Farrell thinks Red Sox have ingredients for rebound

Boston's skipper knows value of steady innings from staff of veterans

Farrell thinks Red Sox have ingredients for rebound

John Farrell is entering his third season as the manager of the Red Sox, and for the second time in three years, he'll try to help his team orchestrate a worst-to-first turnaround. In a recent sitdown with MLB.com, Farrell spoke about several topics as he heads into the 2015 season.

MLB.com: How about Mookie Betts and all the excitement he has created going into the season?

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

Leon jumps right into learning new pitchers

New acquisition eager for opportunity in Boston

Leon jumps right into learning new pitchers

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The crash course of new catcher Sandy Leon to all things Red Sox took a fitting start on Tuesday, when he had four different batterymates in his five innings of work during an improbable 11-8 victory over the Rays.

Leon even got a hit in his debut, belting a single up the middle in his second at-bat.

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

Nine-run ninth gives Red Sox unbelievable win over Rays

Entered final at-bat trailing by six

Nine-run ninth gives Red Sox unbelievable win over Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Red Sox completed a wild, ninth-inning comeback on Tuesday, scoring nine times to pull off an 11-8 victory over the Rays.

Entering their final at-bat with a six-run deficit, the Red Sox stormed back courtesy Blake Swihart's two-run triple and RBI singles from Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, David Chester, Deven Marrero and Swihart. Jemile Weeks and Quintin Berry added RBI groundouts.

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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.

Napoli breaks bat, still crushes homer

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Napoli breaks bat, still crushes homer

For years, fans have thought Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli to be more beast than man. His mammoth home runs, his wild, untamed facial hair and his declaration that he IS actually part-wolf all support this theory. And during Monday's Twins-Red Sox game, Napoli gave us some more evidence.

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Stacked deck: Red Sox could be holding 5 aces

Stacked deck: Red Sox could be holding 5 aces

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox do indeed have enough starting pitching to go back to the playoffs. In fact, the Red Sox may very well have enough starting pitching to win another World Series. Just because the opinion to the contrary has been repeated a thousand times, that doesn't make it fact.

First, a little background in the wake of Red Sox manager John Farrell announcing Sunday that right-hander Clay Buchholz will get the ball on Opening Day in Philadelphia.

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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.

Koji in holding pattern as hamstring discomfort lingers

Koji in holding pattern as hamstring discomfort lingers

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox closer Koji Uehara still can't go with 100 percent intensity in side sessions, thanks to lingering discomfort in his right hamstring.

Uehara hoped to experience some progress when he threw 30 pitches in the bullpen on Monday, but to no avail.

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

Masterson delivers his best outing of the spring

Masterson delivers his best outing of the spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Justin Masterson walked off the mound to loud applause on Monday night, finishing a strong outing by inducing Torii Hunter into a 6-4-3 double play.

When Masterson is right, he will make the opponent pound the baseball into the ground. And over 5 2/3 innings, the righty held the Twins to five hits and one unearned run in what was easily his best effort in the Grapefruit League.

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

Napoli crushes rare broken-bat homer

Napoli crushes rare broken-bat homer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When Mike Napoli finished his swing, all he had left to hold was a tiny part of his bat handle. The rest of the bat went to third base, where Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe fielded it.

The baseball? That soared over the Green Monster for the rare broken-bat home run.

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

Red Sox act quickly, acquire catcher Leon from Nationals

Strong-armed backstop expected to fill in for injured Vazquez

Red Sox act quickly, acquire catcher Leon from Nationals

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox acted quickly to fill their need at catcher, acquiring strong defender Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations on Monday.

Leon is expected to make his debut with Boston in Tuesday's game against the Rays in Port Charlotte.

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

Masterson cruises, Napoli provides power in win over Twins

Righty allows an unearned run in 5 2/3 innings; first baseman clubs fourth homer

Masterson cruises, Napoli provides power in win over Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With eight of their projected nine Opening Day starters in Monday night's lineup, the Red Sox erupted for a six-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning en route to a 14-2 victory over the Twins.

Mike Napoli started the barrage with a broken-bat homer that cleared the Green Monster. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz all had RBI hits in the inning. Veteran Torii Hunter had two hits for the Twins, including a ground-rule double to center.

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

Despite injury to Vazquez, Red Sox won't rush Swihart

Despite injury to Vazquez, Red Sox won't rush Swihart

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox have a clear plan of attack when it comes to deciding to promote top prospects to the Major Leagues, and they resisted the temptation to let Christian Vazquez's injury affect the development of Blake Swihart.

Monday's trade for catcher Sandy Leon was all but confirmation that Swihart, Boston's No. 2 prospect, will start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

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

Red Sox expecting bats to come alive in 2015

Healthy Napoli, Pedroia will mesh with key additions Panda, Hanley

Red Sox expecting bats to come alive in 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The number that stood out for all the wrong reasons for the Red Sox last season was the meager slugging percentage of .369, which ranked 14th in the 15-team American League.

The number that stood out in the offseason was $183 million. That represents the guaranteed investment the front office made in Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, two key cogs to help make sure Boston's offense looks nothing like it did last year.

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

NFL linebacker Magee tackles potential baseball career

Originally drafted in 2012, outfielder reports to Spring Training

NFL linebacker Magee tackles potential baseball career

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brandon Magee has already played 17 games over two seasons in the National Football League. At some point this year, he might play his first baseball game professionally at one of the Minor League affiliates for the Boston Red Sox.

It all depends on what happens with football. The Tampa Bay Bucs released Magee on Tuesday, and he was at Spring Training the next day with the team that still has his baseball rights after taking him in the 23rd round in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

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

Castillo shows off his versatility in comeback victory

Outfielder guns down go-ahead run then scores game-winner

Castillo shows off his versatility in comeback victory

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo had another strong performance in Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Rays in 10 innings.

Playing right field, Castillo ranged in to make a nice running catch in foul ground and fired a strike to the plate to nail Cade Gotta to end the top of the 10th.

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

Red Sox tab Buchholz to start on Opening Day

Porcello will pitch second game and likely the home opener at Fenway

Red Sox tab Buchholz to start on Opening Day

FORT MYERS, Fla. - For Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has pitched a no-hitter, made two All-Star teams and won a World Series, pitching on Opening Day for the first time will be another milestone moment in his career.

Red Sox manager John Farrell officially announced on Sunday that Buchholz will take the ball in Philadelphia on April 6. And even if it didn't come as much of a surprise, Buchholz was appreciative to be given the increased responsibility.

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

With Uehara hurting, Mujica could step up as Red Sox closer

Farrell may also opt for bullpen-by-committee

With Uehara hurting, Mujica could step up as Red Sox closer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Time is running out for closer Koji Uehara to be ready for the start of the season. It now seems likely that Edward Mujica will be the primary closer on Opening Day, with others (Junichi Tazawa, Alexei Ogando, perhaps even Tommy Layne) chipping in when matchups present themselves.

Uehara has been battling a left hamstring strain for the last couple of weeks. Everything had to go just perfectly for the righty to be ready for the start of the season.

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

Vazquez to visit Dr. Andrews for ailing elbow

Vazquez to visit Dr. Andrews for ailing elbow

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez will visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on Wednesday, and he should know then whether he will need right elbow surgery, which would knock him out for an extended period -- perhaps the season.

All Vazquez and the Red Sox have said thus far is that the MRI conducted on Friday showed "something."

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

Napoli, Ramirez lead way as Red Sox defeat Rays

Napoli, Ramirez lead way as Red Sox defeat Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Red Sox scored early on Saturday and then added runs late to put a 9-6 win over the Rays on ice at Charlotte Sports Park.
    
The Red Sox jumped to a 6-0 lead, only to see that lead get cut to one run due to a costly error. But they scored once in the sixth and two times in the ninth before dodging a bases-loaded jam in the ninth en route to the win.

Nathan Karns started for the Rays and got into some early trouble after he walked the leadoff batter, Shane Victorino.

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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.

Uehara still feels discomfort in hamstring after bullpen

Uehara still feels discomfort in hamstring after bullpen

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Koji Uehara had some lingering discomfort in his right hamstring when he threw a bullpen session on Saturday.

But Red Sox manager John Farrell is still holding out hope the closer will be ready for the start of the season.

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

Hanigan is bummed out about injury to Vazquez

Catcher is prepared to be the starter on Opening Day and beyond

Hanigan is bummed out about injury to Vazquez

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- If Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan gets the chance to start on Opening Day, he will certainly embrace the opportunity.

But on Saturday, Hanigan was bummed out for Christian Vazquez, who is all but certain to start the season on the disabled list with a right elbow injury and faces the possibility of an extended absence.

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

Barnes still has chance to make Opening Day roster

Barnes still has chance to make Opening Day roster

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Matt Barnes was thrust into a realistic relief situation in Saturday's game against the Rays, coming on with runners on first and second and two out. The prospect delivered, inducing Asdrubal Cabrera into a groundout.

He finished his outing by following a leadoff double with three straight strikeouts.

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

Ortiz: First-person article speaks for itself

Ortiz: First-person article speaks for itself

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- David Ortiz will let his lengthy first-person piece on the Players' Tribune website speak for itself when it comes to his thoughts on performance enhancing drugs.

Ortiz said Saturday that he wrote the column for the fans.

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

Betts locked in for Red Sox

Center fielder is hitting .487 this spring

Betts locked in for Red Sox

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Another day, another stellar showing by Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts.

In Friday's 4-2 loss to the Braves, Betts clubbed a two-run homer as part of a 2-for-3 afternoon that also included a stolen base, a walk and a diving catch in center field.

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

Buchholz navigating way towards regular season form

Manager John Farrell has yet to name Opening Day starter, but all signs point to right-hander

Buchholz navigating way towards regular season form

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Though giving up 12 hits 10 days before Opening Day wasn't exactly what Clay Buchholz wanted to do on Friday, he did take the good out of his outing in the 4-2 loss against the Braves.

The righty had to work hard to navigate through traffic after allowing baserunners in all six frames he pitched in.

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

Buchholz battles, Betts blasts for Boston

Starter pitches into fifth inning through multiple jams

Buchholz battles, Betts blasts for Boston

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Pedro Ciriaco cleared the bases with a three-run double off Clay Buchholz and Julio Teheran completed six strong innings as the Braves claimed a 4-2 win in a rain-shortened game over the Red Sox on Friday afternoon at Champion Stadium. Ciriaco's second-inning double accounted for the only runs Buchholz allowed until his day concluded with Kelly Johnson's leadoff homer in the sixth inning. The only two runs Teheran allowed over 5 ⅔ innings came via Mookie Betts' fourth-inning homer.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

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Mark Bowman and Ian Browne are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vazquez to undergo MRI

Vazquez to undergo MRI

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After playing in a Minor League game on Friday morning, Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez was scheduled to undergo an MRI this afternoon to determine if his right elbow is healthy enough for Opening Day.

Vazquez has been slowed for the last couple of weeks by some discomfort in the elbow. At the very least, the MRI should give him some peace of mind that the injury isn't serious.

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

Castillo turns extra time into walk-off party

Castillo turns extra time into walk-off party

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Rusney Castillo's Spring Training has been abbreviated, but no less impressive. The outfielder belted a walk-off homer over the Green Monster against reliever Jake Reed in the 10th inning to lift the Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the Twins on Thursday.

After missing two weeks of Grapefruit League action with a left oblique injury, Castillo has quickly regained his stroke.

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

Red Sox want Cecchini to work on versatility

Top pitching prospect Owens reassigned to Minors camp

Red Sox want Cecchini to work on versatility

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With Pablo Sandoval entrenched at third base for the Red Sox, the club will have prospect Garin Cecchini move around the diamond at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Cecchini, among the latest round of players who were optioned on Thursday, will start getting reps at first base and the outfield, as well as third base.

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