fb-pixel Skip to main content
peter abraham

We finally got to see the new-look Red Sox take the field. Here’s what we saw

A technician inside of a tent used for COVID-19 testing on players and staff before they enter the clubhouse watches as a pitcher works on the agility field Monday.
A technician inside of a tent used for COVID-19 testing on players and staff before they enter the clubhouse watches as a pitcher works on the agility field Monday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

FORT MYERS, Fla. — There are eight white tents of various sizes set up on the grass adjacent to the home clubhouse at JetBlue Park. From a distance, it looks like there’s a carnival in town.

But a carnival would be noisy, and Red Sox spring training 2021 is a quiet affair.

Other than the satisfying sounds of a fastball popping a catcher’s mitt and a hitter making solid contact, the background noise Monday came from birds.

Fans aren’t allowed to watch workouts this season. So instead of the usual crowd of 1,500 who turn out for the first full-squad practice, the only spectators Monday were about a dozen members of the media, half coming from Boston and the others local.

Advertisement



Reminders of pandemic protocols are posted in camp.
Reminders of pandemic protocols are posted in camp.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

A few other observations from Day 1:

▪ A dozen pitchers threw in the bullpen before Martín Pérez and Garrett Whitlock threw live batting practice to Jonathan Araúz and Bobby Dalbec.

Pitchers are always ahead of hitters at this stage, but Araúz and Dalbec had some good swings. Whitlock then punched out Dalbec with a slider.

It seemed that even manager Alex Cora (left) needed a "cheat sheet" to keep track of the many new Red Sox players.
It seemed that even manager Alex Cora (left) needed a "cheat sheet" to keep track of the many new Red Sox players.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Whitlock is a 6-foot-5-inch righthander who was a Rule 5 pick from the Yankees organization.

“A lot of upside. He looked great,” manager Alex Cora said. “He’s a good kid, man, he’s very polite.”

▪ You need a roster to follow this team after all the turnover the last two years. Much of the day was spent trying to figure out who players were. The numbers ranged from 0 (Adam Ottavino) to 99 (Alex Verdugo).

This year's spring training logo is seen on the hat of pitcher Darwinzon Hernández.
This year's spring training logo is seen on the hat of pitcher Darwinzon Hernández.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

▪ Jay Groome appears to be in good shape and worked smoothly in the bullpen. The lefty, a first-round pick in 2016, has thrown only 66 innings since because of injuries.

▪ Chris Sale may be the only professional athlete who could lose weight while being out for a year. He’s skinnier than he was a year ago.

Advertisement



Pitcher Tanner Houck threw in the outfield.
Pitcher Tanner Houck threw in the outfield. Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Jonathan Araúz had his locks swinging in the sun.
Jonathan Araúz had his locks swinging in the sun.Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Alex Cora watched live batting practice.
Alex Cora watched live batting practice.Jim Davis/Globe Staff
There was plenty of sunshine, but no fans around watching the action.
There was plenty of sunshine, but no fans around watching the action.Jim Davis/Globe Staff
A lone security guard sat next to a sign for social distancing which hardly seemed necessary.
A lone security guard sat next to a sign for social distancing which hardly seemed necessary.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.