Boston Red Sox manager Bobbie Valentine is trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together as his full team, not just pitchers and catchers, are set to take the field for the first time in Fort Myers, Fla. on Saturday. This is his his first spring training with the Red Sox as he was hired in November. This isn't the first time he's managed a professional baseball team, he was the manager of the both the Rangers and the Mets at one point, but that doesn't mean that his first experience with the Red Sox isn't stressful.
According to ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald and Gordon Edes, right now his main focus is just getting to know his players.
"To me, I'm still trying to get to know everybody. That's my main chore.
"I'd like to get that first meeting (full squad, Saturday morning) over with. I heard there's a lot of introductions, talking. I want to get pitchers on the field with players. We've got 60-plus players in camp, there are six practice fields we're trying to utilize all the time. It's a lot more work than, ‘Oh, good, this is really enjoyable.'''
Pitchers and catchers have been taking the field for practice for a while now, and that has been Valentines main focus. However, all the other players show up on Saturday to get their spring training started. Even though most of them are in Fort Myers, Valentine has only seen a couple of them and introduced himself to one or two.
"I have been focused so much on pitchers and catchers. I briefly said hello to Dustin (Pedroia), saw him once out here. I've barely seen anybody else of the position players. I had a couple of nice little talks with Carl (Crawford) because he was early. But tomorrow that page turns. Tomorrow is the full squad.''
In early March, the Grapefruit Exhibition league games start and Valentine was asked whether or not he would stick with certain pitcher-catcher pairings by that point in spring training. Valentine said he hopes by that point, pitchers will get comfortable in some kind of a rotation and that three of his pitchers, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway, will likely get the majority of the playing time.
Valentine, keeping mostly with his pitching staff, also spoke of Chris Carpenter, who was sent to Boston from the Chicago Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein. Valentine said that he briefly spoke to Carpenter but that he still doesn't know if the pitcher is happy with his new home or not.
"(Carpenter) said he was better today mentally, so it must have been a little confusing for him. I can understand that. (The decision came) so late. Leave the house, get settled in, then have to leave and move your family, it's very difficult I think. How he views this opportunity, I have no idea if he's thinking this is a better place to be or not as good a place, if he's been told something.
"It'll be a footnote (being traded for Epstein). We should take the kid into consideration. It is difficult.''