Morning briefing: Game 6 v. Red Sox


BRADENTON, Fla. — Gaby Sanchez tweaked his knee while making an awkward, aborted slide into third base the other day against the Blue Jays. Tests showed no structuarl damage and he took some swings in the batting cage this morning.

>> This will be Travis Snider‘s first game this spring in the outfield. He was the designated hitter Sunday. … Relievers Tony Watson, Justin Wilson and Mark Melancon will make their spring training debuts today. … Closer Jason Grilli is tentatively set to make his spring training debut Thursday against the Blue Jays.
>> During yesterday’s game, Phillies broadcaster Matt Stairs recalled when he and Snider were teammates with the Blue Jays. Snider used to bring Stairs a fresh cup of coffee every day during spring training. “Two creamers, extra sugar,” Snider said. Said Stairs: “He’s a good kid — and he made a great cup of coffee.”
>> Jake Peavy originally was scheduled to start today for the Red Sox, but he sliced open his hand with a fishing knife. … The Sox are bringing two players of note to McKechnie today: ex-Bucco Brock Holt and (future Bucco???) Mike Carp. The Pirates reportedly have scouted Carp with an eye toward a possible trade. Carp plays first base, but he’ll be the designated hitter today.

Mike Carp waits to start infield drills at McKechnie Field this morning.
Mike Carp waits to start infield drills at McKechnie Field this morning.

During the media scrum a few minutes ago with Red Sox manager John Farrell, I asked him what made Carp so successful last year off the bench. Farrell’s reply: “His acceptance of the role can’t be overlooked. We felt that, fundamentally, he has a very compact swing, a low-maintenance swing, so inconsistent playing time, he’d be equipped to handle it. It goes back to his acceptance of the role and how he prepared — not just day to day, but leading up to potentially pinch-hitting at some point in a game. I think Jonny Gomes had a lot of conversations with him. He’s a guy who had a long history of being that type of player. Our guys last year, their conversations around the game of baseball were so evident and so regular that they fed off one another. And Mike Carp had a number of big games for us.”

Red Sox (1-2) @ Pirates (3-1-1), 1:05 p.m., McKechnie Field
Online: Weather: Sunny, 77 degrees
Red Sox: 1. Daniel Nava LF, 2. Jonathan Herrera 2B, 3. Mike Carp DH, 4. Ryan Lavarnway 1B, 5. A.J. Pierzynski C, 6. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF, 7. Bryce Bentz RF, 8. Garin Cecchini 3B, 9. Brock Holt SS. Brandon Workman RHP
Pirates: 1. Starling Marte LF, 2. Russell Martin C, 3. Andrew McCutchen CF, 4. Pedro Alvarez DH, 5. Neil Walker 2B, 6. Travis Snider RF, 7. Andrew Lambo 1B, 8. Robert Andino 3B, 9. Clint Barmes SS. Francisco Liriano LHP
Today’s backups: Jaff Decker, Gregory Polanco, Chris Dickerson, Chris McGuiness, Brent Morel, Alen Hanson, Jordy Mercer, Matt Hague, Chris Stewart, Nevin Ashley, Carlos Paulino, Omir Santos, Jose Tabata, Josh Harrison, Michael Martinez.
Today’s other pitchers: Scheduled: Edinson Volquez, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris and Jared Hughes.
– Rob Biertempfel