Confident Sox open camp as pitchers, catchers report
Plenty of new faces eager to get to know each other and prepare for season
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The revamped Red Sox are ready to roll, as pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp on Friday. In reality, most of them have been on the grounds of the Spring Training facility for more than a week, taking part in daily workouts.
"Even as far back as a week ago, we had 40-plus players that had already reported to camp," said manager John Farrell. "I think it's an indication of the eagerness and the want in the attitude of the players to get Spring Training underway and put last year behind us even further, and establish a tone early in camp that will carry us through the start of the season."
Much of the enthusiasm stems from a cast of newcomers acquired by general manager Ben Cherington, which includes Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley and Alexi Ogando.
"You always have that adrenaline when you come to Spring Training," said Miley. "It's a long season, but those four months off get pretty long, too, and you get excited to get back after it. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
And for the holdovers, there is the eagerness to put a disappointing 2014 season in the rearview mirror.
"Our record says what we were, and that wasn't good. Ben has made some really strong additions to this roster," said Farrell. "We feel good that we've got the potential to be a pretty powerful lineup, a lineup that's also pretty dynamic with some speed and some ability to hit for average and some power in there. I like our rotation. Some people might view it as lacking, but I think this is going to be a very good rotation and a very good pitching staff."
Two years ago, the Red Sox proved how quickly a team can come together. Coming off a last-place finish -- sound familiar? -- the 2013 squad won the World Series. With all of Cherington's offseason additions, perhaps another dramatic turnaround is in store.
"It's pretty ridiculous," Miley said of the talent in Boston's clubhouse. "The Red Sox organization, the front office, they did a really good job of putting together a full-on team. I'm looking forward to pitching in front of those guys and watching them swing it."
Pitchers and catchers underwent physicals on Friday morning, and they will have their first official workout on Saturday.
"It's a fun day, it's an energetic one," said Farrell. "We've got a number of new guys, [so] how we set the tone and expectation out of the chute is important. I think everyone is looking forward to getting back on the field and working toward what should be a special year."
Position players are due in camp on Tuesday, with the first full-squad workout set for Wednesday. Many of the position players have been in camp for several days already, including Sandoval, Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo.
The Red Sox play a college doubleheader against Boston College and Northeastern on March 3, and they open Grapefruit League action against the Twins on March 5.
Baseball sounds great to New Englanders who are still digging their way out of a historically inclement winter.
"I've been there for probably half the storms, so I can empathize with them having to deal with the number of feet of snow on the ground," said Farrell. "Hopefully as they tune in, they can see some green grass and maybe some sunshine."