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Monday, 20 February 2017 20:40

Spring Training 2017 Report: 2/20/17

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The Red Sox are showing off their SnapChat skills during Spring Training. The Red Sox are showing off their SnapChat skills during Spring Training.

Some of Boston's best pitchers tossed their first live batting practice sessions on Monday, drawing rave reviews from both players and managers, while the top prospect in the majors had a loud start to his BP session this weekend.

Pitchers Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz, who are competing for the final two starting slots in the rotation, threw bullpen sessions today.  Manager John Farrell said today was “a good day for both guys”, according to Christopher Smith from MassLive.com.

Both starters were behind in their throwing programs as they came back from injuries, as noted by Jess Thomas and Lauren Campbell in last week's Spring Training Reports.

Chris Sale also threw his first live BP on Monday, throwing mostly fastballs and changeups in his 30-pitch session.  Chris Young, who is 1-for-11 lifetime against Sale, said that “it’s a lot more fun facing him knowing he’s your teammate.”

Here are other News and Notes from Fenway South:

The Red Sox signed corner infielder Mike Olt to a minor league deal on Monday.  Olt was a first round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2010, and was the 22nd-ranked overall prospect in 2012 according to Baseball America.  He was sent to the Cubs by Texas in the Matt Garza deal, but has failed to have any success in the majors, batting .168 in a combined 400 plate appearances with the Rangers, Cubs, and White Sox.  If he can turn things around, Olt could be added to a crowded picture at the hot corner, where Pablo Sandoval will likely start with Brock Holt, Josh Rutledge, and Matt Dominguez in the mix as backups.

Andrew Benintendi channeled his inner Babe Ruth on Sunday, taking Brian Johnson deep on the first pitch of a batting practice session two days after telling the lefty pitcher at lunch that he would homer off of him.  MassLive has the video of that first pitch bomb, which drew laughs from both players.

Speaking of Benintendi, the top-rated prospect in the majors has been drawing compliments from everyone in camp.  Xander Bogaerts thinks that Benintendi is better at age 22 than he was, hitting coach Chili Davis said he loves his disposition, and GM Dave Dombrowski noted that his added bulk is the type of muscle they wanted Benintendi to have coming into this season.

Mookie Betts was the star of Chris Paul’s Celebrity Bowling event, which aired during All-Star weekend.  Betts, who appeared in the 2015 PBA World Series of Bowling, tossed six consecutive strikes to win the celebrity portion of the event.  His no-look reaction to the clinching strike is must-watch:

Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noted that Rick Porcello looked about as crisp as a pitcher could at this point after his first live BP session on Sunday.

Drellich also stated that Hanley Ramirez fouled a ball off of his foot during BP on Sunday, but he seemed okay afterwards.

Todd Frazier could be a mid-season trade target for the Red Sox if Sandoval struggles at third base yet again, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Scott Lauber from the Worldwide Leader writes that Rusney Castillo may be in camp, but he’s really not there since he has no chance to make the team despite a strong winter ball season in Puerto Rico.

If you want MORE coverage of your team, check out Red Sox Beat Podcast here on CLNS Radio! The latest episode is below and check us out on ITUNES as well!

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.