Morning notes: John Farrell can 'envision' Grady Sizemore on roster to start season while Jackie Bradley Jr. could start in Triple-A

Mike Petraglia
March 18, 2014 - 8:59 am

TAMPA -- Red Sox manager John Farrell knows he has a crowded outfield. Before Tuesday's game with the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field, he acknowledged just how crowded when he was asked if he could imagine a scenario where he starts the season with Grady Sizemore and Shane Victorino being his only outfielders with center field experience. "Yeah, I could envision that," Farrell said, before adding, "but we'd also want to maybe get some exposure with somebody else out there, too, just to take the look while we have the opportunity in spring training." The suggestion, of course, is that Jackie Bradley Jr. would start in Triple-A under a scenario where Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp and Daniel Nava are all on the roster. Obviously, injuries or a trade late in camp would change all of that. Farrell also wouldn't rule out Daniel Nava getting some looks in center field, in either minor league or major league game this spring. Farrell said his main priority is to go into the the season with Victorino serving as his primary right fielder. "We've had a couple of conversations but didn't want to get into anything," Farrell said. "We still feel like before camp is out, we want to get him some reps in center field but he's aware and we remain consistent that our intention is to keep him in right field as much as possible. He's fully on board with that. There might be a time in a given game where he might end up in center field for a couple or three innings if we've done something with a pinch-hit situation. I don't have an answer yet because it's based on what our final roster is going to look like. "Shane's a baseball player and he's fully confident that he can play both positions equally well. He's open to what's best on a given day." Bradley played center on Tuesday and made a nice running catch toward the warning track off the bat of Alfonso Soriano to end the second inning. After his two spectacular catches against the Cardinals at JetBlue Park Monday, Sizemore will return to game action on Wednesday in a minor league game. Most importantly, Sizemore's body was none the worse for wear after going full out on Monday. "Grady came in today fine," Farrell said. "He'll be in a minor league game [Wednesday] and then the following night in center field." Here are some other takeaways from Farrell on Tuesday in Tampa:

  • On Ryan Lavarnway playing first base, as he did Tuesday vs. the Yankees: "He's adapted quickly to the position, particularly the nuances of being around the bag. He's got very good aptitude so after about a week of work with Butter [infield coach Brian Butterfield], it quickly became evident to not hesitate to put him in a game. He's doing a good job over there."
  • On depth at catching necessitating the Lavarnway move to first. "Some of it, yes. Depending on where he ends up, we want to create some versatility with him just to ensure that he's got the ability the number of at-bats we hope to get him and to increase his value and flexibility on a roster. We've done it with a couple of guys that we've included at first base and it's proven successful so far and we feel like Ryan is in line with that as well."
  • On Craig Breslow progress: "He will face hitters Friday and targeting Monday as his first game. We'll see. He's feeling really good. He threw 35-pitch pen [Monday] roughly at about 90 percent or better and felt good today coming in. He's one guy that's probably a little bit less about the number of appearances than how he feels but we'll reserve that until he gets in games. "[Chris] Capuano, [Drake] Britton, we've got quality guys from the left side and I think it's been our intent to carry three. Who those three are and what our final bullpen will look like for opening day will hinge a little bit on what Craig's availability is."
  • On Francisco Cordero having a shot at the roster: "He comes in and pitches. The stuff he's throwing right now is pretty similar to what he had two years ago in Toronto. There might have been mixed results at the time. He's going about it the right way. He's not putting any pressure on himself and going out to pitch and compete and see if he forces his way into a situation that is different than when we brought him into camp. We have another 12 days or so to go and we'll see what happens."