Alex Speier

Being Flexible

Alex Speier -Premium Content

For much of the offseason, it seemed unclear when (or even if) Jed Lowrie would ever enter the home clubhouse at Fenway Park. Lowrie seemed destined to lose a game of infield musical chairs despite showing a good approach at the plate while whacking 68 extra-base hits for Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2007.

Majors | #2008#Boston Red Sox#Organization Reports

Catching On Quickly

Alex Speier -Premium Content

The Red Sox hoped they had found their catcher of the future in the 2005 draft. That still may prove to be the case, but not in the way they originally expected. Boston took Jon Egan in the second round, but he struggled with injuries throughout his short professional career and retired in March. But Mark Wagner, plucked out of UC Irvine in the ninth round, has shown an advanced all-around game in his early pro career.

Majors | #2008#Boston Red Sox#Organization Reports

Change For The Better

Alex Speier -Premium Content

The low-90s fastball and sweeping slider had already elicited swings and misses. But it was Nick Hagadone's final pitch in an intrasquad game this spring that stood out. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound lefthander spun a changeup that left a righthanded-hitting minor leaguer lunging. Catcher Luis Exposito greeted the pitcher enthusiastically in the dugout.

Majors | #2008#Boston Red Sox#Organization Reports