FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s different for Rob Refsnyder now.
The outfielder was a nonroster invitee to Red Sox camp last spring, then spent most of his time in Worcester before injuries and underwhelming play by other outfielders led the Sox to call on the 31-year-old veteran.
He made the most of it, batting .307/.384/.497 with an .881 OPS and 6 homers in 177 plate appearances, earning a contract for this season.
He’s secure in his role, but satisfied? Not in the slightest. The game can humble you. If anyone knows that, it’s Refsnyder. Plus, with advanced technology and pitchers having so much access to video, Refsnyder wants to make sure he stays on his toes.
“I feel like scouting and video is just so good now that even if you get into a rhythm, people understand that better,” Refsnyder said Thursday. “Like, which areas you’re hitting well and what areas you’re not. So I think it’s always just going to be changing. You have to be versatile enough to adapt.”
Refsnyder credits hitting coach Pete Fatse and the rest of the staff for helping him unlock his skill set at the plate. He also credits a change to his mind-set. In earlier years, being utilized solely as a matchup guy — mainly when lefties were on the mound — might have gotten to Refsnyder a little more. Not seeing righties got him out of his rhythm a bit, too.
Now, he has a different perspective.
“You can either take it poorly or understand it,” Refsnyder said. “For me, I learned that ‘Hey, there’s somebody on the bench that hits righthanders better than you, and we’re trying to win a game.’ ”
Righthander Noah Song, a 2019 fourth-round pick of the Red Sox, reported to camp Thursday.
But in a Phillies uniform.
Song, who was plucked by Philadelphia in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, spent the last few years honoring his Navy commitment.
However, the Phillies announced Wednesday that he had been transferred from active duty to selected reserves and given permission to continue his baseball career.
“That’s awesome,” said pitcher Tanner Houck, who along with Bobby Dalbec teamed up with Song for Team USA’s Premier 12 tournament in 2019. “I thank him for his service. That’s incredible. But I’m happy for him. I hope that he can go there and chase his dream of hopefully making the big leagues.”
If Song remains with Philadelphia, that dream would have to happen this year. To retain him, the Phillies must keep him on their 26-man roster for the entire season.
Considering that they just came off a World Series berth and are contenders again in the National League, that’s a long shot. Song has not pitched for 3½ years and never made it above short-season A Lowell.
If Song doesn’t make the Phillies squad out of spring training and clears waivers, he could be traded or returned to the Red Sox; they wouldn’t be required to keep him on the roster, meaning Song could join one of the Sox’ affiliates.
If he doesn’t make it through waivers and is claimed by another organization, again, he will have to remain on the 26-man roster.
In 17 innings at Lowell in 2019, Song compiled a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts.
What does Houck remember about him in the Premier 12 tournament?
“I remember he had a good fastball at the top of the zone and a really good curveball,” he said.
For the first time since 2020, the Sox will renew their spring training series against Northeastern with a 1:05 p.m. game Friday at JetBlue Park.
The teams did not meet in 2021 because of pandemic protocols. The 2022 game was canceled by the MLB lockout.
Northeastern is planning to start redshirt junior lefthander James Quinlivan, a Medway, Mass., native who played at Milton Academy.
The Huskies are 2-1 on the year under coach Mike Glavine, who’s in his ninth season.
Lefthander Oddanier Mosqueda, a nonroster invitee to camp, is scheduled to start for the Sox. The 23-year-old from Venezuela had a 4.30 earned run average in 45 appearances for Double A Portland last season.
Jarren Duran will lead off, followed by Rafael Devers in the 2-hole. Masataka Yoshida will hit fourth. Manager Alex Cora made note that Friday’s lineup is not an indication of what the lineup will look like come Opening Day.
The Sox are 18-0 against Northeastern. The game will be on NESN.
Brayan Bello (forearm soreness) continued his progression Thursday, playing catch up to 90 feet. The next step is a bullpen session, which will likely take place Sunday … Chris Sale will throw live batting practice Saturday. It will mark the first time that he faces hitters since being hit on the hand with a comebacker last August against the Yankees.