Morning notes: Red Sox send 12 players to minor league camp

Rob Bradford
March 13, 2014 - 6:13 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox camp just got a little smaller. The team announced Thursday morning that it has assigned pitchers Anthony Ranaudo and Alex Wilson, along with third baseman Garin Cecchini and outfielders Bryce Brentz and Alex Hassan to Triple-A Pawtucket. The Sox also optioned pitchers Matt Barnes, Henry Owens, Miguel Celestino and Noe Ramirez, infielders Heiker Meneses and Travis Shaw and catcher Blake Swihart to minor league camp. Prior to his team's game against the Twins down the road at Hammond Stadium, Red Sox manager John Farrell highlighted a few of the departed. He noted Henry Owens' composure against major league hitters, while saying of Ranaudo, "He's getting close. ... There's a lot of good going on there." Brentz was also a standout, showing what Farrell described as an improved two-strike approach with more of a consistent defensive presence. Farrell also updated Barnes' status, saying the pitching prospect -- who hadn't thrown since his appearance against Boston College due to shoulder soreness -- was throwing from 120 feet and would be throwing off a mound before the end of the month. No MRI was needed to evaluate Barnes. -- Even though he wasn't in the lineup against the Twins, Grady Sizemore was slotted in to get three at-bats Thursday against minor leaguers. Shane Victorino, who is playing against Minnesota, will stay behind in town Friday to play in a minor league game while the Red Sox travel to Dunedin. Making the trip Friday to take on the Blue Jays (one of the farthest drives of the spring) will be Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, Ryan Lavarnway and Jackie Bradley Jr., with Clay Buchholz getting the start. -- Felix Doubront, who threw against minor leaguers Wednesday, will next pitch Monday against the Cardinals, following up starter John Lackey. -- Farrell said he would prefer not to shift Brandon Workman's role back and forth from starter to reliever this season. -- The manager has taken notice of how much freer both Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli seem in their swings this season. After fixing his injured thumb, Pedroia's pull-side power has been noticeably better, while Farrell said of Napoli, "He's in a good place right now."