Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Since John Farrell has taken the reigns to lead the Boston Red Sox, one aspect of this team has glaringly improved...the starting pitching.
“Overall it’s been consistent,” Farrell said. “Individual guys have
taken the adjustments they’ve worked on and taken them into the games
and that has been encouraging.
“There’s been some reverting back at times to old habits. [But] with
each successive appearance, they’re starting to solidify those changes,
which is why we’ve seen the consistency.”
The Sox rank first in the majors in ERA this spring (3.54), first in
opponent average (.241), and first in opponent OPS (.667). They also
rank fourth in the majors with 175 strikeouts, second among American
League teams to the Tigers’ 182.
“We’ve tried to get back to a basic formula,” Farrell said. “Attack
the zone, throw more strikes. Work quick. Dictate the tone or tempo of
the game. Guys are realizing if they’re in control it takes away the
downtime where other thoughts might creep in. The defense likes it, and
umpires have made some candid comments.”
Globe: Red Sox pitchers have been picking up the pace
The new manager and former pitching coach has been tenacious in improving the starter's habits, which has been paying off so far in Spring Training.
For the past few years, Red Sox starting pitchers have been dreadful and underachieving. They got too cute with their pitches throwing around the batter and were slow as molasses. The worst part? The starters were too comfortable and ultimately developed poor habits; which we all know took its toll on the team.
Of course, we all know who to thank for influencing those lackadaisical habits...the Texas Tough Guy himself Mr. Josh Beckett, who is easily one of the slowest pitchers in the MLB. Papelbon was slow too, but at least he was intense and actually cared about his performance.
The starting rotation will be a breath of fresh air this season, not only for the coaching staff, but for fans watching the games as well. The pace will be picked up and Red Sox pitchers will finally be going after the hitter, rather than pitching around him. For the most part, four-hour games will be minimal.
Just a note for fans: buy your tickets when the Toronto Blue Jays are in town and Mark Buehrle is on the mound, who is probably the fastest working starter in the majors. If Sox starters continue their fast pace like we're seeing in Spring Training, I guarantee you'll be out of the game in under three hours.
Rest of the links- Herald: No easy solution for Red Sox DH void | Herald: Clay Buchholz picks up pace | ESPNBoston.com: Drew to see specialist if symptoms persist | ESPNBoston.com: Buch shines, but Sox seek help | Projo: Red Sox coach brings new infield strategy | CSNNE.com: Red Sox success hinges on play of Lester, Buchholz