Notes: Webster puts in a Special K performance

Notes: Webster puts in a Special K performance
February 25, 2013, 5:15 pm
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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Steven Wright may have attracted all the pregame attention, but Allen Webster stole the spotlight on the mound.

Webster followed Wright to the mound in the third inning against Toronto and, although he allowed a run, struck out four Blue Jays hitters in a row -- Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarncion, J.P. Arencibia and Brett Lawrie.

Webster touched 99 mph on the stadium radar gun and regularly sat at 96-97 mph.

"I was a little nervous to begin with,'' said Webster, "but once I settled in and settled in my mechanics, everything started flowing good.''

Webster seemed surprised by his velocity and maintained that he wasn't doing anything different this spring to account for the uptick on the radar gun.

"Everything's about the same as last year,'' said Webster. "I'm just staying within my mechanics and getting older and stronger, I guess.''

"Equally impressive as the arm strength,'' said John Farrell, "was that he's got a secondary pitch (changeup) he can go to as a put-away pitch and when he gets in trouble, he's got the ability to slow some people down with the power change which has some action to it. He was impressive -- very impressive.''

Webster, obtained in the mega-deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has never pitched above Double A. He was asked which of the four hitters he struck out was he most nervous to face.

"All of them,'' said Webster, smiling. "It helps [my confidence]. I mean, those were the toughest batters I've faced. I'm just looking forward to facing more.''

He hopes to start the season at Triple A, but is unsure what the Sox have planned for him.

"I would like to [open at Pawtucket],'' Webster said. "It just depends on how I pitch.''

* * *

Outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to impress.

He went 3-for-3 with a run scored, a walk, an RBI and a double and made two fine running catches in center.

"He's either running down a fly ball to the exact spot,'' said Farrell, "or he's hitting good pitching, both left-handers and right-handers. Any time you've got young players who come into camp, you're hopeful that they're going to make a positive impression and he's certainly gotten off to a very strong start.''
* * *
Reliever Craig Breslow (shoulder) hasn't been cleared to throw yet.

"He continues to go through strengthening,'' said Farrell. "The discomfort he was feeling has really cleared up, but through that manual resistance test, we're still working to build that before we initiate the throwing program.

* * *

Mike Napoli (hip) will take swings against Clay Buchholz (hamstring) in a a simulated game Tuesday and will continue to run the bases either Wednesday or Thursday before making his game debut Friday against Pittsburgh.

 * * *

Felix Doubront (shoulder) threw live batting practice Monday and will do so again on Wednesday, with the goal of having him pitch in a game next Monday, March 4.




Dustin Pedroia hit his first home run of the spring, a solo shot in the first inning off Rays right-hander Alex Cobb.


Left-hander Chris Hernandez took the loss for the Sox. He entered the game in the third inning, relieving starter Alfredo Aceves. Hernandez went two innings, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk with a hit batter. He also picked Ben Zobrist off first base to end the fourth.


The Sox were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Maureen Mullen contributed to this report.