Padilla feels good after first outing

Padilla feels good after first outing
March 6, 2012, 3:50 am
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Vicente Padilla is an intriguing candidate for the No. 5 spot in the Red Sox rotation.

After missing most of last year with a series of injuries, Padilla is healthy again and his stuff can be impressive.

"I feel good," said Padilla, with help from teammate-translator David Ortiz. "I've been working hard and I'm right where I like to be."

Making his Red Sox spring debut Monday night, Padilla pitched two scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins, showing a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, and his infamous slow curve, which he throws about 50-55 mph.

"I throw it when, in my mind, it's the last thing the hitter is thinking about," said Padilla. "I have good velocity on my fastball, (and when I throw the slow curve), I try to make the unexpected happen."

Padilla has pitched in relief at times -- and was briefly Don Mattingly's closer at the start of last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers -- but his clear preference is to start.

"As a starter, I feel better because I use more of my pitches," said Padilla. "I've (mostly) been a starter. But I'm (open) to whatever. I want to help this ballclub one way or another."