2/17/2014 4:10 P.M. ET
Sizemore passing early tests in comeback attempt
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Grady Sizemore's Spring Training has gotten off to an uneventful start, and that's exactly the way he wants it. Chances are, if Sizemore was a newsmaker at this point of camp, it would have been because he sustained another injury.
But Sizemore is healthy at this juncture, and was in the same batting practice group as Jackie Bradley Jr. -- the man he is competing with to be Boston's starting center fielder -- on Monday.
"The biggest thing at this point is that his work in the morning and in the training room is consistent.," said manager John Farrell. "Granted, we're not into the heavy lifting part of Spring Training yet. But physically he's responded well and going through the normal reps with everybody else right now."
After missing the last two seasons with injuries, Sizemore's first order of business is proving to himself that his knees are healthy.
"Because he's had the two microfractures in the knees, the surgeries, that's probably what the majority of his maintenance work is going into right now," Farrell said. "But our medical staff feels confident they'll be able to keep him on the field. He feels great right now. That's probably the first area. Overall, we'll just see how the tolerance holds up. It's been two years so we've got some levels to go through here."
If Sizemore doesn't win the starting job, perhaps he could help off the bench. With that in mind, Farrell said he'll also get work in left field during Spring Training.
Lester's thoughts with Schilling
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jon Lester hasn't talked to Curt Schilling since the news came out that the former Red Sox right-hander was diagnosed with cancer and then had surgery.
But Lester, who was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2006, can relate to what his former teammate is going through. He guesses they will talk at some point soon.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. I haven't actually gotten a chance to talk to Curt yet. But obviously knowing him and knowing his competitive nature, being in Boston with all those good doctors, he's going to be in good hands," Lester said. "They're going to take care of him and hopefully in the end everything turns out [well].
"Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to talk to him and see how he's doing, but I'm sure right now it's pretty busy for him, just going through the process of figuring everything out."
Farrell has numbers in mind for Pierzynski, Ross
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Known for being a workhorse behind the plate throughout his career, A.J. Pierzynski might play a little less than he's accustomed to this season. But it won't come as a surprise to the 37-year-old, who is in his first season with the Red Sox.
"When we talked with A.J. in the offseason during kind of the recruiting process, we outlined that we saw it as 100 to 110 starts for A.J. and 50 to 60 for David [Ross]," said manager John Farrell. "That was an estimate. I'm certainly not going to hold myself to an exact number. That was kind of the breakdown we saw because of David Ross's capabilities and how productive he is. That's just kind of a general estimate."
Pierzynski started 111 games for the Rangers last season, but he spent time on the disabled list with an oblique strain.
The Red Sox feel fortunate to have a backup catcher like Ross, who was the team's primary starter in the American League Championship Series and the World Series.
"You can't measure David Ross's value by the number of at-bats or what the batting average is," said Farrell. "We know he can be a productive player. His vision or his view of the game -- he's a leader in the role that he's in. In games when he's not in the lineup, it's almost like having another coach on the bench."
Peavy to be examined by hand specialist
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox still don't have a definitive answer on what is going on with Jake Peavy's right ring finger, which was heavily taped a few days ago. But they hope to have some answers by Tuesday.
"The hand specialist was delayed because of weather getting down [Sunday]," said manager John Farrell. "So part of his physical [Sunday] was to have the finger checked out. Everything points to that being done by [Monday] evening, by the time the hand specialist does get in here. We'll have more of a read on that after he's seen."
At this point, the Sox aren't particularly worried about Peavy. But they saw no reason to let him resume throwing until he gets the clear-all from the medical staff.
"He feels improved, but we've got a little bit of time right now. We want to be sure everything checks out fine," Farrell said.