Red Sox

Beckett less than stellar . . . again

191542.jpg

Beckett less than stellar . . . again

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. For the third consecutive outing of his five starts this spring Josh Beckett turned in a less-than-stellar performance. Against the Blue Jays Friday night at City of Palms Park, he went six innings, plus one batter in the seventh (whom he hit with a pitch), allowing seven runs, all earned on 11 hits and no walks with five strikeouts, as the Red Sox lost 11-8.

The first batter in each inning reached base, including Corey Patterson to lead off the game with a first-pitch double to center field, one of three first-pitch, lead-off doubles Beckett allowed.

Results aside, I felt like I did some things that weve been working on, Beckett said. I felt like they were a little comfortable for the first time. I got to take some positives away from that. But obviously the results are what they are.

Beckett said he is becoming more comfortable with adjustments he and pitching coach Curt Young have made to his delivery.

Yeah, especially out of the stretch, he said. I had plenty of practice today on it. It was just something weve been emphasizing trying to get comfortable with, some things that weve altered a little.

Its more mechanical stuff for me, just getting comfortable with some of the new things that Curt and I been working on.

In his last three outings against the Pirates twice and the Blue Jays Beckett has pitched a combined 14 23 innings, giving up a 16 runs, 13 earned, for a 7.98 ERA.

Obviously you look at the results and theyre not good, he said. Today I got to take some positives. I felt like I threw the ball good. I felt like there was the home run that Adam Loewen hit I felt like was a pretty good pitch. Probably wasnt the right pitch at that time because we had him out front on some changeups and stuff like that. Like I said, the results stink but there were some good things that happened today.

The two good things were he got real stretched out and he felt real good physically, said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. He made some mistakes. It seemed like the first hitter of almost every inning was on. So he was pitching out of the stretch. Saying that, once he got to that point I thought he made some good pitches. There were some pitches that still wandered back over the middle, got hit pretty good. But he feels real good physically. I think its one of those things where in March youre glad he feels good and the runs dont count.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

red-sox-tyler-thornburg-032817x.jpg

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

cp-red-sox-kimbrel-100917.jpg

Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Coming off a phenomenal season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel spent the offseason in Boston. Not to be closer to Fenway Park, but for proximity to something far more important: the city’s first-rate medical community.

Kimbrel’s daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with a heart issue.

MORE RED SOX:

“It’s been a lot,” Kimbrel said Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods. “My wife and I, we’ve kept it kind of private. But when she was born, she had some heart defects so we decided to stay in Boston and work with Children’s Hospital and just been going through that ordeal and it’s had its ups and downs but she’s doing great right now."

Focusing wasn't always easy in season, but Kimbrel said his daughter's condition has motivated him even more.

“They always say when you have a child, things change and they have," he said. "I’m definitely more focused towards her and her needs and our family needs. It’s just one day at a time and give everything I got. It’s real easy to look at her and understand everything I’m doing is for her and it makes it a lot easier.”

Kimbrel and his wife, Ashley, found out early in the 2017 season that they would be staying in Boston for the winter and were preparing.

“Everything has kind of gone as planned so far,” Kimbrel said. “She’ll have another surgery during spring training, so I’ll come back to Boston for a week and do that, but it’s been good. It’s definitely been tough, but one of the happiest, joyful times of our life.”

"Being in Boston, we feel blessed, because the doctors are the best in the world. Being able to work with them has been great.”

Kimbrel said his wife has stayed in touch with Travis Shaw’s wife. The Shaw family has had a similar experience, Kimbrel said.

“It seems like they’re doing pretty good,” Kimbrel said. “It’s been very encouraging to see.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE