BOSTON -- One of the challenges ahead for new Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure will be to figure out the composition of his staff. That includes the roles that will be assigned to Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves -- whether they end up in the rotation or in the bullpen, and how they start in spring training.
"No. 1, however it turns out for either one of them or if there's more than a couple of them, by starting them out as starters in spring training, possibly working on a third pitch, which may be important," McClure said. "Usually if you're a starter trying to get three times through the lineup, is basically if they go into spring training and learn working as starters. Its only going to make them better pitchers pitching them three to four to five innings and if they wind up going back to the bullpen then they go back to the bullpen.
"But from my past experience what Ive seen is that guys actually end up better. Theyre able to work in spring training because theyre working multiple innings on another pitch and that being said I think there's a lot of benefits to doing it. You get to see how it works out as far as endurance, as far as being able to repeat your delivery. A lot of relievers are in the bullpen that have starters' stuff because they dont have the ability to repeattheir delivery for 100, 130 pitches."
But the increased workload will be the primary concern.
"It's always a concern," McClure said. "But it's different with each individual. Basically Id have to revert back to my own experience of pitching my first three or four years in the pen and going right into the rotation and going 150, 170 innings. It depends on body types, it depends on their arms. Everyones a little bit different. Its something you have to watch. Youll be able to see it actually during a game if it's starting to show itself and to prevent injury you want to look at that. But it's really going to be based on the individual, their delivery, how easy it is for him to repeat, how easy can he throw hard. So it depends. If hes a max effort guy, if hes just starting to do this, if hes never done it before, youre going to have to watch it. If a guy has a pretty smooth delivery, its usually it a little easier to go higher in innings. But its something you have to keep your eye on it."