Red Sox Spring Training News & Notes – 3/22

Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia tags out Pittsburgh Pirates' Matt Hague at the plate after Pirates pitcher Kevin Correia hit into a second-inning fielders choice during their spring training baseball game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Giving up four runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates wasn’t exactly what Jon Lester had in mind yesterday when he took the mound for the Boston Red Sox. But it is what is.

Fortunately despite the numbers, Lester felt comfortable with his mechanics and did have a good curve and changeup. He left his fastball up in the zone on a few occasions. He ended up going just three innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two.

Closer Andrew Bailey had a rough outing as well giving up two runs on three hits with two strikeouts. The two runs came on a home run from Nate McLouth. Franklin Morales made his spring debut and had a nice outing as he struck out one and walked one in an inning of work.

On the offensive side of things, Jarrod Saltalamacchia found himself struggling at the plate as he was 1-for-13 before getting two hits yesterday. His two hits were a double and a two-run homer. While we don’t worry about Salty at the plate because of what he brings behind it, it was nice to see him come alive.

There’s a report out there that Daniel Bard will probably not being in the rotation.

According to Sean McAdam of CSN New England, it’s likely that Bard will go back to his customary 8th inning role while Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront would be the final two starters in the rotation.

We all know how successful Aceves and Bard were out of the bullpen last year. Given that Aceves is a little more versatile than Bard in that he could start or relieve, if this happens comes as a shock to me.

Personally, I think Aceves is better suited to pitch out of the Red Sox bullpen. But I’m not a baseball evaluator, I’m just a blogger.

With the Red Sox taking on the New York Yankees tonight, we’ll be back later with tonight’s lineups and links from the day. But for now, enjoy the overnight links from the Boston media by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

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Don’t call it criticism: Excellence, candor and the Bobby Valentine Way [Alex Speier – WEEI.com]

Valentine stops just short [Boston Globe]

Good feel, bad result for Lester [Boston Globe]

Daniel Bard starts to fade [Boston Herald]

Red Sox pitchers get nasty [Boston Herald]

Gotta glove Jose Iglesias’ game [Boston Herald]

Marco Scutaro on mentoring Jose Iglesias: ‘I wanted to help him’ [Clubhouse Insider]

Bard could be odd-man out of rotation [CSN New England]

Valentine, Red Sox front office torn on Iglesias [CSN New England]

Lester feels good, but pitches bad [CSN New England]

Lowell comes to Beckett’s defense [CSN New England]

Bobby V: Iglesias ‘pretty close’ to ready [ESPN Boston]

Takeaways: Lester hit hard against Pirates [ESPN Boston]

Francona set to comment on Red Sox-Yankees tonight for ESPN [Extra Bases]

Red Sox postgame notes: Saltalamacchia swings into action [Full Count]

Franklin Morales Feels ‘Good,’ ‘Confident’ After Making First Appearance of Spring Training [NESN.com]

Jon Lester Struggles in Start, Disappointed He Wasted ‘Best’ Mechanical Delivery [NESN.com]

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Emerging After Tough Spring, Daniel Bard’s Control Could Hinder Chances at Starting Rotation (Podcast) [NESN.com]

Bobby Valentine Still Noncommittal About Daniel Bard’s Role on Red Sox Pitching Staff [NESN.com]

Nuggets for the spring training dog days [Nuggetpalooza]

Lester endures tough day against Pirates [Projo Sox Blog]

Adjustments paying off for Saltalamacchia [Projo Sox Blog]

Ditching Bard-as-starter experiment at this stage doesn’t make sense [Projo Sox Blog]

Calling games, strategizing Shoppach’s forte [RedSox.com]

Iglesias still option to be Opening Day shortstop [RedSox.com]

Shoulder better, Morales fires shutout inning [RedSox.com]

Saltalamacchia finding rhythm, timing at plate [RedSox.com]

Lester looks past stats, pleased with mechanics [RedSox.com]

Good starting points for Alfredo Aceves [Touching All The Bases]

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: AP Photo

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