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Bobby V leaves 'em laughing

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 24, 2012 01:48 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. David Ortiz says he has lost 17 pounds and is on a new diet to combat high cholesterol.

Ortiz also said he gave up alcohol.

"Yeah, me too," manager Bobby Valentine said, rolling his eyes. "Until next dinner."

In other news from around camp today:

Chris Carpenter, who was obtained from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein, arrived and was given No. 66.

I think its kind of cool, Carpenter said. Its not the kind of thing that has happened too often. Guys gets traded all the time, but not for somebody like Theo.

See the Globe tomorrow for more on Carpenter.

Valentine on Jarrod Saltalamacchia: "It seems to me hes a player whos trying to step right into his own. He feels like this is his time. Hes trying to take a leadership role with the pitchers. Weve had a lot of communications sessions and when Ive gotten to those sessions, hes applying himself.

Valentine indicated he has little interest in three catchers, saying it makes more sense to carry an extra pitcher in the American League. That probably means Ryan Lavarnway starts the year in Pawtucket.

Valentine has a way of finding good attributes in previously overlooked players. Luis Exposito is an example. "Exposito has shown great strides from what Ive read and reports and really heard. Hes also a guy whos trying to take a step into his time. He looks very good," Valentine said.

Rookie league catcher Zach Kapstein, the pride of Rhode Island, took live batting practice against Josh Beckett and lined a solid single to left field. When he came up again, Beckett knocked the kid off the plate with a high fastball.

Kapstein knocked the next pitch over the fence in left center. Not bad for a 44th round draft pick.

Daniel Bard always worked from the stretch, even without any runners on base. "I haven't pitched from a wind-up since 2007," he said. "But I'm getting used to it. It's not all that much movement to get to where I was in the stretch anyway."

Bard then demonstrated the difference and there really was little change in how much he moved his body.

"I'm pretty comfortable with it already," Bard said. "I actually think my control is a little better from the wind."

The minor league camp is not officially open yet. But dozens of players have arrived early. Spotted 2011 second-round pick Williams Jerez in the cage today along with well-regarded shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts. Heiker Meneses is one of the players who hit against the big league pitchers today.

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