FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When lefty Craig Breslow makes his first appearance of Spring Training on Monday, it will be in a Minor League game in Fort Myers rather than in Sarasota, Fla., against the Orioles.
One of the reasons for this is that if the Red Sox start the season with Breslow on the disabled list, they can backdate the move to March 22 as long as he doesn't pitch in front of a paid attendance.
Under that scenario, Breslow would be eligible to pitch for the Red Sox as early as April 5, which would be the fifth game of the regular season.
A key component in last year's bullpen, the Red Sox have brought Breslow along slowly because of his heavy workload last year and the fact that he experienced some arm problems during Spring Training of 2013.
If Breslow doesn't make the Opening Day roster, Brandon Workman or Drake Britton are the most likely candidates to win the last spot on the roster. Workman could have the inside track because of the track record he built in the second half of last season all the way through the World Series.
Promising catcher Butler among latest cuts
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox made their latest batch of cuts Sunday morning, optioning catcher Dan Butler to Triple-A Pawtucket and reassigning pitchers Rich Hill, Dalier Hinojosa and John Ely to Minor League camp.
In addition, veteran lefty reliever Jose Mijares exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, and the Red Sox granted him his release.
With the moves, the Sox have 35 players left in Major League camp, 30 of which are on the 40-man roster.
Though Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart are the catchers in the farm system generating the most buzz these days, Butler is also well regarded and could be counted on to help at some point this season.
"As we mentioned to him on the way out, if the need were to arise, we've got one of three catchers we feel are a foul tip away to come up and replace someone if that need were to happen, so Daniel is clearly in that mix," manager John Farrell said.
Hill, who pitched for the Red Sox from 2010-12, knew it would be tough for him to win a roster spot, given Boston's depth of lefties. And after dealing with the tragic death of his newborn son, Hill arrived in camp in the first week of March.
"Honestly, I thought he did a great job of somewhat catching up to speed under the difficult circumstances he came into camp under," Farrell said. "And we just, it's going to take a little more time to get back to the arm strength that we typically know him at, to have. Innings are starting to dry up a little more now that the starters are getting deeper. That was the move made."
Farrell will mix, match in eighth inning early on
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica both have the stuff to be the primary setup man in front of Koji Uehara, manager John Farrell probably won't designate one person in that role.
Andrew Miller could also be used in the eighth inning, particularly in situations where the Red Sox badly need a strikeout.
"I think they're going to have similar roles. When you have multiple guys with similar talents, we can keep guys a little bit more fresh early on where you can rotate some guys through," Farrell said. "We know with what both guys are coming off of, high number of appearances last year. We'd like to think we can alternate game to game rather than going back to back earlier in the year. That way we can keep guys more fresh, the deeper we go into the season."
Mujica was the Cardinals' closer for most of the 2013 season before fatigue caught up with him down the stretch. Tazawa faltered a little down the stretch last year but was a stalwart in the postseason.