02/20/2013 5:17 PM ET
Regulars to get early action on Thursday
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In past years, the Red Sox often split up their regulars for the annual college exhibition doubleheader against Northeastern University and Boston College.
But manager John Farrell will play all of his established veterans in the early game against NU, while going with almost exclusively Minor Leaguers vs. BC.
"We just want to keep their schedule as consistent as possible early in camp," Farrell said.
Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Will Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross will all play in the first game at 1:35 p.m. ET. Top prospects like Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley and Deven Marrero will be on display in Game 2 at 4 p.m.
Farrell is looking forward to seeing his players in a competitive environment.
"Whether it's a college game, whether it's an intrasquad, I think there's a lot of value," Farrell said. "You take a pitcher from throwing batting practice in front of a screen to the batting cage, and you strip all that away. It's the next progressive step. These are beneficial. No aluminum bats, so that's a good thing."
Buchholz, Doubront getting back up to speed
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The right hamstring strain that derailed Clay Buchholz earlier in camp is on the verge of becoming a non-issue, as the righty fired his first round of batting practice on Wednesday.
Thanks to the lengthier Spring Training this year, Buchholz should have no problem taking his first turn in the rotation once the regular season starts.
"Very good BP session for him today," said manager John Farrell. "Thirty pitches, which is consistent with starters who threw their first round of live BP. He came out of today feeling good about himself. He used all his pitches. It was an impressive work day."
Buchholz will throw in a simulated game on Saturday. After that, he could be close to Grapefruit League action.
Lefty Felix Doubront was the other rotation member to ramp back up on Wednesday, throwing his first bullpen session of camp. Doubront had been slowed because of some weakness in his shoulder.
"Reports were that it was OK," said Farrell, who noted Doubront tossed 25 pitches. "I did not see it; I was watching live BP at the time, but he came out of it fine, no issues health-wise. So it's the first progressive step."
Aceves improves in latest batting practice session
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Unlike his mysterious session with hitters on Sunday, there was no mistaking the intensity displayed by righty Alfredo Aceves as he threw batting practice on Wednesday.
The righty looked sharp, and engaged, from his first pitch.
"He had a very good day today -- focused, good effort level," said manager John Farrell. "He had a good work day."
As for what took place on Sunday, when Aceves came out lobbing the ball?
"It was just miscommunication. That's all it was," Aceves said. "I apologized for that and now we're on track."