FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox will have some actual competition on Thursday, when they make the short trip to Hammond Stadium to play the Twins in a "B" game.
While the lineup will be filled by Minor Leaguers, the Red Sox will have two mainstays pitching in the game -- Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard. They will each work an inning.
What will manager Bobby Valentine look for from his pitchers?
"Getting through healthy, throw strikes, work on the plan that they've been planning -- that they work it in a game," said Valentine. "[I'm] probably going to see them do some of the stuff that they've seen here, probably going to have them do a pitchout once in a while and a pickoff that wouldn't normally be done.
"But you'll see them try to take what we've been doing here into a semi-competitive situation. This is like minor surgery. It's only a 'B' game for those guys who aren't playing in it, for the most part."
The Red Sox will have one more practice day on Friday and then start their game schedule Saturday with a college doubleheader against Northeastern University (2:35 p.m. ET) and Boston College (7:05 p.m. on MLB.TV).
The first Grapefruit League contest comes against the Twins on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. That game will also air on MLB.TV.
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.