Kevin Pillar is making case study of the quirky dimensions and unpredictable nuances that are unique to the Fenway Park outfield.
The Fenway warning track twists and turns like the road course at Sonoma Raceway. It features an imposing left field wall called the Green Monster with a triangle inserted between the center field wall and the Red Sox bullpen.
Right field at Fenway is a canyon with a waist high fence and tricky angles that can turn singles into triples.
As a visiting center fielder with Toronto Blue Jays, Pillar was slightly familiar with Fenway’s dimensions when he arrived in Boston to begin preparations for the coronavirus-shortened 60-game season. The outfield dimensions at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox training facility in Fort Meyers is a replica of Fenway Park.
“One of the challenges with spring training ending so abruptly and so quickly I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time on the stadium field,” said Pillar following Saturday afternoon’s intrasquad scrimmage at Fenway Park
“A lot of our work was done on the back field and making that transition from part-time center fielder and part-time right fielder. I’m getting comfortable with the dimensions out here. I’m starting to get more comfortable with it.”
Pillar signed a one-year deal with Boston on Feb. 14, just a few days after the Red Sox traded all-star right fielder Mookie Betts to the L.A. Dodgers. Andrew Benintendi will play left field and Jackie Bradley Jr. returns to center.
“I take all my work in right field, especially now that we are here at the stadium,” said Pillar. “I’m comfortable with the configurations out there.
“I’ve never been on this side of the wall. But I’ve been here many times and it’s a place I have a lot of fond memories as a visiting player.
“I know that center field as well as anyone and now getting my work in in right field is extremely important to me.”
Pillar played in 12 spring training games and batted .355 (11-for-31) with four doubles and two RBI. Pillar played on the home team in Saturday’s scrimmage and had three plate appearances against Ryan Weber and went 1-for-3 with a single, a strikeout and a fly to center.
Back in the swing
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said third base prospect Bobby Dalbec has passed the team’s health protocols and will join the team for workouts on Sunday. Dalbec entered the Red Sox organization with the Lowell Spinners in 2016 and spent last season at Pawtucket.
“The update today, Bobby Dalbec has been cleared to resume action with us,” said Roenicke. “He actually joined us today and we had him over at Boston College.
“He hadn’t done much for a couple of weeks so we went pretty slow with him. We just hit some ground balls at him a little bit and took some soft toss swings in the cage. He looked good, looked strong swinging the bat so that’s where we are on him.”
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom has added left- handed pitcher Mike Kickham to the club’s player pool. Kickham will participate in the major league summer camp as a non-roster player.
Kickham brings the pool to 50 players including 37 on the 40-man roster and 13 non-roster players. The pool is broken down to 26 pitchers, six catchers, 11 infielders and seven outfielders.
Around the horn
Red Sox special assistant and former catcher Jason Varitek was calling ball and strikes for the second time in the intrasquad game. Varitek rang up Michael Chavis for the third out in the first inning. … Red Sox owner John Henry and his family were at Fenway for the scrimmage.