"This is probably the strongest I’ve ever felt going into a season -- and by far,” Bogaerts said, via the website. “I’m definitely real excited for the season.”
Bogaerts, 22, had an up-and-down 2014 season, his first full year in the majors. He finished at .240 with 12 homers and 46 RBI in 144 games.
He'll spend a few more weeks training in Arizona before reporting to spring training.
“I kind of never challenged my body to lift heavier weights because I’ve always tried to kind of maintain the same,” Bogaerts said. “Getting the knowledge from those kind of guys and just trusting the whole system that they have over there and just pushing your body, it’s really a difference than any years I’ve had in the past.
“It was mostly gym and conditioning and speed and stuff like that, power and speed. It was definitely something that I really enjoyed.”
"It's probably been one of the more awkward things for me this winter in dealing with that situation," Molitor said, per MLB.com. "Obviously, I have to go in there open-minded about how it will play out. I can't say Santana will be the shortstop because things can change. Escobar deserves an opportunity to play and whether it's spotting around the organization or he has to go back to shortstop, I can't tell you it all will work out."
Escobar started a team-high 86 games at shortstop in 2014 for Minnesota. He made it clear he wants to play every day, but is willing to play where Molitor needs him.
"This season is important for me," Escobar said. "I'm coming in ready to play. I don't know if I'm going to be the starting shortstop or not, but I've been working hard to be ready for spring training. If Molitor wants me to play shortstop, or wherever, I'm ready for it."
Santana said he is excited he is moving back to shortstop after making a team-high 62 starts in center field last year. He's been fielding 200 grounders per day in the Dominican Republic to get ready for the season.
"I'm very happy about playing shortstop. I was waiting for that moment," Santana said. "Shortstop is my natural position. I just need to keep working and I can do the same thing as last year."Analysis:
The Red Sox signed Ramirez in the offseason with the intent of having him play in left field. Ramirez has never played in the outfield during his career, but has been working on outfield mechanics, including tracking balls and hitting the cutoff man. Ramirez believes the switch from the infield to the outfield will be seamless, once he receives enough experience, reports ESPN.com.
"I think if I put in all the work that I need to put to get better it's not going to be that hard," Ramirez said.Analysis:
"The short answer is yes, I'm under the impression he's ready (to play everyday). That being said, he still has to go out there and do it," Ausmus said. "We've got to get him out there and see if he can withstand a pounding. But as of right this second, we're under the impression he'll be healthy."Analysis:
Gonzalez posted a .277 batting average, a .400 slugging percentage, with 23 RBI over 285 at-bats last season.Analysis:
"I’m anxious because I want to show them I’m ready and I’m back, and my ankle is feeling great," he said.
Correa, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, has logged just 229 games in the minors and hasn't played above high Class A. Although, it seems he is very eager to make his MLB debut.
“I can’t wait for the moment to be up there," he said.Analysis:
Romine appeared in 94 games during the 2014 season, spending most of his time at shortstop, and he's also seen time at second base and third base in his major-league career (as well as one pitching appearance). His only playing time in seven minor-league seasons also came at those same three infield positions.
If Romine is able to handle the outfield defensively, he could serve in the a similar role as utility player Don Kelly, who saw action at every position at all three outfield positions as well as work at first base, second base and third base in each of the Tigers' last two seasons.
Romine, who is out of options, is expected to compete for a roster spot with infielder Hernan Perez, who will also get some playing time in the outfield. Romine hit .227/.279/.275 with two home runs, 12 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 251 at-bats in his first season with the Tigers in 2014. Perez, who has split time primarily between shortstop and second base in the minors, hit .287/.331/.404 with six home runs, 53 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 547 at-bats with Triple-A Toledo.Analysis:
Manager Lloyd McClendon shared similar sentiments Thursday.
"We had two young men who performed well in spurts," McClendon said. "They’ll be given the opportunity to battle [this spring]."Analysis:
O'Malley was with the Angels' organization last year. He hit .317/.400/.464 in 103 games between Triple-A Salt Lake City, Double-A Arkansas and the Arizona League squad. He hit .188 over 16 major-league at-bats last season.Analysis: