Grady Sizemore Still Playing Aggressively And Other Red Sox Spring Training Notes

Grady SizemoreFORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox are playing catch-up in this year’s Chairman’s Cup (formerly known as the Mayor’s Cup) series.

The Red Sox dropped their second straight game to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Allen Webster struggled out of the gate for Boston, and Chris Parmelee’s three-run homer provided some breathing room as the Twins cruised to a 6-2 victory.

There were some positives for the Red Sox, though, including Drake Britton’s performance. Britton’s effort and other notes from Saturday are detailed below.

-Britton struck out four in two innings, including all three batters he faced in the third inning.

“He threw the ball great,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “He threw it inside, outside, threw sliders, threw some changeups. He pretty much had it all going. That was an impressive showing.”

-Webster surrendered three earned runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. The right-hander looked better in his second inning of work, but he’s definitely still a work in progress at this point in camp.

-Daniel Nava homered in his first spring training at-bat. Nava had been held out of games until Saturday because of neck discomfort.

Nava’s home run came from the right side of the plate, which is encouraging.

-Grady Sizemore collected his first hit of the spring. The focus continues to be on Sizemore’s health, though, and the outfielder said he felt good coming out of Saturday’s game.

“I think all game reps are good right now,” Sizemore said. “Everything helps. As much work as I can get in games is going to be very beneficial. I felt good today. Everything felt good, as good as I could hope for, as far as the body and knees and so forth.

-Sizemore showed some aggressiveness going after one ball drilled toward the warning track. The 31-year-old clearly isn’t going to alter his game too much despite his injury history.

“I’m not going to think about it,” Sizemore said. “Obviously, I’m going to try and be smart, but I’m going to still play aggressively and try not to change the way I play or think about it while I’m out there.”

-Shunsuke Watanabe, whose submarine-style delivery continues to amaze, put in a solid inning of work despite his velocity hovering around 80 mph.

“From the angle to the velocity, it’s unique,” manager John Farrell said. “Hitters are trying to get their timing down on fastballs, guys that can take the sting out of a bat, there’s going to be some effectiveness there.”

-Garin Cecchini continues to have a good camp. The third base prospect collected two hits Saturday and flied out to the warning track in his other at-bat.

-A.J. Pierzynski still is working to get on the same page as the Red Sox’s pitching staff.

-Rich Hill is absent from spring training because of a “serious family issue,” according to Farrell.

-Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, a Fenway Sports Management client, made his way to JetBlue Park on Saturday.

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

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