|Red Sox bring back Lenny DiNardo||12.15.10 at 8:30 pm ET|
The Red Sox are bringing back a familiar face.
The team has agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Lenny DiNardo on a minor-league, split contract. DiNardo confirmed the agreement by phone from Fort Myers, where he is working out. He has taken the team’s physical, with results of an MRI being the only thing remaining to finalize the deal. DiNardo said that he will be ready as either a starting depth option or as a reliever.
DiNardo, 31, spent three years with the Sox from 2004-06 after being selected from the Mets in the Rule 5 draft. He went 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA in 43 games as both a starter and reliever for Boston. He was selected off waivers by the Oakland A’s following the 2006 season, and DiNardo ended up turning in the best year of his career in 2007 under then-Oakland (and now Sox) pitching coach Curt Young. He went 8-10 with a 4.11 ERA in 35 appearances (20 starts) that year.
“[Young] really helped me focus on using my changeup more. And I attribute that whole year to that pitch basically,” said DiNardo. “Up to that point I was mainly just a fastball, cutter guy and I’d throw more curveballs and changeups and in 2007 what turned me around was that I would throw a changeup in any count. If I threw 100 pitches previous to 2007 I’d throw less than 10 changeups and in a few of the games in 2007 if I were to throw 100 pitches it was boosted up to 35 changeups.
“That’s Curt Young. He’s a left handed pitcher who had similar stuff to me and we kind of felt eye-to-eye on a lot of things. He really helped me out.”
However, he struggled to an 8.73 ERA in the majors in 2008 (with the A’s) and 2009 (with the Royals), and ended up spending much of those seasons as well as all of 2010 (back with the A’s) in the minors. He underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow in the middle of the 2010 season, but was back on the mound by Sept., and now feels fully healthy.
Now, pending the results of his MRI, DiNardo is back with a familiar team and pitching coach in the Sox and Young.
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