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Legends On Deck

Early News From Red Sox Camp, Volume 1

JETBLUE PARK

The grounds crew get jetBlue Park field ready for the start of spring training.

With two days before pitchers and catchers are due to hit the field for the Boston Red Sox 2015 spring training season, only three position players and one pitcher have yet to appear to informally work out at jetBlue Park’s Fenway South Complex. Temperatures in the 30’s on Thursday morning with a constant wind whipping through the stadium and surrounding fields gave way to a sunny late morning and afternoon as the players took part in drills similar to what they will soon be doing for real.

Pitcher Alexi Ogando, acquired from Texas in the off-season is expected into camp on Friday, the first official reporting date, with position players scheduled to trickle in over the next several days anticipation of the first full squad workout on Wednesday February 25th.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, designated hitter David Ortiz and outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig have yet to make an appearance. Non-roster catcher Luke Montz reported Thursday afternoon.

Groundskeepers readied the stadium field and the Red Sox ticket office continues to buzz in anticipation of the start of exhibition games on March 3rd. A number of Boston media members are already in town and are reporting the ballclub’s daily activities.

On what is actually the NBA’s trade deadline date, the current buzz in camp is the possibility of a proposed Cole Hamels deal from Philadelphia to Boston, finally giving the Red Sox a number one starter, although manager John Farrell has deflected talk of the need for one. With a solid bullpen, it is assumed that barring a trade, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson will be able to eat innings and turn the game over to the relief staff which includes closer Koji Uehara, lefthanders Tommy Layne and Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica and newcomers Anthony Varvaro, acquired from Atlanta, and lefty Robbie Ross, Jr. acquired in a trade with Texas last month for Anthony Ranaudo.

Several non-roster pitchers should see spring action including ex-Brewer and Met Dana Eveland, Felipe Paulino, who pitched in four games for the White Sox last season, one-time Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs, as well as Red Sox farmhands Miguel Celestino and Keith Couch. Former Tigers prospect Casey Crosby is not on the initial list of non-roster pitchers in camp although he may possibly be added as an extra player to be available for some major league spring games.

An RV and trailer show in a parking lot adjacent to the stadium currently makes the view over the right field wall from the press box look like the infield at Daytona International Speedway which is fitting as we are right in the middle of speed weeks with the annual Daytona 500 held this Sunday. The real action for the Red Sox begins a week from Tuesday with a doubleheader against Northeastern University and Boston College. Following an off day, the Sox play a night game at the Minnesota Twins newly revamped stadium and play the Miami Marlins on Friday March 6th in jetBlue Park for their first official 2015 Grapefruit League home game.

Brian Mullen

Brian is a Boston native and art school student who took a summer job with a baseball team and never left. He has been employed by the Boston Red Sox in one capacity or another since 1982. He also follows and blogs college basketball. Follow him on Twitter @BostonBrian2015