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John Farrell: ‘An encouraging day’ for Clay Buchholz, Mike Napoli ‘gradual’ improvement

02.13.13 at 4:10 pm ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox manager John Farrell reported some encouraging news on pitcher Clay Buchholz Wednesday, one day after suffering a “mild” hamstring strain in his right leg.

“A good day for Clay Buchholz. He’s responded favorably to treatment. His range of motion is good, his strength is good. He still has some sensation in a smaller spot [of leg], more localized than yesterday. He actually threw after the workout, not off a mound, but [we were] able to put a ball back in his hand and an encouraging day for him.”

On Jon Lester: “He’s a vital member of our team and certainly our rotation. Just having Jon pitch to his capabilities and talent, there’s a number of years that speak to that. He’s going through a number of adjustments and today was a good day with that. He had a very strong bullpen and is doing some of the things within his delivery that are consistent, consistent with what he was a couple of years ago. More importantly, he was locating the ball down in the strike zone so it’s the first bullpen [session] but it was a good one.”

[Pitching coach] Juan [Nieves] and I are going to have a lot of conversations, not just about Jon but every pitcher we have here and recognizing some of the things he’s doing now versus last year and the video that’s been reviewed. Really, to the extent that Jon is putting himself in a good position to deliver the baseball. Good work day for him.”

On the progress of Mike Napoli, who will have an MRI Thursday after live BP Wednesday in Fort Myers: “That will be a gradual increase in baseball activities. Right now, there’s no impact or pounding. We’ll get the evaluation of his doctor in New York, once it’s reviewed, the MRI results. Then, there’ll be a work plan laid out, not only volume but the type of work that will follow from that point.”

“Right now, everything still points to him being ready for opening day. The next couple of days is going to give us a lot of information on how we can start his progression with more on-field activity.”

On Jonny Gomes: “He’s going to add a helluva lot of personality in the clubhouse, I know that, which is consistent with the reputation he has as a player. He’s a hard-working guy, loves to play the game, loves to compete and when you talk to players that have been teammates of his, there’s been nothing but rave reviews of the personality, the teammate he is and the liveliness he creates in the clubhouse, all in a good way. He’s a breath of fresh air.”

“We know for a fact that he’s been much stronger against left-handed pitching. That’s a given. If he shows he can handle some right-handed pitching, we’re not going to take that away from him. We’re going to give him opportunities to do that in spring training and certainly as we get into the season.”

On Will Middlebrooks: I think there are areas defensively, just with his consistency and footwork, maybe his range to his glove side, I know are focal points that he’ll work with [infield/3B coach] Brian [Butterfield] here. But once again, when you talk about a young, talented player, still going through that cycle full-season for the first time, we’ll get to know more about him as well. I know one thing, I’m glad he’s here.”

Read More: 2013 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, John Farrell
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