FORT MYERS, Fla. — Opening Day is six days away. Even though it still feels like winter around most of New England, it’s time for baseball to take center stage. The Boston Red Sox have been in Florida since Valentine’s Day, an extended spring training caused by the World Baseball Classic.

There are very few decisions for Sox management to make. One came on Monday, when the team sent catcher Blake Swihart to Pawtucket. That was not a major surprise, since Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez do not have minor-league options remaining. Swihart had the best spring at the plate among them, but the only way the Sox could keep all three catchers in the organization was to send Swihart down.

Vazquez made the decision a little easier Sunday when he had his best game of the preseason. He threw out two base runners and hit a three-run home run as the Sox beat the Twins 7-2. He made Manager John Farrell a happy man.

“When you just look at the ability behind the plate, it’s a special player defensively,” Farrell told reporters.

Notice how Farrell used the words “behind the plate.” While Swihart might have the most offensive upside of the three catchers, the biggest value of a backstop behind this team is what he does with his glove and his arm. Anything he does with the bat is a bonus. Vazquez and Leon are far superior to Swihart behind the plate at this point. That’s why they’re on the big-league roster.

Another decision looms on the bench. The Sox will keep one reserve infielder, either Marco Hernandez or Josh Rutledge. (Another reserve, outfielder Steve Selsky, was optioned to Pawtucket on Monday.) Through Sunday, Hernandez was tied for the most hits of any Red Sox player this spring, and his 11 extra-base hits (including a stunning five triples) were the most on the roster.

A great spring indeed, yet he may get beaten out by Rutledge because of the business of baseball. Rutledge was claimed from Colorado in the Rule 5 draft in December. Under the rules of that draft, the Sox must keep Rutledge on the major league roster for the entire season if they hope to keep him. If they demote him he returns to the Rockies. So while Hernandez may be having a better spring, the Sox can keep both players in the system by sending Hernandez down to Pawtucket.

The final decision surrounds a left-handed reliever. That’s also a three-man race, with Fernando Abad, Robby Scott and Edgar Olmos looking to join Robbie Ross, Jr. in the bullpen.

Abad surprised a lot of people by leaving the Sox this spring to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. He pitched well there, throwing 21/3 scoreless innings over four appearances. While he was gone, Scott (one earned run in 10 innings of work) and Olmos (one earned run in 10 2/3 innings) made a mark for the Sox in Grapefruit League play.

While Abad gave up a run Sunday, he would be the odds-on favorite to win this battle. He limited left-handed hitters to a .153 batting average and a .459 OPS last season. Having a lefty who can take care of left-handed hitters is a luxury every manager would like to have, and Abad gives Farrell exactly that.

Strange things can happen over the final days of camp, but barring injuries there shouldn’t be many surprises coming out of Fort Myers. For a team built to contend for a championship, avoiding surprises will be a season-long goal.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.