Sunday, March 9, 2014
Two days into the official exhibition season and we already know a few things:
Maybe pitchers should wear helmets while shagging balls during batting practice. Or maybe coaches shouldn't be messing around with fungo bats (like when Ino Guerrero batted a ball into Josh Beckett's head, giving him "concussion symptoms").
Spring training results can be overblown but it was concerning when left-hander reliever Hideki Okajima gave up five hits and four runs in one inning.
Nice to see Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick hit home runs.
A spring training home run may be meaningless, but it begs the question: What happens if both Reddick and Anderson have breakout seasons in 2011? Maybe they tear it up in Pawtucket, get a call to Boston and perform well.
As we pointed out in the Sunday column, both Reddick and Anderson are more likely trade bait than fixtures in the Red Sox future. Anderson has a left-handed first baseman named Adrian Gonzalez ahead of him. And, unless the reported long-term agreement between Boston and Gonzalez falls apart, Anderson, 23, is blocked from the majors.
And after Ryan Kalish's rapid rise to the top of the prospect list, Reddick, 24, became Boston's fifth choice among left-handed outfielders.
For now, both players are insurance against injuries. Also, if Kalish is unproductive this year, Reddick could move ahead of him, at least temporarily. This is Reddick's last year with minor league options, while Kalish has options through 2012.
If Anderson proves himself too valuable to let go, he could join the DH mix next year, assuming David Ortiz is gone.
The Red Sox fond of the phrase "these things usually work themselves out."
All Reddick and Anderson can do is keep hitting those home runs.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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