Ron Roenicke has experienced his share of spring trainings in his more than 40 years in pro baseball. As a bench coach for several different organizations -- including the Red Sox for the past two seasons -- he's also often been in charge with scheduling and planning spring training. But the Sox' first year manager is about to take part in one for which no one can adequately prepare.
In the midst of a pandemic and ahead of a shortened 60-game schedule, players are trickling into Boston this week and will undergo tests and physicals mid-week before Friday's first workout.
The Sox are using Fenway Park as their main headquarters for Spring Training 2.0 although they will also use some facilities at Boston College.
"There's a lot of parts that have to be put into play,'' said Roenicke.
That includes arranging for testing, staggering practice times to accommodate all the players on hand, assigning pitchers who aren't scheduled to throw to the B.C. facility for other work and so much more. Limiting the number of players who are on the field at once will mean players will practice in shifts, which will mean long days for Roenicke and the coaching staff.
"We're trying to get them in quick, get their work done and get them back home quick,'' he said. "It's complicated. I know I've done this for a long time, but all these new things -- I've never had to worry about players being fed before, and all the hours they need with the trainers and checking in (at staggered times), transportation to BC -- all of that is different. But we'll get in figured out.''
After the first five or six days, the Sox will hold daily intrasquad games. It's unknown whether they'll place any exhibition games later in camp. Teams can schedule no more than three.