BOSTON Teams

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

About that Pablo Sandoval bunt -- yes, bunt: "That was on his own," said John Farrell, who reiterated Red Sox have talked about bunting to beat shift. "And next at-bat, you see them back in 2-and-2 (alignment) on either side (of second base)." Sandoval also got a hit right-handed.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

John Farrell often suggests that Dustin Pedroia wasn't keen on batting leadoff early in career. "I never didn't like it," said Pedroia, who hit well in Red Sox's leadoff spot last season and will stay atop order. "I don't know where that came from."

Jayson Stark ESPN Senior Writer 

Astros bench coach Alex Cora on how much Alex Bregman reminds him of Dustin Pedroia: "I see the same guy I saw in 2007 in spring training. Same attitude. That will to be great."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Chris Sale will make his first Grapefruit League start for Red Sox on March 6 in West Palm Beach against the Houston Astros.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

An embarrassment of riches in the infield: Xander Bogaerts told me he will play 3B for the Netherlands and Didi Gregorius will DH. Andrelton Simmons will be at SS. When asked who's playing second base, he said Jonathan Schoop and Jurickson Profar had to figure it out.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Mets OF Michael Conforto took fast track to majors in 2015, like Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi in 2016, then struggled to .725 OPS and brief demotion last year. His advice to Benintendi: "I fell into pitchers' gameplan as opposed to executing my gameplan. Just focus on your strengths. Go out and do what you do."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Hanley Ramirez, who was only batting in seventh inning of Grapefruit League opener to get more at-bats before World Baseball Classic, saves Red Sox from potential no-hitter with leadoff double.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Rick Porcello will throw two-inning simulated game Sunday. If he pitches every fifth day thereafter, with one extra day built in because of March 22 off-day, Porcello would make six spring-training starts and be lined up to start Opening Day on April 3 at Fenway.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Xander Bogaerts took grounders at third base today to prep for position switch with shortstop-stocked Netherlands in World Baseball Classic. "Bogey sees himself as a shortstop," said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who noted "this is for a short period of time vs. a career change."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

John Farrell on Joe Kelly's full-court shooting exploits: "That's a long strike. It's not part of the throwing program, but still, a hell of a throw."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

About that full-court shot that made SportsCenter, Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly guessed he has done it "maybe a handful" of times in his life. It took him three tries Thursday night after game at Florida Gulf Coast, Chris Sale's alma mater. No, Kelly didn't play basketball in high school in California.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Given he's coming back from shoulder surgery, Pablo Sandoval admits he shouldn't have slid headfirst into second on third-inning double vs. Northeastern, but you know, instincts. "You don't think about it. You hustle and you don't think to dive like that."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

John Farrell said it was "disappointing" to see Rusney Castillo jog down line on double play grounder, not only because he lost track of number of outs but also because he doesn't have spot on team.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Positive first game for Blake Swihart, who didn't have issues in three innings behind plate and tested surgically repaired ankle by scoring from first on double. Ditto for Sam Travis (homer) in return from knee surgery.

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Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Landon Dombrowski, son of Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, going through pop-up drills. Landon has been working out all week with Sox catchers.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Pedro Martínez junto a Christian Vázquez en "Fenway South".

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Because of longer spring training, David Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello won't make their first Grapefruit League starts until latter part of next week. All three Red Sox aces are slated for six spring starts.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Here it is, hot off the presses, the cover of the 2017 Red Sox media guide. Rick Porcello, Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts get the honors.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Red Sox manager John Farrell believes slimmer Pablo Sandoval will be better defensive 3B. "With the body composition he's got, we'd expect to see increase in range, maybe some better foot quickness, better body control."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

LHP Brian Johnson, who missed time in 2015 with elbow discomfort and two months last year while seeking treatment for anxiety, will start Thursday for Red Sox vs. Northeastern. Fellow lefties Henry Owens and Roenis Elias will start Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

As team-building activity, Red Sox will watch "Patriots Day" together tomorrow in movie theatre. Dustin Pedroia, incredibly, is only player left from roster on day of Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.