Spring Fort-itude: What happened with the Red Sox in Fort Myers on Monday

February 18, 2014 - 5:09 am
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The rhythm of bullpen sessions, pitchers' fielding practice (PFPs) and batting practice has commenced, and with the exception of injured knuckleballer Steven Wright, the entirety of the Red Sox 40-man roster is now in camp after the arrivals of David Ortiz, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino on Tuesday. (More from Victorino will be posted shortly.) Of all the players on the Red Sox roster this spring, Will Middlebrooks may be facing the most scrutiny. The 25-year-old discussed his motivation to prove that the 2013 season was an aberration, and to re-establish himself as a core member of a championship-caliber team. "I like it. It creates a competition not only with other people but with myself. Any time you're pushed or you get your face pushed down in the dirt a few times, you're probably going to work harder to where you were and where you want to be," said Middlebrooks. "We won the World Series. That's awesome. I'm about this team. But could I have helped us more? Yeah. That's my plan. My plan going forward is to win another World Series. I feel like I'm going to be a big part of that. I just have to get my [stuff] together and be ready to go." Another young player with the potential to make a big impact on the 2014 Red Sox, Allen Webster, discussed his understanding of what he needs to do to permit his electrifying stuff to translate into results. While Middlebrooks' on-field status will be analyzed closely, Jon Lester will be monitored for off-the-field news this spring, specifically as it relates to the possibility of a new contract. The 30-year-old left-hander reiterated his desire to get an extension done that would help him remain in Boston for the rest of his career, stating that he is willing to negotiate both during spring training and the regular season. From the training room, John Farrell suggests there is optimism that oft-injured outfielder Grady Sizemore can be kept healthy in his attempt to return to the field for the first time since 2011. (For an excellent feature on Sizemore, who is being forced for the first time in his life to play at something less than full speed, check out this piece by Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com.) Catcher David Ross joined the Mut & Merloni show to give insight into the off-field impact right-hander Ryan Dempster -- who announced on Sunday that he won't pitch in 2013 -- made on the team in 2013.

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