Valentine likes what he sees from Sox pitchers

Valentine likes what he sees from Sox pitchers
February 23, 2012, 10:40 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Bobby Valentine got his first look at Red Sox pitchers throwing batting practice Thursday and came away impressed with what he saw.

"BP to hitters is always fun,'' said Valentine. "You know there's a little extra adrenaline for all the guys who get up on the bump. You get to see pitchers outside of a bullpen and that's a step in the right direction.''

Valentine offered his thoughts on the following pitchers:

Jon Lester - "I thought that Lester had really nice downward plane. I thought he was keeping the ball down well. He had pretty good control of his throwing-side of the plate.''

Daniel Bard - "Daniel Bard showed that changeup a few times, showed the breaking ball a few times. He had his two-seamer going well. He looked very healthy, throwing the ball nicely.''

Alfredo Aceves - "Aceves was in complete control of most of his pitches, I was enjoying his stuff as he went out.''

Andrew Bailey - "Seeing Andrew Bailey, first time in the middle of the diamond in a Red Sox uniform was great to see. I thought his curveball and his cutter were just where he wants to be this time of the spring.''

Additionally, Valentine watched as Daisuke Matsuzaka, recovering from Tommy John surgery and not yet ready to throw BP, had a bullpen session.

"That's the best bullpen session he's had,'' said Valentine. "He and pitching instructor Randy Niemann have done video work, they've done a little talking. Dice is trying to be himself.

"He had good finish to his pitches and his delivery. It was pretty good, actually, for a guy who's supposedly as far behind from returning as he is, he had a pretty good pen. I'd say I was surprised at his velocity.''