Red Sox News: Duvall adds speed, Pivetta ramps it up & Rafaela talk

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 27: Adam Duvall #18 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 27, 2023 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 27: Adam Duvall #18 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 27, 2023 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox are creating some buzz in Spring Training, but it all means nothing if it doesn’t translate to the regular season.  One of the biggest X-factors in 2023 is the veteran bat of outfielder Adam Duvall.

Coming off a down season with the Atlanta Braves Duvall is a slugger capable of 30+ homers, a feat that was hampered by a wrist injury in 2022.  Healthy, the Red Sox are counting on and hopeful of that type of season in 2023.

Not only could the lineup use the jolt, especially as support to Rafael Devers, the team could use that veteran leadership on and off the field.

Adam Duvall the Red Sox player to watch in 2023

As an above average outfielder defensively, Duvall should have no problem adjusting.  But to make sure covering the outfield won’t be a problem, the new Red Sox outfielder has been working on his speed and endurance.

In changing the way he trained, both of those attributes should help offensively as well.

"“We did some incline treadmill sprints like 8 to 10 seconds, full go,” Duvall said, as transcribed by  “It’s self-propelled.  So as fast as you can run, that’s what it’s gonna go.  And just trying to build up that endurance.“We did some longer slid pushes.  It’s a sled where you load weights, and we would sometimes do up to 60-yard pushes on the minute and as fast as you can go.  So trying to build that endurance up, especially at the end of the workout after you’ve done all your speed work and first steps and reactions and things like that.”"

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While the defense is obviously important, the change in training should give his performance at the plate a boost as well.  There is no doubt about the power as Duvall is just two seasons removed from smashing 38 homers, but the quickness with the bat and also speed on the bases will help set up some scoring opportunities, especially if he is hitting ahead of Devers in the lineup.

Red Sox on the mound: Nick Pivetta takes a step

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Boston Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

One of the keys to Red Sox success in 2023 is the pitching of Nick Pivetta.

Off to a slow start in Spring Training, the Sox veteran pitcher is looking to get it all together before the start of the regular season.  With Chris Sale back in the mix, Pivetta is one of the veteran starters who need to step up near the top or middle of that pitching rotation.

So, obviously, getting him right is essential for a Sox rotation that is depending on a lot of “what ifs”.

Stepping back on the mound on Thursday, Pivetta did struggle a bit, but came away from Spring Training matchup against the New York Yankees with some positives.  After the Yankees made him battle through the first 1 2/3 innings of the game, Pivetta did finally settle down to end his outing on a good note by striking out Anthony Rizzo.

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In all, Pivetta threw strikes and took a step in the right direction as far as ramping up for the regular season.  He also felt good, which is the goal with his outings on the mound this spring.

"“I felt good; just the pitch count kept me from going further,” Pivetta said, via  “The only uncompetitive at-bat was probably [Josh] Donaldson [who walked on five pitches in the second inning].  That’s about it.  The rest was pretty smooth sailing.”"

What the Red Sox need is for Pivetta to ride that smooth sailing into the 2023 MLB season.

Red Sox rookie watch: No. 3 prospect Ceddeanne Rafaela impressing

The Boston Red Sox have an outfield star in the making as Ceddeanne Rafaela continues to impress defensively.

With speed, an instinctive presence in the field, Rafaela will be as advertised in the field.  Offensively is where the work is needed and if he can put it together at the plate, the Red Sox got themselves a player.  It’s really just a question of when rather than if Rafaela makes his MLB debut in 2023 which could come at either short stop or as outfield depth.

"“Defensively as advertised.  He makes it look easy over there,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.  “Offensively, he can impact the baseball.  There’s some work to do, right? …But sometimes we get caught up on this whole things about chasing pitches and all that stuff and take the aggressiveness from the hitter, and we don’t want that because he can impact.”"

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So far this spring, Rafaela is hitting .238 with 4 RBI in 21 appearances at the plate.  He’s not hitting the cover off the ball, but at such a young age, he has time to put it together offensively and that is what the Red Sox are banking on.