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Farrell on tour to talk to some pitchers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 17, 2013 08:38 PM

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Red Sox manager John Farrell is going to get a first-hand look at some of his pitchers in the next few days.

Farrell will meet with righthander John Lackey in Dallas on Friday before traveling to the team complex in Fort Myers, Fla., to sit down with Felix Doubront and Franklin Morales. The two lefthanders from Venezuela arrived a few days ago.

On Sunday, Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves will be in Mississippi to watch Daniel Bard throw off the mound.

Farrell will then return to Boston for three days of organizational meetings.

“It’s a continuation of reconnecting with a number of guys either in person or over the phone,” Farrell said. “Getting in front of guys, I thought, was important this year."

Bard is the most intriguing of the group. The righthander, once a dominant late-inning reliever, lost his command and velocity after being converted into a starter last season. He is returning to the bullpen.

Farrell has been speaking with Bard on a regular basis over the winter. There are changes, physical and mental, in the works.

“In talking to Daniel, the most encouraging thing in a situation like this is he’s aware of the changes that have taken place,” Farrell said. “Unwinding those changes and getting him back to the basics and what he was doing previously and the strengths that he has, he has a clear view of where that needs to settle in from.”

Farrell said Bard tried to be “too fine” as a starter and lost the aggressive approach that once defined him. Over the course of the winter, Farrell has noticed Bard becoming more confident.

“As he’s picked up a ball and gotten back into the throwing program, he’s felt some things naturally come back, particularly his arm slot,” Farrell said. “I’m not going to say time cures all. We’re not going to put his challenges aside and pretend they didn’t happen. But as he’s gotten further away from it, he’s had a fresh outlook. The workouts he’s done through this offseason have been very consistent and strong.”

Bard will throw off the mound for the first time on Sunday.


• Farrell recently spent time with Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia in Arizona.

• Cherington said the Red Sox want to sign more of their arbitration-eligible players before figures are exchanged on Friday. “We’ve been working all week. We’ll work tonight and tomorrow and see if we can settle some more,” Cherington said. The Red Sox have not done to an arbitration hearing with a player since 2002, when they could not settle with righthander Rolando Arrojo.

• Cherington said the WBC experience should be a good one for the 20-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts. With Andrelton Simmons and Jurickson Profar on the Dutch roster, Bogaerts will likely change positions.

“I wouldn't expect him to put on the catchers' gear or anything like that,” Cherington said.

• The Red Sox Town Hall, taped on Friday at La Salle Academy, will be aired on NESN on Saturday at 11 p.m. During the show, Farrell said that he anticipates hitting Shane Victorino second against lefties, Pedroia second against righties.

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