With spring training officially under way, reports are already coming in about all things Boston Red Sox.
After a disappointing stretch since Boston's last 2007 World Series win, the Sox are looking to get back on track in 2013. After last August's major salary dump, the Sox enter the new season with a fully reworked roster.
Here's a rundown of some of the top Red Sox updates from camp so far.
Camp has only just started, and already Clay Buchholz is hurt.
As reported by The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham, Buchholz injured his hamstring Tuesday covering first base as part of a practice drill.
As quoted by Abraham, Buchholz said of his injury:
It’s the best thing that it happened now and not when we’re getting ready to pitch in games. As far as they told, it’s mild as it can be. For how I’m looking at it, get here early and do the treatment on it and hopefully I’m back in the next four or five days.
The right-hander's assessment might not be too far off. Wednesday, Abraham reported that Buchholz is responding well to treatment, and the swelling was already down 50 percent from the initial injury.
Boston's rotation lacks a lot of depth, and this isn't the first time injuries have been a concern for Buchholz. For right now, things seem minor, and this shouldn't be an issue going forward with camp.
It's been a long saga between the Sox and Mike Napoli, and it seems like things aren't over just yet.
Boston originally reached a deal with Napoli in December, but things fell through after Boston got a look at the 31-year-old's medical report, which showed a degenerative hip condition.
After that the Sox reworked the deal.
But it seems Boston is still concerned about Napoli's hip. As reported by Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the catcher/DH/first baseman will undergo an MRI today to see if his hip has gotten worse.
So far in camp, Boston has allowed Napoli to take batting practice and that's about it. The team will not let him take the field until he's signed off by a doctor.
John Farrell confirmed Napoli is still asymptomatic, being quoted by Lauber as saying: "Right now, there's no impact or pounding so to speak. Everything points to him being ready for Opening Day."
John Farrell has already made his first camp mandate.
Per Comcast SportsNet, Farrell told reporters that he was going to stress improving on the basepaths. Farrell was said to be focusing not on basestealing per say, but smart baserunning as a whole.
Boston sported a stolen-base percentage of 76 last season, but it finished in the bottom 10 in both total stolen bases on the season and sacrifice hits.
With Shane Victorino in right and a healthy Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Boston has a chance to do some real damage running the bases this season.
Boston has some of the game's brightest prospects, and it's not being shy about showing them off this spring.
General manager Ben Cherington announced before camp that the Red Sox would be inviting 19 minor leaguers to spring training as non-roster invitees.
Among the names of roster hopefuls were top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., veteran Lyle Overbay, the often injured Ryan Sweeney and 2012 No. 1 pick Deven Marrero.
Bogaerts will spend time with the team before heading to train for the World Baseball Classic with his native Aruba.
Both he and Jackie Bradley Jr. are expected to start their seasons at Double-A Portland, but could very well see playing time with Boston this season.
One notable name left off the non-roster invitees list is prospect Bryce Brentz.
Brentz found himself at Triple-A Pawtucket last season, after posting an .833 OPS with 17 home runs in 122 games with Double-A Portland.
The 24-year-old is currently listed as Boston's sixth-best prospect by Sox Prospects.
But Brentz isn't at any training camp right now. As reported by WEEI's Alex Speier, the outfielder recently shot himself in the leg while cleaning a gun.
Speier quotes Ben Cherington as saying of the injury:
He was cleaning a gun and it accidentally went off. The bullet went into his leg and out the other side. I guess you could say he got lucky relative to what happened.
He’s here in Fort Myers and he’s recovering and it’s not going to get in the way of his future, but he won’t be in big league camp.
If any injury befalls a Boston outfielder this season, it's expected that Brentz will be the first one called up. Hopefully he gets healed up and returns to the field sooner than later.