The Red Sox dropped another spring training game on Friday as they have been skidding on the field this week. Spring training results are, of course, not very important, but it’s still more fun to watch wins than losses, ya know? This one was a 7-5 final score in favor of the Braves, and it was an aggressively Spring Training kind of game. There were players mic’d up, which is always fun. There were non-roster players making a big impact late in the game. And there was plenty of sloppy baseball. We live for this. Some notes!
A mixed bag for a couple of important pitchers
Eduardo Rodriguez got the start in this one, which was the biggest story heading into the game. The Red Sox need the lefty to pick up where he left off last year, and that means getting his work in cleanly with no interruptions in the spring. That part has gone fine. His outing today, though, wasn’t exactly great. Now, beyond the fact that, again, these results aren’t a huge deal, it was also far from a disaster of an outing. Rodriguez ended up getting through four innings and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts. It should be noted, though, that the first run came on a pop up in shallow center field that got caught in the wind and fell in, allowing Freddie Freeman to score all the way from first. That wasn’t really the pitcher’s fault. Overall, it was fine, even if it didn’t really stand out as a big-time outing.
Following Rodriguez was Matt Barnes, who of course is going to play a crucial in the bullpen this year. The good news is he didn’t allow any runs. The bad news is he had some trouble with his control. The righty got into some trouble in the fifth when he allowed a one-out double that was immediately followed by a walk, but he escaped that jam with a grounder and a pop up. Then in the sixth, after a leadoff strikeout, he walked two more batters and his day was over. Fortunately, Colten Brewer came on for him and got out of the jam.
Your daily battle update
There was nothing doing on the rotation front in this game, so we’ll move over to the bullpen. There, Brewer got in the game. As mentioned above, he came into the game with two on and one out and was able to escape the jam, doing so by inducing a big double play. He ended up allowing a run in the seventh, although it was on a couple of singles. Not a great day, but not one that was overly concerning. He’s firmly in the mix for one of those bullpen spots, though I think he’s probably on the outside looking in for now. He’ll bring it down to the wire, though.
Moving over to the position player side of things, Jonathan Araúz continues to look like a very interesting potential utility man. He didn’t start this game, but came in off the bench and went 1-2 with a couple of RBI. With Tzu-Wei Lin and Marco Hernández also in this fight, I have my fake money on Araúz getting one of the two spots. Behind the plate, Kevin Plawecki got the start and went 1-1 with a couple of walks. He’s having a good spring, but it still feels like he’s behind Jonathan Lucroy. I don’t really get it, to be honest.
- We got the full Jarren Duran experience today. He was involved in that pop up falling in that led to one of the runs against Eduardo Rodriguez mentioned above. He also made an error on a base hit where he overran a ball and allowed Adam Duvall get to second. On the other hand, he he had a base hit, then stole second before coming around to score. He’s fun, but not perfect.
- Michael Chavis and José Peraza were the two position players in this game guaranteed an Opening Day spot, and they each had a double today.
- Rusney Castillo had a good game, going 2-2 with a run and an RBI. He’s having a really good spring, though it’s worth noting most of his time has come as a sub against worse pitching.
- Also getting hits in this game who haven’t been mentioned were: Nick Longhi, Jantzen Witte and Connor Wong.
- Also pitching in this game who haven’t been mentioned were: RJ Alvarez, who allowed four runs in 2⁄3 of an inning, and Hunter Haworth, who struck out the only batter he faced to end the game.
The Red Sox have some split squad action on Saturday with half the team heading out to take on the Phillies with the rest staying home to play the Blue Jays. First pitch for both games is at 1:05 PM ET. The game against the Blue Jays will be on NESNPlus, while the Phillies game will be on MLB.TV for subscribers.