FORT MYERS, Fla. — It should now feel like baseball is back — if it didn’t already. The Boston Red Sox started their spring training slate of games Thursday with a doubleheader against Northeastern University and Boston College.
The Red Sox won both portions of the twin bill by a 5-2 final. Northeastern actually gave Boston a run for its money in the first game before the Red Sox used a four-run sixth inning to grab control.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Thursday’s action that he was pleased with his club’s overall effort. Below are some additional notes from Thursday at JetBlue Park.
-Brandon Workman started the first game against Northeastern and pitched two solid innings. When asked about the intensity of pitching in a spring training exhibition versus pitching in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the World Series (like he did last year), Workman said the difference actually wasn’t as drastic as you would think.
-Farrell said Workman’s ability to pitch effectively both as a starter and a reliever speaks to the focus and concentration the 25-year-old has shown throughout his time in the Red Sox system.
-Henry Owens struggled with his command and issued a couple of walks in Game 1. Farrell didn’t make too much of the performance, noting that it’s still very early.
-Shunsuke Watanabe, known for his crazy sidearm delivery, pitched against Northeastern. The Japanese product will have an opportunity to face tougher competition moving forward, according to Farrell.
-Northeastern left-hander James Mulry struck out Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in back-to-back at-bats. Ortiz joked Mulry could have a drink and say he struck out Papi.
-Rubby De La Rosa started Game 2 against Boston College. The hard-throwing right-hander pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, hitting a batter and striking out two.
“His direction through the zone has been much more consistent,” Farrell said. “There’s an effort level in his delivery that is comfortable and has allowed him to command the baseball, and that’s the one thing that stood out today. He looked relaxed on the mound.”
-De La Rosa said after his outing that he felt “amazing” and “free” on the mound — like he did pre-Tommy John surgery.
-Matt Barnes tossed a scoreless inning against BC, demonstrating a good fastball along the way.
-Christian Vazquez drilled a home run over everything in left field against BC.
-Garin Cecchini and Travis Shaw each collected two hits against BC. Shaw even drilled a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning.
-The Red Sox hope to keep the starting infielders — and regular outfielders — together as much as possible this spring. That’s especially true for Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia, who still are getting on the same page up the middle.
-Outfielder Corey Brown left Thursday’s second game after fouling a pitch off his left hand. Brown, who likely will begin the year at Triple-A Pawtucket, checked out OK. There is no structural damage, according to Farrell.