The Red Sox don’t open up their road interleague slate for another three weeks. But that doesn’t mean they’re not already preparing.
Red Sox pitchers have already begun taking batting practice. Boston doesn’t travel to a National League park until May 29 in Philadelphia, but manager John Farrell thinks extra preparation swinging the bat will serve the club well when it does come time for pitchers to hit.
“We want to give ourselves plenty of lead-up time and repetitions so that when they are called upon to take an at-bat in the game, they’ve built their tolerance to it,” Farrell said of the team’s hurlers. “It’s a different movement and while [Wednesday is] the first time on the field, they did [hit] in the cage, swinging off a tee and some soft toss. So the one thing that has happened to I think American League pitchers is that they’ve suffered some minor injuries swinging the bat. You don’t see many National League pitchers suffering the same thing, so we’re just getting a little bit more repetition ahead of time.”
The Red Sox will face another dilemma when they begin traveling to NL parks, and that one figures to be much more interesting. Farrell will need to decide whether to keep David Ortiz or Mike Napoli in the lineup each game, although the skipper notes that this season’s interleague schedule is much more favorable than it’s been in years past.