The Boston Red Sox need to clean up some things during the final week of spring training.
Boston enters Monday having dropped seven of its last nine spring contests. Felix Doubront was roughed up and the offense struggled Sunday as the Red Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 at JetBlue Park.
The Red Sox will field most of their regulars this week while preparing for next Monday’s Opening Day showdown with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. The Sox face the O’s in Sarasota on Monday.
Let’s go over some leftover notes before honing in on Monday’s tilt.
– Doubront gave up eight runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings Sunday. The left-hander has had back-to-back poor starts after beginning his spring on a promising note.
– Brandon Workman was sharp in relief. The right-hander surrendered just one run on three hits in 3 2/3 innings. It’s possible Workman could crack the major league roster out of camp if reliever Craig Breslow isn’t ready.
– Burke Badenhop lived life on the edge Sunday. He issued three walks despite working a scoreless ninth inning.
– There was a scary moment in the fourth inning when Rays starter Matt Moore was struck in the face by a line drive. Moore, amazingly, bounced up after being nailed by the comebacker, and he actually recorded the out at first base.
Xander Bogaerts, who later gave the Red Sox their first hit in the seventh inning, hit the ball that drilled Moore.
“Is he OK?” Bogaerts asked reporters after the game. “Hopefully, he comes back soon.”
– Breslow is expected to pitch in a minor league game Monday.
The decision to have Breslow pitch in a minor league game rather than Monday’s game against the Orioles is telling. By going that route, the Red Sox, theoretically, could place Breslow on the disabled list retroactive to March 22, as playing in minor league games (in front of a paying crowd) isn’t treated the same as playing in Grapefruit League games.
Breslow would be eligible to be activated off the disabled list April 5 if he’s placed on the 15-day DL retroactively.
– Jake Peavy (Monday) and Jon Lester (Wednesday) will pitch in minor league games this week rather than face the Orioles so close to the start of the regular season.
– Grady Sizemore’s schedule has been altered.
Sizemore originally was scheduled to play Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Now, the outfielder, who went 0-for-4 in Sunday’s loss, will be off Monday before playing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Sunday’s game that the change isn’t a result of any physical issues. This week marks an important test, though, as Sizemore hasn’t played in three straight games yet this spring.
– David Ortiz officially signed a contract extension.
Ortiz’s one-year, $16 million extension also carries a club/vesting option for 2016 and a club option for 2017, meaning it’s now almost certain Big Papi will finish his career in Boston.