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Red Sox see Capuano taking bullpen role

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 21, 2014 12:47 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chris Capuano is expected to arrive at Red Sox camp this afternoon. Once he passes his physical, he will be on the field.

Capuano was signed to a one-year deal on Thursday that will pay him $2.25 million. Incentives could add an additional $2.75 million. Manager John Farrell said Capuano will be prepared as a starter and move into the bullpen if he is not needed in the rotation.

"Experience of both starting and pitching out of the bullpen. Clearly gives us a depth starter if that need were to arise," Farrell said. "But at the moment, all things considered, he would pitch out of the bullpen for us."

Capuano has only 29 career relief appearances, four last season. In his career, he has a 3.42 ERA and 1.27 WHIP as a reliever, better than the marks (4.31 and 1.34) he has as a starter.

In 4.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Dodgers in 2013, Capuano allowed four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

The Red Sox could start the season with three lefties — Capuano, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Miller — in their bullpen.

"In our division [it will help] quite a bit when you consider the lineups in this division," Farrell said.

Farrell pointed out that Breslow and Miller were effective against righthanded batters last season, giving the bullpen sufficient balance.

Capuano would appear best suited for the swingman role that Brandon Workman could fill. But with Opening Day more than five weeks away, Farrell isn't concerned about how the pieces will fit yet.

"I could give you an answer but three week from now things could change," Farrell said. "I can't say one person will be any more affected than another. Depending on who's available, guys needing extra time to get ready for the season, unforeseen injuries, anything can happen."

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