By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV SportsBy Dan Roche

FORT MYERS, Florida (CBS) – Another beauty of a day here in Fort Myers at Red Sox camp. Temperatures around 75 degrees with a nice breeze.


Here is a quick video blog wrapping up Friday and looking ahead to Saturday, which is the first day of workouts for the full team. Well, technically the first day of workouts for the full team, seeing how everyone was here early.

Rochie’s Friday Video Blog 

We’ll have plenty more of the conditioning run coming up at 6pm on WBZ-TV. Mike Aviles and Nick Punto weigh in on Ellsbury’s autograph session.

2:13 p.m.

– The team held their conditioning run this afternoon, and as you can imagine it went better for some players than others.

With the training staff keeping a watchful eye, each player (in groups of three) had to run 50 yards down and back, down and back, down and back for a total of 300 yards. They then got a two minute break, and had to do it all over again.

WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche reports

The players have to finish within a certain time, but the trainers said the recovery part of it is the most important. That is a true measurement of how fit each player is.

– I won’t name names of those who labored, but Jacoby Ellsbury had no issues at all. In fact, he took some time to run over to the fans, sign an autograph, and get back in line in time to catch up with his two running mates. Hard to think of anything but another 70-steal season out of the Sox speedster.

Cody Ross On Run, Ellsbury 

Red Sox Conditioning Run 

10:30 a.m.

– Red Sox positional players are trickling in after undergoing physicals off-site this morning. The first full squad workout is scheduled for Saturday. Prior to it, at 9 a.m., the Sox ownership trio of John Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Tom Werner, as well as Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine, will address the players for the first time as a group. I’m curious to hear what they all say to the players about last year as well as moving forward. Valentine will also talk about any rules, etc.

– Pitchers and catchers are working out again this morning. They’ve been averaging about 2-1/2 hours out on the field. One thing the pitchers have told me that’s been different under Bobby V is that they work on fundamentals for an hour then throw a live batting practice. In past years under Tito, it would be just throw the live BP.

– Pitchers today are working on pick-off moves. There has been a loop of video up each day on the clubhouse TV’s showing various fundamentals from bunt coverage to pick-offs to fielding.

– I’m curious to see how Bobby V and his staff handle base runners with the pitchers. Will they use a slide step? How does Ben feel about it? Under Theo and Tito it wasn’t very important at all, as we saw lots of stolen bases.

– Talked to both Salty and Kelly Shoppach this morning. Something to watch:  Salty hit right-handers well last year while Shoppach crushed lefties. I wonder if it will be that way all season?

Shoppach is hoping to get his first hit at Fenway Park out-of-the-way early, and a better Fenway entrance than his first. Back in 2005, he recalls getting booed when he went in to pinch run for David Ortiz.

Shoppach also said he and Saltalamacchia are working hard to become a cohesive catching duo so it eventually won’t matter who is behind the plate for the guys on the mound.

“I want them to be as comfortable as they can out on the mound,” he said this morning in the Sox locker room.

“Ultimately what Salty and I would like to do is, these guys be so comfortable it wouldn’t matter who is catching. He and I are on the same page, if we’ve put in the time and effort to make sure we know what these guys are trying to do and understand their idiosyncrasies, to make sure when they get on the mound they can just focus on pitching.”

And Saltalamacchia, with a full-year with the team under his belt, knows what the pitching staff can bring this season. Especially the starting rotation.

“You can say they’re the best in the game by far,” Saltalamacchia said of the Sox front three starters, Beckett, Lester and Buchholz.

“On any other team they’re an ace. I think the top three are going to be good, and there are a lot of guys in camp that are going to be really good. We brought a lot of older guys in that are established. They look good, and then you have Bard and Ace (Aceves) who are eager to win that (fourth and fifth) spot.”

– Also, chatted with RHP Aaron Cook. He’s a guy to watch. He could slide into the fifth spot in rotation if he gets healthy and can show off his great sinker. He’s a lot like D-Lowe.

– We’ll have more updates throughout the day, so check back on and tune in to all the updates on WBZ-TV, 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ

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