FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When the knuckleball doesn't do what it's supposed to do, it can be a long day at the ballpark.
Red Sox right-hander Steven Wright got a painful reminder of that on Wednesday afternoon at JetBlue Park, as he gave up five hits and five runs in a 9-3 loss to the Pirates. Over two innings, Wright walked three and struck out none.
However, manager John Farrell doesn't plan on making snap judgments on Wright.
"Going back to the final inning in the previous outing and today, just not the consistent feel or the shape to the knuckleball," said Farrell. "It's one of those things where we have to be patient with the pitch and him as a knuckleball pitcher."
Tim Wakefield, the 200-game winner, was again in camp on Wednesday to observe Wright's performance.
"If you look at the bigger picture, he's at the early stages of trying to perfect this pitch, one which is an imperfect pitch … that will be a constant pursuit," said Farrell. "With Wake being here and the amount they can converse back and forth that will be beneficial. But at the same time, he's got to learn that pitching in between the lines and not just on the side. That's part of his development."
No matter what type of camp he has, Wright is expected to start the season in the Minor Leagues, where he projects to start every fifth day.
Papi gets day off, could be nearing game action
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz had a designed day of rest on Wednesday, according to manager John Farrell.
The designated hitter ran the bases on Monday and Tuesday, marking the first time he had done so on consecutive days during camp.
The plan is for Ortiz to go back-to-back again Thursday and Friday, and the club will re-evaluate his program from there.
Ortiz could be nearing game action, but the Red Sox will continue to evaluate him on a daily basis.
"Even David has mentioned he'd like to get a minimum of 50 at-bats [in Spring Training], which we can get on the Minor League side," said Farrell. "Once we get to the point of the recovery becoming a little bit more regular, then we can start to get everyday at-bats, whether it's in games on this side or when we're on the road on the Minor League side, so the important thing is that he's making anticipated progress."
Yaz makes annual foray to Spring Training
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There was a familiar visitor to Red Sox camp on Wednesday morning as No. 8 put on his uniform for the first time this spring.
There was no mistaking Carl Yastrzemski's entrance, as he immediately went to the Minor League batting cage -- the spot he's always been most comfortable at during camp.
Once the Major Leaguers took batting practice, Yastrzemski wandered over to the main field, where he stood behind the cage and shared some laughs with former teammates Jim Rice and Luis Tiant.
Yastrzemski also renewed acquaintances with manager John Farrell and second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Though Yastrzemski has always kept a low profile at Spring Training, he has been coming to Boston's camp virtually every year since he retired in 1983.