Thornburg setback could change 'pen plans

Absence of reliever to start season would open up bullpen competition

Thornburg setback could change 'pen plans

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox were already preparing for the possibility of setup man Tyler Thornburg opening the season on the disabled list due to the right arm fatigue that slowed his Spring Training.

But another setback has turned it into an inevitability.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Leon goes yard twice in Boston's 9-run fifth

Leon goes yard twice in Boston's 9-run fifth

SARASOTA -- Sandy Leon had a two-homer afternoon, both of which came in the fifth inning, to lead the Red Sox to a 11-9 road win over the Orioles on Monday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

The switch-hitting Leon started off the nine-run inning with a homer on Logan Verrett's 0-1 pitch. He struck again from the right side with his grand slam over the left-field wall against O's reliever Brian Moran.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After strong spring, Swihart bound for Triple-A

Marrero, Selsky optioned to Pawtucket; Travis, Butler sent to Minors camp

After strong spring, Swihart bound for Triple-A

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A victim of his team's strong catching depth, Blake Swihart was informed by the Red Sox on Monday morning that he will start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Swihart broke camp last year as Boston's Opening Day catcher, and he was the primary starter down the stretch in 2015.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox should be Trade Deadline buyers

Price's uncertain health among issues Boston may need to address

Red Sox should be Trade Deadline buyers

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With most of the roster decisions manager John Farrell has discussed this spring, the overriding theme has been to preserve organizational depth as much as possible.

This isn't just a factor for the immediate future, but also crucial when you think ahead to July -- a time when trade discussions will heat up throughout baseball.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banner day cements Vazquez's bid for catcher

Banner day cements Vazquez's bid for catcher

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Already the favorite to win the second catching spot for the Red Sox, Christian Vazquez appeared to all but end the competition with an impressive showing in Sunday's 7-2 win over the Twins.

Vazquez displayed the strength of his surgically-repaired right elbow twice by throwing out two runners. And he added a towering, three-run homer to left against righty reliever Ryan Pressly.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale fans six over 5 scoreless innings

Sale fans six over 5 scoreless innings

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox ace Chris Sale and Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson were sharp, as neither allowed a run, while Christian Vazquez connected on a three-run homer in the seventh to lead Boston to a 7-2 win on Sunday at Hammond Stadium.

Vazquez smacked a three-run shot to left off reliever Ryan Pressly, who walked the first two batters of the inning. It was Vazquez's first homer of the spring and came on a first-pitch slider. Andrew Benintendi added a solo homer in the eighth before Steve Selsky crushed a three-run shot. Both came off lefty Buddy Boshers.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Q&A: Farrell on Sale, Price, lineup depth

Q&A: Farrell on Sale, Price, lineup depth

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As John Farrell gets ready for the start of his fifth season as manager of the Red Sox, he has a lot to be excited about.

After a 93-win season and an American League East title last year, the Red Sox have their entire young core back and have also added a five-time All-Star to the rotation in Chris Sale.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox reassign 6 to Minor League camp

Castillo, Craig among players sent down; Ramirez optioned to Triple-A

Red Sox reassign 6 to Minor League camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox, who have one of the strongest outfields in the Major Leagues, reassigned Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig to Minor League camp on Sunday.

In addition, righty reliever Noe Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Outfielder Brian Bogusevic, infielder Matt Dominguez, catcher Jake DePew and righty Hector Velazquez were also reassigned to Minor League camp.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick impressive in start vs. Phillies

Kendrick impressive in start vs. Phillies

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Veteran non-roster invitee Kyle Kendrick continued his impressive Spring Training by allowing two earned runs over six-plus innings, and the Red Sox dueled the Phillies to a 3-3 tie on Saturday at JetBlue Park.

There currently is no rotation vacancy for Kendrick, who will likely start the season at Triple-A. But he has clearly established himself as the starter Boston will call on if a need arises. Kendrick is 4-0 with a 2.16 ERA in Grapefruit League action.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price shows increased strength in elbow

Price shows increased strength in elbow

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Price's latest check-in with Boston's medical staff showed strength gains in his left elbow, which led to the first gradual step of a throwing program on Saturday.

"Felt good. Felt normal. No restrictions. So it was a good day," said Price.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sandoval flexes muscle against Rays

Sandoval flexes muscle against Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer in the fifth led the Red Sox to a 7-5 win over the Rays on Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.

Facing Rays starter Blake Snell with two on and no outs in the fifth, Sandoval sent a 1-1 offering to left to erase a 3-1 Rays lead.

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

Pomeranz's mechanics 'finally click' vs. Jays

Lefty should be ready for start of season after 3rd-inning breakthrough

Pomeranz's mechanics 'finally click' vs. Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Drew Pomeranz felt the difference when he warmed up prior to the third inning of Friday's 3-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Blue Jays. Finally, he felt like himself again from a mechanical standpoint.

It was a feeling that Pomeranz carried through the rest of his outing, and it gave the lefty hope that he'll be ready to be a productive member of the Red Sox's starting rotation when the season starts.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith keeps progressing, could be ready in June

Smith keeps progressing, could be ready in June

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Red Sox have seen enough encouraging signs from side-winder Carson Smith in his return from Tommy John surgery to think he could be ready to be back in their bullpen by June.

Smith threw his first side session of Spring Training earlier this week.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recovering Butterfield likely starting '17 as bench coach

DiSarcina will man third base, while Amaro moves back to first

Recovering Butterfield likely starting '17 as bench coach

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- To give veteran third-base coach Brian Butterfield more time to recover from an offseason knee replacement, manager John Farrell is likely to do some realigning of his staff for at least the early part of the regular season.

Butterfield will continue his duties as infield instructor, while also serving as bench coach. Gary DiSarcina, who was hired this season to be the bench coach, will coach third. Ruben Amaro, who coached third for most of Spring Training in place of Butterfield, will return to his regular role of coaching first.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Panda poised for rebound season

Healthy and in good shape, third baseman could shore up Boston's lineup

Panda poised for rebound season

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Maybe Pablo Sandoval will write a happy ending to this story after all, and isn't this kind of unbridled optimism one of the things we love about Spring Training?

Let's start with the basics. Sandoval has had a tremendous Spring Training for the Boston Red Sox. He's moving well at third base and was hitting .362 entering Friday. Sandoval will be in the Opening Day lineup.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pomeranz goes four innings, fans three vs. Jays

Pomeranz goes four innings, fans three vs. Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jose Bautista hit an RBI double in his first Grapefruit League game since returning from the World Baseball Classic, and J.A. Happ struck out five in 5 1/3 innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

After Troy Tulowitzki opened the bottom of the first with a double to center field off Boston starter Drew Pomeranz, Bautista followed with a line drive to left for his seventh RBI this spring. The six-time All-Star returned to camp on Wednesday, but took an extra day off to fully recover from a stiff lower back that kept him out of the Dominican team's loss to the United States in the Classic semifinals last weekend.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bogaerts ahead of schedule after circling globe

Bogaerts ahead of schedule after circling globe

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts traveled the world these last few weeks, from Korea to Japan to Arizona to Los Angeles. But that long and winding road took him back to the Red Sox on Thursday, where he started at shortstop and went 1-for-4 in a 10-7 win over the Pirates.

It was the first Grapefruit League game for Bogaerts since his return from the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedey, Panda pace high-flying Sox vs. Bucs

Pedey, Panda pace high-flying Sox vs. Bucs

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With both teams trotting out similar lineups to the ones they'll have against each other on Opening Day in Boston, the Red Sox downed the Pirates, 10-7, in a Thursday afternoon slugfest at JetBlue Park.

The replica Green Monster served as a backdrop as both teams took their share of healthy swings. Starling Marte hit a grand slam for the Bucs.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Pirates on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright adds to spotless spring in latest outing

Wright adds to spotless spring in latest outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Steven Wright has put concerns about his right shoulder to rest while regaining the type of knuckleball that led to him becoming an All-Star last season.

In Thursday's 10-7 win over the Pirates at JetBlue Park, Wright cruised through 4 1/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell: Mookie may be best suited in 3-hole

Farrell: Mookie may be best suited in 3-hole

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With the idea of getting his most dynamic hitter to the plate more often, Red Sox manager John Farrell is leaning toward hitting Mookie Betts third instead of fourth to start the season.

That was the alignment Farrell went with for Thursday's game against the Pirates and the one you will likely see on April 3, when the Red Sox open their season at Fenway Park against the same opponent.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale thrives in first taste of Sox-Yanks rivalry

Left-hander strikes out 10 over six innings of two-run ball in victory

Sale thrives in first taste of Sox-Yanks rivalry

TAMPA, Fla. -- The lights were on and the Yankees had most of their regulars in the lineup.

And after turning in a dominant performance in a 4-2 win for the Red Sox, Chris Sale didn't hide the fact that Tuesday night's Grapefruit League start at George M. Steinbrenner Field was a pretty easy one to get fired up for.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline report: Prospects in Red Sox's camp

Pipeline report: Prospects in Red Sox's camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camps, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com is visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the Boston Red Sox.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Teams build up farm systems for two reasons: to develop players to fill the big league roster with homegrown talent and to develop potential trade chips for the general manager to use in trade talks. In both cases, the goal is to help the big league team be successful.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale dominates Yankees with 10-K gem

Sale dominates Yankees with 10-K gem

TAMPA, Fla. -- A new uniform did not alter Chris Sale's dominance of the Yankees, as the left-hander struck out 10 over six strong innings on Tuesday, leading the Red Sox to a 4-2 Grapefruit League victory at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Sale is 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 regular-season games (seven starts) against the Bombers, and he permitted just two singles through the first five frames. Matt Holliday touched Sale for his fourth spring homer, a two-run shot in the sixth inning, to tie the game.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pomeranz feels good a day after early exit

Pomeranz feels good a day after early exit

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz felt no ill effects on Monday from the left triceps tightness that forced him to leave his start on Sunday, and he looks to be on track to make his next outing.

In fact, Pomeranz thinks the discomfort was due to a mechanical flaw that he corrected while playing catch on Monday.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sandoval, Ramirez lead Red Sox offense

Sandoval, Ramirez lead Red Sox offense

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Pablo Sandoval looks like a prime candidate to win the American League's Comeback Player of the Year Award. The third baseman roped two doubles for the Red Sox in Monday's 7-4 victory over the Orioles to raise his Grapefruit League batting average to .349.

"He had some really good at-bats today, particularly left-handed," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He had some deep at-bats using the whole field, the bat speed is there."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Q&A with Red Sox prospect Jay Groome

Q&A with Red Sox prospect Jay Groome

As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Red Sox camp, it was No. 3 prospect Jay Groome.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jay Groome was the first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2016, taken No. 12 overall. Ranked as the top overall talent in the Draft class of 2016, Groome came out of the New Jersey high school ranks and threw sparingly during his pro debut, with 6 2/3 total innings. The left-hander comes in at No. 41 overall on the list of Top 100 prospects in baseball.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Field named after Red Sox great Malzone

Ex-players on hand for ceremony for eight-time All-Star's family

Field named after Red Sox great Malzone

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There might not be anyone in Red Sox history who loved the fundamentals of Spring Training more than the late Frank Malzone, which made it only fitting that the club he spent nearly 70 years with dedicated a practice field in his honor on Monday morning.

Field 2 at Fenway South now has the name "Frank Malzone" hanging proudly near the top of the chain-link fence.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.