Brandon Workman will start the Red Sox first Spring Training game Thursday afternoon against Northeastern University. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Ben Whitehead Contributing Writer
If you don't follow me on Twitter (@thebenwhitehead), then shame on you. Just kidding. Sort of.
But if you do, then you know I have been tweeting a lot with the hashtag #BaseballontheBrain. Well folks, baseball won't just have to be on the brain much longer. It will soon be on the diamonds - as in being played on baseball diamonds.
The Red Sox open their Spring Training schedule Thursday with their annual split squad double-header against Northeastern University and Boston College in Ft. Myers. Grapefruit League action begins Friday when the Sox and Minnesota Twins commence the Mayor's Cup rivalry at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. The two square off again Saturday at Hammond Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Twins.
Thus, baseball is back. And with it comes the first unofficially official pitching rotation. Sox manager John Farrell announced the pitching rotation for the first four games. Although there are several pitchers who spent significant time with the big league club, much of the rotation is filled with young arms looking to impress early on. Take a look at the rotation:
Thursday vs. Northeastern - Brandon Workman (SP), Henry Owens, Noe Ramirez and Burke Badenhop
Rubby De La Rosa will pitch two innings Thursday night against Boston College. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor)
Thursday vs. BC - Rubby De La Rosa (SP), Matt Barnes, Miguel Celestino, Tommy Layne and Alex Wilson
Friday vs. Twins - Anthony Ranaudo (SP), Dalier Hinojosa, Francisco Cordero and Andrew Miller
Saturday @ Twins - Allen Webster (SP), Drake Britton, Brayan Villarreal and Jose Mijares *Each of the first two pitchers listed each game are expected to toss two innings
There is plenty for Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves to be looking forward to this weekend. The future of the Red Sox pitching staff will be on display. This is an opportunity to show their potential big league coaches they are ready to make the next step.
As if the excitement of Spring Training games starting isn't enough, watching these young players as they develop and go out to prove they belong, knowing one day they could be a staple in Fenway Park, just adds to the exhilaration.
I'll say it again: Baseball is on the brain. And thank goodness baseball is back.
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