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."