FORT MYERS, Fla – Two players who continue to stand out so far in camp are Andrew Miller and Lars Anderson.
Miller threw two scoreless innings and struck out the side in his first inning of work after walking a batter in an 8-3 win over the Twins at Jet Blue Park.
Teams have been waiting for the talented lefty for a long time, but the latest approach taken by Sox pitching coach Bob McClure is “leave him alone.” While everyone has tried to change Miller’s complicated delivery that is made so by his height (6-7), McClure has told Miller to go back to pitching like he did at North Carolina.
“Obviously he was pretty good then and not too mechanical and more just competing. Keep him more simple rather than try to change a couple of things. What ever he’s able to do well, just do that. Hoepfully that clears his thought process,” McClure said..
McClure is one of several pitching coaches who have suggested all sorts of things to him.
“To his credit he’s tried to get better by doing different things,” McClure said. “The ability to sift through the information that works for you and (Bleep) the rest, is very important. Your sift mechanism has to work. The best ones are the ones committed and listen to other things.
“I have faith in Andrew and I think he does too,” said McClure, who was a teammate of Randy Johnson, another tall lefty in Montreal.
What McClure nor Bobby Valentine know what role he’s best suited for. Valentine said he’d prefer him in the rotation if he can show he can win the job. He’s competing with lefty Felix Doubront and righty Aaron Cook for the fifth job.
Miller topped off at 96 mph on the radar gun, but was mostly at 93 mph.
As for Anderson, he looks like the power hitter everyone thought he would be.
He hit a hanging breaking ball for the homer which Valentine said, broke something when it landed in the parking lot.”
Asked about Anderson’s swing, Valentine quipped, “Adrian Who?”
Anderson credits a power-oriented offseason workout for creating more power in his swing.
“In BP this year, I feel a lot stronger,” he said. “I can attriibute that to my offseason. I feel I worked really smart and my training helped me a ton. I could see the ball jumping more than years past and I’m getting older.”
In other news:
Josh Beckett went two innings and worked a lot on his changeups. Scouts gunned him at 88-90 mph. Valentine simply thought getting his first outing out of the way was a good thing.
Jacoby Ellsbury made a terrific catch in center in the wind, while Che-Hsuan Lin, was no Fred Lynn in misplaying a ball in the ninth. Lin is considered a terrific outfielder, but not on that ball.
Valentine praised Tony Pena Jr. pickoff play of Darin Mastroiani betwen third and home, as one of the keys to the game.
Shortstop Mike Aviles went 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Second baseman Oscar Tejeda knocked in a run with a triple in the eighth inning on a well-struck ball. Tejeda is one of Boston’s top prospects.
Lefty Jason Thomas continues to impress striking out two batters in one inning.