Play Ball! Boston Red Sox spring training games have begun

Finally.

It had been almost five months since the Boston Red Sox took the field to play a baseball game.

Monday afternoon, they played two.

The Red Sox kicked off the exhibition season by beating two college teams, one from Boston College, the other from Northeastern University.

The scores 6-0, and 8-3 are largely meaningless. Not only do the games not count, but they weren’t even against major league competition.

So what stood out for the Red Sox?

It would be hard to find too many negatives to attach to Steven Wright’s outing. The 31-year-old knuckleballer hurled two shutout innings against the Boston College Eagles. Wright fanned four, walked none and allowed two hits.

Wright doesn’t stand much of a chance  to earn a place in the Red Sox starting rotation, but if he can put together an impressive spring then he’ll be in position to be one of the team’s first options in case a starting pitcher gets injured.

If you felt that Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada might have been overhyped, yesterday’s performance won’t do much to halt talk of his seemingly inevitable march towards the majors.

The 20-year-old prospect was 2-for-2. He had a single, a double, scored a run and drove in a run. Moncada is ranked in the top 20 of just about everyone’s top prospect rankings, and yesterday’s performance won’t do much to stem chatter about the phenom’s potential.

Speaking of young talent, Mookie Betts is a former top prospect who has yet to show any sort of glaring weakness. Betts kicked off his 2016 season by hitting a three-run home run against the Boston College Eagles. Betts is on the fast track to becoming the most popular player on the roster.

Hanley Ramriez wasn’t awful at first base, and at the plate he was 2-for-2 with a single and a double. A solid season from Hanley in the field and at the plate  would probably make the 2016 season a successful one.

It would he hard to name a member of the Red Sox more in need of a decent spring than Pablo Sandoval. Monday’s 0-for-2 with one strikeout and four runners left on base was not encouraging.

Monday also marked the return of Red Sox manager John Farrell to the dugout. Farrell had to leave the team last August when he was diagnosed with stage 1 non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt lymphoma.

The fight was successful. Farrell’s cancer is in remission and his return to the dugout is another reminder of how far he’s come since his diagnosis last August.

The Red Sox are off Tuesday. Their next game is Wednesday at 1:05pm against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers Florida. Henry Owens gets the start against Phil Hughes.

 

 

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