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Red Sox pitchers start facing some hitters

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 23, 2012 05:35 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves, and Andrew Bailey were among the pitchers who threw live batting practice to minor leaguers.

They threw from behind a screen.

“You get to see pitchers outside of the bullpen and that’s a step in the right direction,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “I thought Lester had really nice downward plane, as they like to say. He was keeping the ball down well.”

Bard worked on his changeup and sinker, two secondary pitches he will need as he makes the transition to starter. Aceves also showed unusually good command of his pitches for so early in the spring.

“Seeing Andrew Bailey for the first time in the middle of the diamond in a Red Sox uniform was great to see,” Valentine said. “I thought his curveball and his cutters were just where he wants to be this time of the spring.”

The minor leaguers included Brandon Jacobs, Bryce Brentz, Daniel Nava, Zach Kapstein and Jeremy Hazelbaker.

"Brentz has a chance to be special," said Valentine, who threw batting practice to the Class A outfielder earlier this week. "Good to see him out there."

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