Pitchers getting an early start at the Fort

A few notes from the Boston BBWAA dinner:

• Felix Doubront and Franklin Morales reported to the team complex in Fort Myers, Fla., last week and will soon be joined by fellow pitchers Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Jon Lester. Manager John Farrell, who arrives in Florida on Feb. 1, said Thursday that it was his understanding that many of the pitchers will arrive “well in advance” of the Feb. 12 report date.

• Farrell was in Fort Myers on Sunday to meet with Doubront and Morales. “He looked in great shape,” Farrell said of Doubront. “You see some physical maturity take place and that’s been the case with Felix.”


• New left fielder Jonny Gomes, who was in Boston this week for some promotional activities, is eager to get to spring training. “It’s a new team in a lot of ways,” he said, pointing out the eight free agents added to the roster. “That can be a good thing when you’re trying to change direction. … I think we have a lot of guys who don’t take being in the big leagues for granted but are championship-caliber players.”

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• The Boston BBWAA handed out a number of awards at its annual banquet.

Dustin Pedroia was named the team MVP. Will Middlebrooks was rookie of the year and Clay Buchholz the pitcher of the year. Jarrod Saltalamacchia received the Tim Wakefield award for community service.

Andrew Miller was the relief pitcher of the year and Jackie Bradley the Greg Montalbano minor league player of the year. Daniel Nava won the Lou Gorman award for perseverance and Pedro Ciriaco the unsung hero award.

Mike Aviles won the Jackie Jensen award for spirit. Cody Ross was the media good guy and Terry Francona won the Judge Emil Fuchs Award for long and meritorious service.


• The Red Sox sent a delegation to have lunch with Mayor Thomas Menino. Farrell, GM Ben Cherington and new special assistant Pedro Martinez were in the group.

• Could Martinez, who last pitched in 2009, stage a comeback? “No. No. No. Don’t even think about me coming back,” he said. “No. No. No. I don’t think so. Those three, four years I’ve been away really made clear that I don’t belong on the field any more.”

• The Red Sox are looking for a backup first baseman. But it won’t be Nava. He said he played the position a little in junior college and was willing to try again. But the Red Sox have not asked him to. “If they want me to play first base, I’ll play first base, but no one has approached me about it,” Nava said. “I’ll do whatever. I’ll be a water boy. I’ll wash uniforms.”

• Martinez played with Shane Victorino in Philadelphia and predicted that Red Sox fans would enjoy watching the new outfielder. “Victorino is an interesting person. You’re going to have a lot of fun with him. He’ll run through a wall for a fly ball,” Martinez said.

• Martinez on the state of the Red Sox: “I think we have a ways to go. We have to work hard and keep the team healthy. That has been the key the last few years. We haven’t had it. We haven’t been healthy. I think the team needs to get healthy first. But I think the team has talent. You have the pitching nucleus to actually do it. If you want to do anything in baseball you have to do it through pitching.”