March 3 Notes: Fifth Starter Candidate Makes First Impression; Dalbec Impresses Again

The Boston Red Sox were back at it again on Wednesday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. Here are some notes from the day’s action.

  1. Nick Pivetta is one of the candidates to earn the fifth spot in the starting rotation on April 1 behind Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, and Garrett Richards. He made his first start of the spring and it wasn’t very long but that’s normal this early in camp as pitchers build up their arms.

The former Phillie went two innings and pitched well excluding the home run he allowed to Twins catcher Mitch Garver in the bottom of the first. Pivetta got Luis Arraez, Nelson Cruz, and Jake Cave to ground out in the first before getting a couple of flyouts and a strikeout in the second.

Pivetta likely has the upper hand over Tanner Houck for the final rotation spot as of now due to his experience in the big leagues, but Houck is younger and still impressed in his short stint last season.

2. Bobby Dalbec looks to be the Red Sox starting first baseman on Opening Day after having an impressive rookie season. He didn’t lose his power over the offseason, as he homered to right-center field off of Twins closer Alex Colome. Colome left a 93 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and Dalbec didn’t miss it. Dalbec wasn’t done–he homered AGAIN in his next at-bat off Glenn Sparkman.

3. Kike Hernandez might be the Red Sox best addition of the offseason due to his versatility and underrated hitting ability. Hernandez doubled twice on Wednesday in his first two plate appearances. Hernandez could be as valuable to the Red Sox over the next two years as D.J. LeMahieu was to the Yankees in his first free agent contract with New York. He probably won’t be an MVP finalist but could see himself at the top of the lineup on a consistent basis.

This isn’t Red Sox related, but the Yankees announced that manager Aaron Boone is taking a leave of absence to receive a pacemaker with surgery expected today. Wishing all the best to Mr. Boone.

(Photo: Steven Senne/AP)

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