BOSTON (CBS) – We have some actual baseball to talk about down south.

The Red Sox’ Grapefruit League schedule is underway down in Fort Myers, so we have something other than drills and bullpen sessions to reflect on. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to discuss the start of actual games, Jon Lester’s first outing, and some protection for David Ortiz.

Jon Lester had a perfect two-innings against St. Louis on Sunday, striking out one as he threw 17 of his 24 pitches for strikes.

“He was good,” said Abraham. “He feels like, even though it’s spring training, the Red Sox are coming off a last place finish and he coming off of a bad season, so he wants to get off to a good start in spring training and kind of build from there. Not that the results of the first game are any big deal, but I think it’s good for a guy who’s trying to set that tone to have a good first couple innings.”

They went on to discuss protection for David Ortiz in this Red Sox lineup. Ortiz won’t have one set player batting behind him now, with Will Middlerbooks likely batting fifth against righties and Jonny Gomes sliding into that spot against lefties. This is something that concerns Ortiz a little bit.

“David liked having that one consistent guy who he knows is going to be there behind him, and I don’t know if he’s going to get that,” said Abraham. “But this is how the Red Sox lineup is; they have a lot of platoon guys, guys that are good, maybe, against lefties or maybe against righties.”

They also discussed Jonny Gomes taking a leadership type role with his new team and the fact that the Red Sox are going to use him as an everyday player. Why do they think that?


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