It has now been just over a week since pitchers and catchers for the Boston Red Sox were required to report to Fort Myers for the start of spring training. Many players set the tone by voluntarily arrived to camp earlier than required; among them were Masataka Yoshida and Chris Sale.
Masataka Yoshida and Chris Sale have been impressive in early spring training workouts
Both players have managed to impress during workouts over the past week, according to multiple sources reporting from Fort Myers. Yoshida, who is entering his first year in Major League Baseball after 7 seasons of professional baseball in Japan, has shown no problem hitting big-league pitching. Chris Sale, who has not logged 25 or more starts in a single big-league season since 2019, has been progressing well as he ramps up to Opening Day.
Masataka Yoshida, whose ability to consistently hit big-league pitching is not fully known, has certainly looked comfortable hitting live BP offerings to all fields delivered by Corey Kluber, Richard Bleier, and Tanner Houck. Several videos of these live sessions have been shared on Twitter by those who were in attendance.
It's still early, but all reports on Masataka Yoshida from spring training thus have been positive. Even his defense, originally pegged as a true weakness in scouting reports, was downplayed by Cora during a press conference last week.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale has also shown a lot of promise so far in camp. Unlikely Yoshida, he has more than enough of a track record to leave little doubt of what he can do on the field, but he needs to prove that he can actually stay healthy for a full season.
So far, Sale has remained on-schedule. Per Gabrielle Starr of the Boston Herald, Sale completed his first of two "up-downs" (bullpen sessions simulating the start-stop of a multi-inning outing, without facing live hitters) today and he looked better and better as the session progressed.
After he completes another up-down, the next step in his progression will be facing live hitters; per manager Alex Cora, this is currently scheduled for Saturday.
Chris Sale is popping the glove with live fastballs; Masataka Yoshida is showing off his as-advertised hit tool; spring training games are scheduled to begin at the end of the week. The excitement surrounding this Boston Red Sox team is growing, and if players can stay healthy it is likely to continue trending in that direction.