Notes from Day 1 of full-squad workouts

February, 19, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A few leftovers from Day 1 of full-team workouts at Red Sox camp:

* Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced the starting pitchers for next Saturday’s day-night exhibitions against the college teams. Kyle Weiland will start in the afternoon against Northeastern, Stolmy Pimentel in the nightcap against Boston College.

* Normally loathe to offer opinions on players this early in camp, Francona cited Jacoby Ellsbury as looking “extremely healthy and strong.’’

* Francona reiterated that the club sees Jed Lowrie as “an everyday player,” but one whose at-bats will come at different positions. He said that on those days David Ortiz sits against a lefty, he probably will use Kevin Youkilis as DH, with Lowrie available to play third.

* First-base coach Ron Johnson has arrived in camp. Johnson was given extra time to continue his care of his 11-year-old daughter Bridget, who has been fitted with a prosthetic device after losing her leg in a horrific car accident while she was riding her horse. Francona said Johnson has been told by the team he is free to leave whenever the need arises, that his family should remain his priority.

Johnson’s son, Chris, a rookie third baseman with the Houston Astros last season, was scheduled to be a grand marshal of the Edison Festival of Lights parade here Saturday night.

* Chairman Tom Werner, while stressing that there is a “firewall” separating the Red Sox from the other entities owned by their New England Sports Ventures, including the Roush racing team and the Liverpool soccer club, said the Sox would like to see Liverpool play in Fenway. That won’t happen this summer, he said, but 2012 is a possibility. The Sox are also open, he and CEO Larry Lucchino said, to the Sox playing in England if invited by MLB to do so.

* Lucchino said talk that he could succeed Bud Selig as commissioner when Selig’s term expires in about 18 months was “flattering but not realistic.’’

“I’m very content where I am,’’ he said.

* John W. Henry was owner of the Florida Marlins when they drafted Adrian Gonzalez No. 1 overall in 2000. How much did it mean to him personally that Gonzalez is now with the Sox?

“It is terrific, he said, adding that he and his wife, Linda, got to spend some time with Gonzalez and his wife, Betsy, during last winter’s negotiations.

“He’s a tremendous individual. We’re lucky. We have some extremely charitable, hardworking [players]. I go to Children’s Hospital and invariably I see ‘Tek there. We have some of the highest character personalities on this team, and [Gonzalez] is going to be up in the forefront of that. We’re very lucky to have Adrian.

“I met Carl [Crawford] today. He came up after the meeting and introduced himself. These are great professionals. We feel very lucky at this stage of our careers to be surrounded by these type of people.’’

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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