John Farrell has plenty of reasons to be concerned.
The Boston Red Sox have had an up-and-down spring training.
For starters, three of their top prospects have excelled, which is a good sign moving forward.
On the mound, both Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa have performed above expectations, while Jackie Bradley Jr. has made us say “Jacoby who?”
However, for all those positives, there are still concerns.
Here are five players that have been disappointing in spring training.
Is David Ortiz ever going to be healthy?
After missing more than a third of the 2012 season with an Achilles injury, David Ortiz was expected to return to being a force in the middle of the Red Sox lineup in 2013.
However, while Ortiz has finally got the contract he desired in the offseason, he has yet to play in a single game in spring training.
After suffering a setback in his recovery, Ortiz looks like he won’t be ready for Opening Day.
Is this because he got his money and eased up in his offseason conditioning, or is this the beginning of the end? Either way, the absence of Ortiz will be a major blow to the Red Sox lineup.
In his walk year the pressure is on Jacoby Ellsbury to perform.
In what is the most important year in Jacoby Ellsbury’s career, he doesn’t look poised for a bounce-back season.
After suffering a second major injury in three seasons, Ellsbury was expected to come to spring training determined to prove that he is closer to the 2011 version of himself than the player that showed up at the end of 2012.
However, through nine games he is batting .200 without hitting a single home run and has yet to steal a single base.
Alfredo Aceves continues to be a problem.
Even though the spotlight was on Alfredo Aceves, he still managed to get in the middle of a major story.
The only positive about the brawl is that Aceves wasn’t the instigator, but he has all but cemented a poor reputation with fans and possibly his manager.
The bullpen is supposed to be a strength this season, and Aceves is one of the reasons why. The Red Sox need the rubber-armed pitcher to get his head on straight or they may need to move on.
Will Joel Hanrahan turn it on once the regular season starts?
It’s hard to really judge a closer in spring training. The games don’t matter, and on top of that Joel Hanrahan has entered the game in non-save situations.
However, Hanrahan has struggled during spring training, recording a 13.50 ERA and a 3.25 WHIP in five games.
Time will tell if Hanrahan is rusty or struggling to handle the pressure of being the Boston closer.
Shane Victorino needs to show he can still hit.
In his WBC-shortened spring training, Shane Victorino struggled at the plate. To be honest, that may be an understatement.
In five games—granted, a small sample size—Victorino went 0-for-11 with four walks in 16 at-bats.
For a player that received a three-year, $39 million contract in the offseason, this is a concern moving forward.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian is known for his speed and defense, and at 32 years old, his best days are behind him. If the center fielder turned corner outfielder can’t produce at the plate, he will be a complete bust.