Blake Swihart (

Red Sox players are throwing, hitting baseballs in Fort Myers

Rob Bradford
February 03, 2015 - 6:30 am

FORT MYERS -- The first official day of spring training isn't until Feb. 21, but that doesn't mean a few Red Sox players might want to use the spacious facilities at JetBlue Park to ease into February instead of whatever wintery place they have been calling home. One of those players who chose to get a jump-start on things is Rick Porcello, whose other options of riding out the winter were his New Jersey home, or the family get-away in Vermont. Porcello, under the watchful eye of pitching coach Juan Nieves, threw about 40 pitches off the mound. Also in attendance (with a smattering of minor leaguers, were outfielder Jackie Bradley and top catching prospect Blake Swihart. Justin Masterson is already in town, as is Pablo Sandoval, both of whom are scheduled to continue their JetBlue workouts Wednesday. Hanley Ramirez, who was expected to show up around the beginning of February, will now arrive in about 10 days, waiting for most of the coaches to be in attendance.