Red Sox Notebook Day 2: John Farrell says 'the overall attitude is great'

Mike Petraglia
February 18, 2014 - 10:33 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On just the second day of spring training, John Farrell walked around the fields of the Red Sox player development complex and observed. He observed all the right things, including Jake Peavy throwing long toss as he heals his sore right ring finger, A.J. Pierzynski wanting to catch bullpen sessions in spite of a minor ankle ailment suffered Monday conditioning drills and David Ortiz and all of his position players in camp, well ahead of their reporting date later in the week. "Just the overall energy and the way guys are going about their work," Farrell said in making his observation of the defending World Series champs. "It's the second day and we've had everybody to the mound that is ready to throw bullpens. So, we're getting through the first couple of days as we had hoped and anticipated. "It's been an encouraging day, a long toss with Peavy. The irritation of the right ring finger seems to be subsiding and good things are happening," Farrell said of the flat ground work for Peavy on Tuesday. "I think once we get to the mound and get a little bit of a mound progression, we'll get a better read on that. I think that more than anything the information he took out of throwing today was very encouraging. The discomfort that he felt when he first reported is steadily going away. Today was a day to get some long toss in, which he completed successfully." Here are some other takeaways from Farrell on Day 2:

  • On most of his roster reporting, including all position players: "We're getting a feel of our full team in camp right now, even a couple of days before we get out there with the first full-squad workout. Everyone's reported and the overall attitude is great."
  • On Shane Victorino: "I think he's surpassed my initial thoughts defensively. Right field in Fenway is a unique one and not just with the ground he covered but his ability to keep runners from advancing 90 feet, throwing people out. We all came to know that he played banged up at times. There was a very high pain threshold that he went through. He was integral to the success we had as a team."
  • On Victorino hitting program after thumb surgery: "He's just beginning a hitting progression, which is going to go from dry swings to tee work so we've got to monitor how he recovers from that work. But he's throwing the ball. He feels like the strength in the hand has been regained but we've got to take him through that hitting progression."
  • On Victorino playing through pain: "I think the one thing learning about Vic last year is that he never wants to come out of the game, even when he's not 100 percent physically. So, he did a lot of preventive work this winter to address the hamstring and low back issues that nagged him at times last year. Again, we will want to put the best team every night to win but if there are times where he needs a down day because maybe we try to stay ahead of some things. We'll see how we progress through the season with that. But, I wouldn't say we're going in with a prescribed number of days off per week."
  • On Victorino as a leadoff hitter: "It doesn't give pause to say that he's not a candidate to be in the leadoff spot because he has the skill set you're looking to put in that 1-hole. Granted, on-base is the number one thing but I don't know that just by hitting in the leadoff spot changes his mentality as a leadoff hitter. That's not what I've taken from the conversations with him on that spot. Unless, there's another clear-cut candidate, he's going to be one of them."
  • On Victorino returning to switch-hitting: "Everything I know, he will switch-hit. But I've come to learn that he can change on the fly," Farrell said referring to Victorino's final two months of 2013. "He's been a switch-hitter his entire major league career yet at the same time you can't argue with the production that he generated when he went solely to the right side of the plate. So, I don't think it's in his mind to eliminate the left side of the plate."
  • On Daniel Nava: "Given the progression he's made in the week's time working around the bag, some of the smaller movements, he could find himself in games here in camp. If there was a surprise it was the consistency in which he maintained. He never shows any panic in the box, whether that's hitting with two strikes or in certain situations against pitchers that might have come out of the bullpen, he really grew up in the sense of his own confidence as a major league player." "He and Vic are our two candidates to lead off. There's nothing that has happened since saying that that would change that thought. He's serviceable at first base. He gives us that option if we have to pinch-run or do something with Nap or on a day when Nap needs a little bit of a blow, much like hitting from the right side of the plate or playing right field, when we've challenged him, he's met that challenge. His versatility allowed us to do a lot of things defensively."
  • On Francisco Cordero: "He's restriction free. He's mainstream. Spoke to him [Monday]. Saw his bullpen and I'm not going to take too much from his first bullpen but the one thing that is clear is that he's dropped 30 pounds, is in great shape from two years ago, when we had him in Toronto."
  • On A.J. Pierzynski and his ankle injury: "He turned it [Monday] in conditioning and we just put him through the drills today. He didn't catch bullpens. He fought us. He wanted to catch guys he's never caught before but we just felt that this point in time that a day of not crouching behind the plate would be better off. I fully expect him to be receiving the ball [Wednesday] in bullpens." Farrell said reliever Jose Mijares will be arriving in camp on Wednesday and ready to go after travel delays.