DeMarlo Hale, Red Sox Looking Forward to ‘Game Reaction’ After Smooth First Stage of Camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox wrapped up one stage of their spring training Friday morning, finishing their time at the player development complex with a final full-squad workout. Over the next 33 days, they will play 37 games, including split-squad affairs and Saturday’s doubleheader against Boston College and Northeastern.

It is only one step in a long season, but an important one.

“It’s just the beginning,” said bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was filling in for an absent Terry Francona on Friday. “I thought we had a very good pace. There was energy. We as a staff kind of prepare those veterans, they kind of set the tone. Some of the things I liked that showed in the first nine days here was the energy, the concentration. We touched on some fundamentals and some things we need them to get accustomed to and I think they responded and went at it pretty good.”

Hale oversaw the last rounds of infield practice, batting practice and the always rousing sliding drills. The bulk of the clubhouse will be packed up and moved to City of Palms Park for the rest of the spring. Already, just moments after the big leaguers left the field, the minor leaguers who will inhabit the player development complex for the next month were on the field conducting their first drills of the season.

The Red Sox bench coach touched on a variety of items as this first stage closed up. Here are a few:

  • Both Carl Crawford and J.D. Drew are expected to get into games by Monday. Crawford will be away from the team with family on Saturday and returning Sunday. The left fielder said there is a chance he could play Sunday night, but there is no hurry. “He’s going to definitely get enough reps,” Hale said. Drew was bothered by a hamstring issue during the offseason. There is no rush to get him into game action. Hale said that Drew will stay at the PDC for extra work the next couple of days.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has been battling a slight bug the last couple of days but told Hale “I’ll be good to go” Saturday night against Northeastern. Ellsbury is in the lineup, batting leadoff and playing center field.
  • Lefty reliever Dennys Reyes, who had some issues with his visa, is expected in camp Saturday. While he has been throwing, Reyes will be a bit behind some of the other pitchers, so do not expect him in a game for a handful of days.
  • Hale said he gets eager to see how things shake out once the games begin.

    “I’m looking forward to the game reaction,” he said. “I’m seeing practice reaction. The game reaction, intensity’s a little higher.”

  • Hale also said that with all the key players returning from injuries, the staff has stressed an increase in communication. That, like most other things in a very smooth camp, has gone well.

    “Tito’s talking to these guys about communicating with him more about how they feel,” Hale said. “I think it’s important that these guys understand that it’s even more important coming back from these injuries that they dealt with last season that they communicate with us even more. It’s off to a good start, it really is.”

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