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While it was encouraging to see Clay Buchholz make
his spring training debut, Saturday – having been delayed by a hamstring
injury – it was hard to identify anybody other than Allen Webster as the headliner in the Red Sox’ 2-1 win over the Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.
Webster, following up both Buchholz and Alfredo Aceves,
pitched three shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while
fanning a pair. His fastball once again sat in the high 90’s during what
was a 29-pitch outing.
“With each added inning as he went out there, better rhythm, better feel for his secondary pitches,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told
reporters. “Once again, high 90’s with his velocity, good location,
three pitches for strikes. A very impressive three innings. He was
really good, especially the last inning. You can ask the umpires. It was
an impressive performance.”
Webster hit 99 mph on the stadium’s radar gun, as was the case in his
outing in Dunedin. But it might be his secondary pitches that have
separated the pitcher in the eyes of the Red Sox’ coaching staff.
WEEI: John Farrell, and the umpires, were impressed with Allen Webster Saturday
Allen Webster is taking over the show in Florida. Webster continues to improve with each outing and the velocity on his fastball flirts with triple digits.
Webster was a part of the massive trade with the Dodgers and came over with Rubby De La Rosa. The 23-year-old Webster, and 22-year-old De La Rosa, are beginning to make it look like the Red Sox were the huge beneficiaries in that trade.
Though, there is plenty of baseball to be played in the spring, so let's not get too excited. If these guys can continue to perform like this over the next month, then we can start planning for a parade.
Related: Herald: Good word on Allen Webster | Globe: Another impressive day for Webster
On Page 2, Clay Buchholz felt good in his first spring start
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“He used all his pitches,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “First time on
the mound, I think with each added inning -- he likes to pitch with a
constant mix, using all his pitches – I think with repetition, sharpness
will come. No ill effects with the hamstring. So a good day of work.” Buchholz, who was not involved in the decision as the Sox beat the Twins, 2-1, was satisfied with his outing. “It
was good to get out there,” he said. “Everything felt good. I was
little amped up at the beginning. Left a couple pitches up in the zone
and lost a couple hitters in some counts that we’d like to either let
them get themselves out or put them away. But given the fact that this
was the first time out, I was happy with everything. Felt like the ball
was coming out of my hand good, and used just about all my pitches.”
CSNNE: Buchholz: 'Everything felt good' in first Grapefruit League start
That's great news. So, Buchholz wasn't lying when he said we shouldn't be concerned when it happened. It's refreshing to hear the truth from a member of the Red Sox.
The rest of the links:
Herald: WBC rich in storylines: There's a lot to watch and wonder about this year's tournament | Sox lineup today vs. Yankees | Bud Selig calls for tougher drug penalties | MLB notes: Blue Jays boss knows nothing's assured | Shane Victorino leaves for Old Glory | Buckley: Sox may win over fans | Craig Breslow has no Trumbull recalling | Confounding Alfredo Aceves is hard to figure out | David Ortiz's injury tough to shake | Buchholz starts up his '13 | Globe: Grapefruit League Game 10: Yankees at Red Sox | Tough crowd in the clubhouse | Clay Buchholz makes spring debut with 40 pitches for Red Sox | ESPN Boston: Bradley to start in RF vs. Yankees today | WEEI: David Ortiz may be ready to play by the end of next week | CSNNE: No guarantee Ortiz will be ready for opening day | Notebook: Aceves gets win for Sox before leaving for WBC | Victorino gets final tune-up before the WBC |