Moving day for the Red Sox

March, 2, 2010
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Despite early morning rain storms, Red Sox pitchers Tim Wakefield, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Hideki Okajima, Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard and Ramon Ramirez were still able to throw their bullpen sessions on Tuesday at the player development complex.

“Everybody was fine,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

The Red Sox had a shorter day because big league camp now moves up Edison Avenue to City of Palms Park. After two weeks of daily drills and fundamentals, the players are eager to start playing games.

“It’s that time,” said Francona. “Everybody is packing up, so we’ll get over to the stadium and get into that routine. A week from now you’ll be asking if we’re ready for the real games.”

The Sox will play a doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College on Wednesday, and Francona is actually a big fan of playing the college teams. He says it’s better than playing intrasquad games.

“I think [intrasquad games are] a waste of a lot of peoples’ time,” he said. “The guys who are pitching get a lot out of it, but everyone else is doing a lot of sitting around. Nobody likes facing a guy in the same uniform, so this is a really good way of getting into our games. I love them.”

More notes from a quiet day at Red Sox camp:

* Mike Lowell’s schedule was not affected by the poor weather conditions Tuesday morning. Francona said the down time might be good for the veteran third baseman. Lowell, who is recovering from offseason thumb surgery, is scheduled to hit again on Wednesday.

* Red Sox center fielder Mike Cameron is expected to play in his first game on Friday against the Twins. He tweaked his groin last week and has been taking it slow. He’s been able to hit, but has limited his participation in outfield drills.

“He would have to say that he’s feeling great,” said Francona. “Friday would be the earliest. ... He feels fine. It’s not an issue. Again, as much as the Mayor’s Cup means to us, we’re not going to hurt somebody. If you see him play, that means he’s feeling good.”

* Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka did not throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. The right-hander will play long toss at 180 to 200 feet on Wednesday, and will add a little bit of mound work, too. He’ll continue to build in more mound work, according to Francona.

* Knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield had a special visitor at camp. Eri Yoshida, an 18-year-old female knuckleball pitcher from Japan, met with Wakefield and the two talked about their specialized pitch. Yoshia, who is playing in the Arizona Winter League, threw a couple of pitches with Wakefield looking on.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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