Velazquez shows poise in first big league outing

Velazquez shows poise in first big league outing

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Hector Velazquez couldn't help but crack a smile during a 10-minute interview with a Spanish-language television network after his first big league spring outing in the Red Sox's 7-3 loss to the Rays on Sunday afternoon.

"These guys, I've watched them on TV, and to be here now today and playing for them, it's exciting," Velazquez said. "It's exciting to be part of this team."

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

Porcello throws 37 pitches in simulated game

Porcello throws 37 pitches in simulated game

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rick Porcello threw two scoreless innings in a simulated game on Sunday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla.

The 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner threw 37 pitches and allowed two hits and a walk while striking out three. Sandy Leon caught for Porcello, who threw to Xander Bogaerts six times, Steve Selsky twice and Dan Butler once.

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

Hernandez, Dominguez jump-start offense vs. Rays

Hernandez, Dominguez jump-start offense vs. Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Chris Archer set the tone for the Rays on Sunday in a 7-3 win over the Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park.

Making his first start of the spring, Archer allowed no runs on a hit and a walk in two innings. He added an exclamation point to his performance by striking out Bryce Brentz with a 95-mph fastball on the final pitch of his outing.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com.

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

Swihart regaining comfort behind plate

Swihart regaining comfort behind plate

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Blake Swihart enjoyed another solid outing behind the plate and with the bat in Sunday's 7-3 loss to the Rays. The Red Sox catcher caught five innings and went 1-for-2 with a walk before being replaced by Jake DePew.

"It's been a long time since I played," Swihart said. "Early in the count, I'm just trying to see pitches and get my timing down. I'm seeing them pretty well."

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

Leading man: Pedroia fine batting first

Prototypical No. 2 hitter club's best fit to set tone at plate

Leading man: Pedroia fine batting first

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Somewhere along the line, a perception started that Dustin Pedroia didn't like to lead off.

But the Red Sox's team leader will bat first from the start this season and is looking forward to it.

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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.

Betts notches two hits, scores twice in debut

Betts notches two hits, scores twice in debut

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox made JetBlue Park look like it was Fenway Park in the middle of the summer, riding a strong offensive attack en route to an 8-7 victory over the Twins on Saturday afternoon.

The Twins had plenty of firepower also, riding a second straight strong performance by Byungho Park, who is trying to win a roster spot after being designated for assignment in the offseason.

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

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.

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

Thornburg shakes off shaky appearance

Thornburg shakes off shaky appearance

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox fans don't need to worry about new setup man Tyler Thornburg's rough Grapefruit League debut in an 8-7 win against the Twins on Saturday.

For Thornburg, it wouldn't even feel like Spring Training to him if he didn't struggle. And as his track record shows, he'll be there when the games count for real.

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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.

Tiant wants to know what #SaltBae is

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Tiant wants to know what #SaltBae is

Luis Tiant is 76 years old. When he made his Major League debut with the Indians, Lyndon Johnson was the President of the United States, The Four Seasons were on top of the Billboard charts and a gallon of gas cost 30 cents. 

He's been around for a while, is what we're saying. His meme knowledge isn't exactly exhaustive -- he predates the Internet by several decades after all. So, when Mookie Betts celebrated a single during Saturday's 8-7 win over the Twins with a pinch of salt ...

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Sale to make Red Sox debut March 6

Seeking rotation spot, Rodriguez faces Rays on Thursday

Sale to make Red Sox debut March 6

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Pitching plans are taking shape for the Red Sox.

New ace Chris Sale is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut on March 6 at West Palm Beach against the Astros.

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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.

With Papi gone, Sox to be aggressive on bases

With Papi gone, Sox to be aggressive on bases

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Without David Ortiz's bat in the middle of the lineup, Red Sox manager John Farrell will encourage his team to be more aggressive on the bases.

In particular, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts probably could have stolen more bases in recent years, but moving runners into scoring position with Ortiz up would lessen the chances of opponents pitching to him. Rookie Andrew Benintendi will likely bat second against right-handers and he has good speed. Jackie Bradley Jr. is another player Farrell expects will run more.

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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.

Still a rookie, Benintendi not seen as one by Sox

Outfielder, 22, could win AL award after impressing teammates in brief 2016 stint

Still a rookie, Benintendi not seen as one by Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- He is here from the beginning this season, and Andrew Benintendi could make it one to remember.

No Red Sox player has won the American League Rookie of the Year Award since Dustin Pedroia 10 years ago. And perhaps no Boston player was as well-positioned to win the award in the last decade as Benintendi is now.

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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.

Hanley has 1 of Sox's 2 hits, Owens scuffles vs. Mets

Hanley has 1 of Sox's 2 hits, Owens scuffles vs. Mets

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Three Mets pitchers combined to no-hit the Red Sox for six innings before Hanley Ramirez rifled a double into the gap in right-center to open the bottom of the seventh of New York's 3-2 victory over Boston on Friday at JetBlue Park.

Michael Conforto, who is trying to carve out a role in a crowded outfield, roped a solo homer to right in the third inning of the Grapefruit League opener for both teams.

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

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Bogaerts gets work in at temporary home at third

All-Star shortstop prepping for move to his right during World Baseball Classic

Bogaerts gets work in at temporary home at third

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was early on Friday morning, and Xander Bogaerts was back at his brief home of third base.

The latest chapter at third is a temp job. Bogaerts will play there for the Netherlands in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Red Sox infield instructor Brian Butterfield helped him get ready for the assignment by drilling him grounders.

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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.

Workman makes long-awaited return from surgery

More than 20 months later, Red Sox pitcher throws scoreless frame in spring game

Workman makes long-awaited return from surgery

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brandon Workman waited a long time for this day. More than 20 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the right-hander finally pitched in a game for the Red Sox.

It didn't matter that it was a Grapefruit League game against the Mets, which the Red Sox lost, 3-2, on Friday.

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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.

Joe Kelly, Hanley Ramirez flashed basketball skills

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Joe Kelly, Hanley Ramirez flashed basketball skills

The Boston Celtics stood pat as Thursday's NBA trade deadline came and went, opting to "buy in" on the team that currently sits behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. 

Maybe that's because they'd rather just sign Joe Kelly of the Red Sox, who is apparently no slouch with a basketball in his hands. In fact, as the video below shows, he made a perfect swish on a full-court heave on Thursday night.

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Panda among quartet of Sox with happy return to action

Boston tops Northeastern in opener of spring game slate

Panda among quartet of Sox with happy return to action

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It seemed like everywhere you looked, someone from the Red Sox was making a comeback from a prolonged absence on Thursday.

Those stories, and Mitch Moreland's three-run homer in his first game action with Boston, are what made the 9-6 victory over Northeastern in the opening of spring exhibition play most meaningful.

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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: Sox to delay Big 3's Grapefruit debuts

Price, Sale, Porcello to pitch simulated games over next week

Farrell: Sox to delay Big 3's Grapefruit debuts

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox won't send their big three to the mound in Grapefruit League games for roughly another week, manager John Farrell said Thursday morning.

And before Rick Porcello, David Price and Chris Sale pitch in games, they will throw simulated games.

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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.

Report: Papi could join NESN broadcasts

Retired slugger was commentator for FOX during 2014 World Series

Report: Papi could join NESN broadcasts

David Ortiz is enjoying retirement. That much is clear, especially after the former slugger posted a long video on Twitter over the weekend of himself enjoying his vacation.

But Ortiz is expected to make an appearance at Red Sox camp at some point during Spring Training, and fans shouldn't be surprised if they hear his voice adding commentary to some Boston games this season.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox exec Steward paved unique path

Longtime front-office staffer became first African-American woman in her position

Red Sox exec Steward paved unique path

Elaine Steward's path as a pioneer for African-American women in baseball began in one of the most chance ways imaginable. As a teen, Steward was hired by Mets outfielder Felix Millan as a babysitter.

That was how Steward became interested in the game she's now spent her entire professional career working in, nearly all of it for the Boston Red Sox.

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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.

Pomeranz, Wright may round out rotation

Barring injuries, Boston's back end could feature 2016 All-Stars

Pomeranz, Wright may round out rotation

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With all the attention on the top three pitchers in the Red Sox rotation this spring, it is easy to forget that the team will likely feature a pair of All-Stars on the back end, too.

Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright are competing to fill out the rotation behind David Price, Rick Porcello and Chris Sale this spring. Both Pomeranz and Wright were named All-Stars in 2016, both come into camp with serious question marks about their health to start the season and both are about a week behind in their throwing schedules.

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Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in Fort Myers. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glove love: Pedroia, Sox revel in Glove Day

Event especially exciting for 2nd baseman, whose son will use mitt named after him

Glove love: Pedroia, Sox revel in Glove Day

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was 7:30 on Tuesday morning, and Dustin Pedroia was hollering with the enthusiasm he usually saves for after a Red Sox win.

This time, his excitement was for Wilson Glove Day, the day when several Boston players got their new gloves from the noted glove manufacturer.

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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 embraces potential rule changes

Manager on board with possible pitch clock, other ideas that could speed up game

Farrell embraces potential rule changes

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager John Farrell sounds ready to embrace any of the potential rule changes that could be in store to speed up the game, including a pitch clock, although according to Commissioner Rob Manfred, there are no meaningful changes in store for 2017.

Currently, there is a clock for the pitchers to warm up between innings.

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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.

Sox savor Sale's skills in first live BP of spring

Young: 'It's a lot more fun facing him knowing he's your teammate'

Sox savor Sale's skills in first live BP of spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox who stepped in against Chris Sale for Monday's live batting practice session got a glimpse of what American League East hitters are going to have to deal with regularly this season.

The most apt word? Nasty.

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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

Anthony Castrovince

Mookie the embodiment of a perfectionist

Mookie the embodiment of a perfectionist

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- We saw him in his other natural environment over the weekend, the six-strike string he put together in Chris Paul's Celebrity Invitational Charity Bowling Tournament that finished with a Larry Bird-like lookaway on the last roll. Mookie Betts in a bowling alley is arguably as enthralling as Mookie Betts on a baseball field.

"I've done it for a long time," Betts said, "so I just try to have fun with it."

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recovering Wright, Pomeranz throw off mound

Pair of 2016 All-Stars competing for spots in crowded Red Sox rotation

Recovering Wright, Pomeranz throw off mound

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For two Red Sox starting pitchers coming off injuries and hoping to win spots in the rotation, Monday was a good day.

Side by side, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz threw off the mound for the first time this spring. And they both did so with no pain.

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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.

Kennedy has 3 messages for fans on Presidents Day

Kennedy has 3 messages for fans on Presidents Day

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Sam Kennedy grew up a couple of miles from Fenway Park and is entering the second season of his dream job -- president of the Red Sox.

But Kennedy has been a vital part of his hometown team since coming to the franchise in 2002.

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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.