Even a tune up session by Red Sox newcomer Chris Sale attracted a large crowd.
The new pitching ace for the Red Sox threw a simulated game of two-innings on Wednesday preparing for his first action in spring training. Sale said everything has gone as planned thus far.
The Red Sox southpaw remained in Fort Myers, Florida at camp while his teammates traveled north to Sarasota to play the Baltimore Orioles. Sale pitched against teammates Steve Selsky and Dan Butler, while Sandy Leon caught behind home plate and fellow hurlers Steven Wright and David Price watched from the dugout.
Sale three to another three batters as Carl Willis the pitching coach and Brian Bannister the assistant pitching coach looked on with Tim Wakefield a former knuckleballer with the Red Sox.
Sale said the session felt good and the day went well as he was finally able to pitch off the mound without a screen.
His pitch total on Wednesday was 38. Solid contact was made during the first inning as Butler lined a shot that in a live game would have been a single.
Sale told reporters following his outing that he had thrown all his pitches and that during the second inning he focused mainly on his fastball and change-up.
Sale is scheduled to make his spring training debut against Houston on Monday in West Palm Beach.
Boston acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox on December 6 for four prospects. During his talk following his workout, he said he felt ready back on December 7 and has been preparing since for his Monday start against Houston.
The southpaw, who will be 28 March 30, is part of a Boston rotation that includes Rick Porcello the reigning Cy Young winner for the American League and Price, who was the Cy Young winner in 2012.
Sale has not reached the postseason in his professional career. This season, Boston is expected to be one of the frontrunners in the AL East after being swept last season in the AL Divisional Series by Cleveland.
Sale added before entering the clubhouse that he has expectations for himself for whatever year and wherever he is playing. He demands a great deal of himself and those around him.
He said if he did not meet the expectations he places on himself he will be more upset than anyone else.