that all of them could still be with the organization when the season starts.

"Good chance," said Cherington. "I think, as I said before, look, one of the things that we knew needed to be better was the sort of total output from the outfield in 2015. In order to win more games, we needed to get more out of the outfield -- the whole team, but the outfield certainly was one area."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox always pleased to see Big Papi arrive at camp

Red Sox always pleased to see Big Papi arrive at camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There was an atmosphere change in Red Sox camp on Tuesday, as David Ortiz arrived for a 13th season.

"I think anytime David walks through the room it lightens it up," said manager John Farrell. "It brings an energy. He looks in great shape. Had a chance to talk with him earlier when he first got in here this morning. He's full-go and a major part of everything we do."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell adds Bradley to center-field mix

Despite woes at plate, 24-year-old shined with glove last season

Farrell adds Bradley to center-field mix

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For all the talk about all the outfield candidates for the Red Sox, hardly anything has been said about Jackie Bradley Jr., the club's primary center fielder last season. Manager John Farrell changed that on Tuesday when he threw Bradley's name into the ring along with Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo as the contenders to be the starting center fielder.

Of that group, Bradley is the best defender.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Breaking down Moncada's contract with Red Sox

Breaking down Moncada's contract with Red Sox

Cuban infield prospect Yoan Moncada is on the verge of making history.

Moncada's deal with the Red Sox that features a $31.5 million signing bonus -- a figure that smashes the $8.27 million bonus record for an international amateur under the current signing guidelines, which was given to right-hander Yoan Lopez by the D-backs in January -- is being finalized.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Henry bullish on 2015 Red Sox

Owner feels good about pitching staff, offense

Henry bullish on 2015 Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox owner John Henry is bullish on his club's prospects for 2015, surmising that the club looks better now than two springs ago, when the end result was a World Series championship.

He also thinks that the last-place finishes in two of the past three seasons are misleading.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cherington's extension happened months ago

Henry pleased with management duo of general manager, skipper

Cherington's extension happened months ago

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though the news of general manager Ben Cherington signing a contract extension didn't come out until manager John Farrell got his new deal on Saturday, it actually happened eight or nine months ago.

"I remember thinking that we wanted to announce them both at the same time, but I think Ben's deal was done in May or June last year," said owner John Henry. "When it's your deal, if you're Ben, the last thing you want to do is talk about your deal. That's the kind of guy he is. He doesn't like to talk about personal things."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Red Sox land Cuban prospect Moncada for $31.5M

Source: Red Sox land Cuban prospect Moncada for $31.5M

Cuban top infield prospect Yoan Moncada has agreed to a record-setting bonus with the Red Sox, according to an industry source.

The agreement is pending a physical, which is scheduled to take place this week. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is worth $31.5 million -- a figure that smashes the $8.27 million bonus record for an international amateur under the current signing guidelines, which was given to right-hander Yoan Lopez by the D-backs in January.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.