Worth noting

• Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was held out of the lineup for the second day in a row because of a minor finger injury. He is expected to return on Sunday at Port Charlotte against the Rays.

"We're giving him a little bit of a breather, particularly on his right middle finger," said Farrell. "He hyper-extended it the other day on a slide at second base when he stole second over at Minnesota. We fully expect him to be in the lineup tomorrow, or no later than the next day, but we just felt that we should get ahead of it right now."

• Though he hasn't pitched in a game yet, lefty reliever Craig Breslow is still on track to start the season on the active roster.

"He's still in position to be on time," Farrell said. "He had a very good bullpen yesterday. We're anticipating he'll see hitters by the second half of this week and soon to be in a game."

• In recent years, the Red Sox have been one of the worst teams in the Majors at throwing out basestealers. Farrell said that improving that is a point of emphasis this spring.

"It's ongoing," Farrell said. "We've got a number of things in play right now with the communication between the bench, the catcher and through the pitcher. And yet you balance. You prioritize pitch execution, first and foremost. If there is one pitcher that might be a little longer of an unloading time, you try to combat that with holding the ball and some picks.

"But from the mound standpoint, we're doing everything we can to give that guy a chance to throw and cut down a would-be basestealer."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.