Revamped Red Sox ready to move forward
After disappointment of '14, club eager to start Spring Training with new additions
BOSTON -- Last year? It's already forgotten. The Red Sox, who open Spring Training on Friday, are focused on what's ahead. And the goal, as always, has been set by the sparkplug second baseman.
"Every year, my focus going in, I don't worry about the year before," said Dustin Pedroia. "I show up there trying to win the World Series. I don't care what we did the year before. Obviously it's in the back of your mind that we didn't play good. We finished in last place. But every year, you're always motivated to win the World Series."
The World Series is something the Red Sox won just two seasons ago. They will try to do it again, this time with a largely different cast.
Pedroia, David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz and Koji Uehara remain. But several new faces have been added, including Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley and Alexi Ogando.
"We have a bunch of guys who love to play," said Ramirez. "Just one goal every day -- just win. We're always going to be on the same page. We'll have each other's back and try not to do too much."
Several homegrown players are trying to show they can thrive consistently, led by Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez.
"I think we have a lot of talent, and the team obviously has to come together and get to know each other with new faces," said general manager Ben Cherington. "We still have to learn some things about where guys are. I think it will be an exciting Spring Training with a lot of opportunities for us, but it will take a lot of work to make sure we bring the team together and allow the team go know each other and get aligned before the season."
While most of the positions are set, there will be some jockeying for position in the outfield.
Ramirez will take over in left, but there's a logjam with Betts, Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig and Daniel Nava. And that's without even mentioning Jackie Bradley, Jr., who played Gold Glove-caliber defense last year, but didn't hit enough for the team be able to count on him at the Major League level.
"We'll see where we are at the end of Spring Training," Cherington said. "I think I'd rather have more possibilities than not enough, at least at this point. We'll see how it all comes together. There will certainly be an opportunity for everyone in Spring Training, and we'll see where we are at the end of March."
Pitchers and catchers report:
Full squad reports:
First Spring Training game
At Twins, March 5, 7:05 p.m. ET
At Phillies, April 6, 3:05 p.m. ET