With Reyes in limbo, Red Sox gain a day
Veteran lefty moves opt-out deadline from Friday to Saturday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With a crowded bullpen competition going down to the wire, Dennys Reyes has agreed to give the Red Sox an extra day to decide whether he will be part of their 25-man roster.
The veteran lefty reliever, who signed a Minor League deal shortly before camp, moved the deadline of his opt-out clause from Friday to Saturday.
Though Reyes -- given his track record -- knows he will probably be on somebody's roster come Opening Day, he would like it to be the Red Sox.
2010 Spring Training - Boston Red Sox
News & Features
- Ortiz, Drew move closer to joining active roster
- Worth noting
- Farrell has 'successful' first camp as Sox manager
- Red Sox lineup may be altered on daily basis
- Doubront, Red Sox close spring slate on high note
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
"I don't know if it's going to make a difference or not, but they don't have the decision made yet," Reyes said. "They asked me for that extra day, and I said, 'Yeah.'"
There are two spots available in Boston's bullpen, and Reyes is competing with fellow lefties Hideki Okajima, Rich Hill and Andrew Miller, as well as righties Alfredo Aceves, Matt Albers and Scott Atchison.
"It's hard to tell," said Reyes. "You don't know what they're going to decide to do, but I think I'm putting myself in a position where I have a real chance. I did everything I could -- everything they asked me to do -- and I don't think I can do anything different or better than what I've been doing. Now, it's up to them and who they're going to take north."
Reyes is scheduled to pitch on Friday night against the Blue Jays. In eight Grapefruit League outings, Reyes has a 1.13 ERA. Over eight innings, he has registered eight strikeouts.
Even for a player who has been around as long as Reyes -- who will turn 34 on April 19 -- the unsettling final few days of camp uncertainty are tough.
"It's hard in the way that I want to play for a contending team, and I want to play for these guys," Reyes said. "These guys have a really good chance to get a shot in the playoffs and the World Series. That's one of the things I was looking for when I signed. Other than that, I want to play in the Major Leagues. If not here, then somewhere else."
In 669 Major League games, Reyes is 35-35 with a 4.18 ERA. He has pitched for the Dodgers, Reds, Rockies, Rangers, Pirates, D-backs, Royals, Padres, Twins and Cardinals.
Papelbon expects big things from bullpen
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, now entering his sixth season, has been part of bullpens that came into a season with hype and didn't live up to it. Last year's Boston 'pen was a prime example.
So as excited as the hard-throwing righty is about the new pieces (Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler) that the Red Sox have added, he made it clear that the bullpen still has to develop its identity and a track record for success.
"I feel excited about this year, but I felt excited about every other year, too," said Papelbon. "We've got to still go out there and find our identity as a bullpen and our roles, our swagger, our everything. We have to find out all of that. All of that will hopefully start in [Texas] at the beginning of the season. On paper, it looks great. I'm sure you guys have heard that before."
Though he isn't getting ahead of himself, Papelbon made it clear that his expectations for his unit are as high as anyone's.
"No question," said Papelbon. "I think that every year as a bullpen unit. You set out to be the best bullpen in the big leagues. That's a common goal for our bullpen. I don't think anyone is going to settle for being mediocre or not being the best bullpen. I think we're definitely going to strive to be the best, for sure."
A large portion of that success will hinge on Papelbon, who is coming off the first non-All-Star season of his career. Papelbon has spent this Spring Training trying to perfect his mechanics. He pitched an inning in a Minor League game on Thursday, giving up a home run but feeling good about the performance.
"I came into spring and my mechanics were pretty good, and for a couple of outings, I kind of got off track," Papelbon said. "I was able to kind of go back to simplifying it a little bit more, and for me, I was able to take that out there today and just -- the delivery I had out there today -- just try to keep perfecting it and take it into Arlington.
"That's the biggest thing I'm pleased about. I'm also pleased about the way I'm throwing my slider, because it's going to be a big pitch for me this year."
Doubront throws, but recovery not over
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Slowed by left elbow tightness early in camp, Felix Doubront finally got into a game for the Red Sox on Thursday, throwing an inning at the club's Minor League complex.
Doubront is one of the pitching prospects the Red Sox are most excited about, so the conservative approach was not surprising.
After getting on the mound in a game-like environment for the first time, Doubront felt encouraged by his health.
"I felt good -- no injuries, no problem," Doubront said. "My elbow is fine. That's all that matters."
Waiting for so long to pitch again was not an enjoyable experience for the lefty, who made his Major League debut last season and helped the Red Sox in the rotation at times, as well as in the bullpen.
"Oh yeah, that was tough," Doubront said. "A little bit hard. I couldn't control that. It was pretty hard to spend all of that time waiting to see the mound again."
Just by looking at the calendar, it would not be surprising to see Doubront open the season on the disabled list, which would allow him an opportunity to pitch in an extended spring camp environment.
"Yeah, probably, I'm going to stay," Doubront said. "I don't know yet. They have to make those decisions. They're going to let me know, probably soon."
Tickets for 'Beanpot' at Fenway on sale
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Tickets for the Baseball Beanpot, scheduled to take place at Fenway Park on April 26, are now on sale.
The annual doubleheader will include Boston College, Harvard, Northeastern and UMass-Amherst.
Tickets can be purchased for $5 each at www.redsox.com/beanpot or by calling (877) REDSOX-9. Fans with disabilities may call (877) REDSOX-9 to purchase accessible seating (while supplies last).
The Red Sox's TTY number for hearing-impaired fans is (617) 226-6644.
The games will be played at 3:30 and 7 p.m. ET.
Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield was one of several Red Sox pitchers to throw at the club's Minor League complex on Thursday. Wakefield gave up five runs, all of them in the fifth inning, over five innings. "Good enough," Wakefield said. "I got up and down five times and got to my pitch count." ... Reliever Matt Albers was pleased to find that the published report that had him being released by the Red Sox and on the verge of going to Japan was completely false. Albers remains in the mix for one of the final spots in Boston's bullpen. The righty pitched 1 1/3 innings against the Marlins on Thursday, allowing three hits and a run while striking out two. ... While the Red Sox didn't have much to say about Orioles manager Buck Showalter's view that Boston general manager Theo Epstein's smarts are attributed to a high payroll, manager Terry Francona did get off a witty rebuttal. "For the record, I think Theo's really smart -- whether he has a high payroll or not," Francona said. "His choice of managers is smart."