Red Sox Spring Training Delight – 3/21

As of right now, there’s nothing written in stone that Daniel Bard will be a member of the Boston Red Sox starting rotation when the team breaks camp. He has to earn that spot in the rotation and if he doesn’t, he’ll head back to the bullpen setting up for Andrew Bailey.

And as Bard continues to try and become a member of the rotation, skipper Bobby Valentine remains non-committal towards handing him the spot.

Bard had an easy first inning last night, then got roughed up in the second inning. After a so-so third, he settled down for his final two innings of work. He ended up going five innings. allowing three runs on three hits and three walks while striking out two.

We have to remember that Bard hasn’t thrown more than three innings in a game since 2007 until this spring training. He’s also transitioning from the bullpen so he’s not going to be the dominant Bard we’re used to out of the bullpen.

We do know that Andrew Miller is out of the competition as he threw just three pitches last night before leaving with a hamstring injury. There’s a good chance that Vicente Padilla is out of it as well after injuring his hamstring lifting weights.

That leaves Felix Doubront, Aaron Cook and Alfredo Aceves as well as Bard competing for the final two spots in the rotation behind Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.

To me, given the versatility of Aceves, he’s too valuable to be in the rotation. We all saw how effective he was for the Red Sox last year whether it be making a long relief appearance, a spot start or coming up with a good outing in a pressure packed situation.

So as these final two weeks of spring training are going on, I would expect the entire Red Sox pitching staff to come into a little more focus. Your guess is as good as mine as to who the final two guys in the rotation will end up being.

To see today’s lineups as well as the links from the overnight and the morning, please click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

Jon Lester (L), Kevin Correia (R)

After falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 last night, the Red Sox make the trip up I-75 to Bradenton to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and there is no television or radio coverage in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the Pirates television market, you can catch the game on ROOT Sports. If you have an MLB.tv subscription for 2012, you can watch the game there as well.

Boston Red Sox Pittsburgh Pirates
1. Pedro Ciriaco 2B 1. Jose Tabata RF
2. Jose Iglesias SS 2. Josh Harrison SS
3. Kevin Youkilis 3B 3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B 4. Casey McGehee 1B
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 5. Neil Walker 2B
6. Ryan Lavarnway DH 6. Matt Hague 3B
7. Josh Kroeger RF 7. Yamaico Navarro LF
8. Jason Repko CF 8. Michael McKenry C
9. Alex Hassan LF 9. Kevin Correia P
Jon Lester SP Kevin Correia SP

Lester will be followed by RHP Junichi Tazawa, LHP Franklin Morales and RHP Doug Mathis.

Correia will followed by RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Evan Meek and RHP Juan Cruz.

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

MORE LINKS WILL BE ADDED BEFORE GAMETIME IF/WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND WILL BE BOLDED

For starters, questions remain: An updated look at Red Sox rotation competition [Alex Speier – WEEI.com]

Matsuzaka progressing well [Boston Globe]

Bard not locked in as starter [Boston Globe]

Daniel Bard pleads case [Boston Herald]

Expectations wildly high [Boston Herald]

Mike Aviles never short on motivation [Boston Herald]

Did you know? Clay Buchholz used to throw a knuckleball [Clubhouse Insider]

Andrew Miller on strained hamstring: ‘I can’t seem to get going’ [Clubhouse Insider]

Daniel Bard explains why he didn’t throw more changeups last night [Clubhouse Insider]

Miller leaves game with ‘slight left hamstring strain’ [CSN New England]

Bard sees improvements in five innings of work [CSN New England]

Farrell: Bard will need ample time for pitching transition [CSN New England]

Belichick gives Red Sox pre-game talk [CSN New England]

Valentine: Sox getting ready to make cuts [CSN New England]

Valentine on Bard: Coy or real indecision? [ESPN Boston]

Hot-corner hotshots [ESPN Boston]

Cody Ross Diary: Excited for journey [Cody Ross – ESPN Boston]

Valentine: Iglesias is ready for the majors [Extra Bases]

Josh Beckett: Jon Lester ‘should start Opening Day’ [Full Count]

Tuesday afternoon with Bobby Valentine: A fluid pitching situation [Full Count]

Bill Belichick stops by to motivate the Red Sox [Full Count]

Andrew Miller talks frustration after hamstring offers another setback [Full Count]

Daniel Bard solves the mystery of why he only threw one changeup Tuesday [Full Count]

Wednesday morning with Bobby V: What’s the deal with Jose Iglesias? [Full Count]

John Farrell Dispels Bobby Valentine’s Idea That Past Red Sox Pitching Coaches Didn’t Focus on Limiting Running Game [NESN.com]

Bill Belichick Speaks to Red Sox Before Tuesday’s Game, Recommends Them to ‘Turn the Page’ [NESN.com]

Vicente Padilla’s ‘Eephus’ Pitch Going Strong With Red Sox, Even After Unorthodox Evolution [NESN.com]

Andrew Miller Exits Game With Mild Left Hamstring Strain, Likely Out of Starting Pitcher Competition [NESN.com]

Bard feeling good about stamina in starting role [Projo Sox Blog]

Miller injury throws another wrench in bullpen plans [Projo Sox Blog]

Valentine on Iglesias: “Whether it’s his time is the question” [Projo Sox Blog]

Farrell defends position on running game [RedSox.com]

Former Red Sox star pitcher Parnell dies [RedSox.com]

Sans hoodie, Belichick gives informal pep talk [RedSox.com]

Ramirez using college experience to guide him in first professional season [SoxProspects.com]

Scouting Scratch: Day 1 from The Fort [SoxProspects.com]

Do Red Sox have Plan B for bullpen? [Tony Massarotti – Boston Globe]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New EnglandESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

Photo credits: Getty Images, Getty Images

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