FORT MYERS, FL (CBS) – Day two of workouts here in Fort Myers for Red Sox pitchers and catchers while positional players continue to trickle in. Let’s give some thoughts and observations on what’s going on:
-Great to see Dustin Pedroia on the field Thursday. He missed all but 3 games last year and is trying to come back from cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee. Teammate Steven Wright and Pedroia are the only two MLB players to have this surgery done so no one knows if they can come back. Pedroia plays a tough position too with all the pivots and moves a second baseman has to make. Alex Cora is hopeful he will be ready for opening day, but it’s baby steps for a while.
-What baffles me about Pedroia is that some fans think he’s not a good influence/presence in the clubhouse. He’s been an integral part of two World Series titles and was with the team every day last year in the postseason. Those with the organization always rave about how much he cares about winning. It’s all he cares about.
–David Price spoke to the media and said all the right things. How gratifying it was to win a WS and end his 0-10 postseason run as a starter. Will be curious to see if he can carry over his second half and postseason to the full regular season. He also changed his uniform number from 24 to 10. He says the reason why was simple. And even though Sox fans guessed all kinds of answers as to why…apparently he did it for his son Xavier. X is the Roman numeral for 10, so there you go.
-Mookie Betts told me he loves playing in Boston and if all went well….he would love to play his entire career here. Betts won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season, but he’ll command a monster deal. Betts will only be 28 and will have already won an MVP, a WS, a Gold Glove, and a batting title. Sox should ink him to a 10 year, 300 million dollar deal today.
-By the way, you have to appreciate Alex Cora’s honesty with his players and the media. He said last year that he wanted Betts to hit leadoff and to be aggressive. Which Betts was. However, Cora said Betts could have been more aggressive in October when Mookie had a rollercoaster postseason. No walking on eggshells with him..just here, you have to do this better and if you do you’ll be even more successful. Now, Cora is moving him to the 2-hole to get him more RBI opportunities.
-Had a lengthy conversation about the Pats season and the Super Bowl run with a Steve Pearce. Yes, he’s a huge fan and yes, he loved watching them grind out a victory in Atlanta. But, he also raves about the Patriots defensive players….Kyle Van Noy, Lawrence Guy, Donta’ Hightower, on and on…and how much of a pleasure it was to watch them rise to the occasion in the postseason. Can understand why the WS MVP would love those guys…he was one of them in October.
-Player to watch down here. Reliever Colton Brewer. Cora talked about how Brewer could be a Brasier-like pitcher for Boston. Loves his stuff and is hoping that with some work, he can be a part of the Sox bullpen this season.
-Finally, makes sense when Cora says he doesn’t want his team to “turn the page” on 2018. They won 108 regular season games and 11 more in epic fashion in the playoffs. Why wouldn’t you want to continue that theme of showing up, playing hard, and winning every day in 2019?