FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Much of this morning's workout featured the first live batting practice of the spring, with players rotating around the development complex's fields for a taste of game-like pitcher vs. batter action.
On one field, a trio of Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Jed Lowrie stepped in against Manny Delcarmen. Nearby, a triplet of Mike Lowell, Julio Lugo and Jason Bay took cuts against Takashi Saito before giving way to Rocco Baldelli, J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis, who stood in against Billy Traber.
During his daily Q&A, manager Terry Francona noted that: "It's all for the pitchers. It's kind of a necessary evil for the hitters. But we need to get the pitchers out there seeing hitters in the box. It's tough. I know the first day, guys get in there, everyone seems like they're throwing 100, and some were, but that's just part of what you have to do. It's not a lot of fun for the hitters."
The crowds cheered for just about any sort of contact, leading to one humorous moment when Pedroia sprayed a lazy liner that barely reached the outfield grass in shallow left (something a shortstop would have had to barely move to catch) and the crowd ooooh'ed the moment. Pedroia craned his head towards the fans behind the backstop and shot them an incredulous glance.
In the video below, Lowell stands in against reliever Saito. At the top of this entry, Ellsbury, Lugo and Pedroia stand in for some swings.