Grady Sizemore Faces Next Test; Other Red Sox Spring Training Notes

Grady SizemoreThe Boston Red Sox certainly hope the New York Yankees’ success against them doesn’t carry into the regular season.

The Red Sox, who fell to the Yankees 3-2 at JetBlue Park on Thursday, have dropped two games to the Bronx Bombers in three days. Obviously, the losses aren’t a big deal during spring training, but similar results in a few weeks might cause some concern.

The Red Sox will face the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Let’s dive into some leftover notes before shifting gears.

- Clay Buchholz gave up three runs on five hits while striking out three and walking one over five innings Thursday. Two of the three runs came in the fifth inning, and Buchholz looked pretty good for the most part.

Buchholz, who threw 73 pitches, surrendered a leadoff home run to Francisco Cervelli in the second inning, then retired the next 11 hitters. The most encouraging sign was Buchholz’s ability to keep the ball down over the first four frames, as eight of nine outs at one point came off ground balls.

Buchholz, who said he felt good physically, acknowledged he’s been battling his changeup this spring.

- Manager John Farrell hasn’t officially announced his starting rotation, but everything still points toward Jon Lester pitching Opening Day and being followed by, in order, John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Jake Peavy and Buchholz.

“We haven’t announced it, but we’ve set up a rotation to reflect our thoughts and our plan going forward,” Farrell said Thursday. “We’ve held off announcing anything in the event something doesn’t pan out from a health standpoint, but everybody is doing great health-wise.”

- Chris Capuano tossed three no-hit innings Thursday.

- Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa threw live batting practice Thursday. They’ll pitch in a game Saturday.

- Jackie Bradley Jr. suffered a cut on his right thumb Wednesday when Will Middlebrooks unintentionally spiked him while completing a double play at second base. Bradley is expected to be fine.

- Grady Sizemore went 1-for-4 and played all nine innings Thursday. It was the first time this spring Sizemore played a full game.

Sizemore’s next test will involve playing three consecutive days. He’ll play again Sunday, kicking off a stretch of five games in six days for the 31-year-old.

- The Red Sox optioned pitcher Rubby De La Rosa and infielder Brock Holt to Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday while also reassigning infielder Brandon Snyder to minor league camp.

Holt’s demotion means Jonathan Herrera will begin the season as the Red Sox’s utility infielder.

De La Rosa, who struggled this spring, will be a starter upon joining Pawtucket. Farrell said De La Rosa worked on improving his delivery and adding a curveball during his last two outings.

“With Rubby, it’s not a matter of stuff but better location,” Farrell said.

- The Red Sox still are monitoring pitcher Steven Wright’s status, according to Farrell. Wright, a 29-year-old knuckleballer, is coming off an offseason sports hernia operation.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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