FORT MYERS, Fla. – Chris Capuano is well aware he’s the sixth guy on a five-man staff.
But he also has a good memory. At the start of Dodgers spring training last season they had eight starters.
“And it wasn’t long before I got a chance to start there,” Capuano, a West Springfield native, said. “Once you sign for a team and you’re there, you do what the manager wants you to do to the best of your abilities. I’m ready to contribute in any way I can.”
Capuano, 35, who signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the opportunity to make $5 million with incentives, said he’s excited to pitch at Fenway Park.
“It’s one of the only stadiums I haven’t pitched in yet. I’m glad in spring training we have a replica so I’m looking forward to getting used to it,” he said.
Capuano is a lifelong Red Sox fan and he said coming home was a big reason for his choice. Capuano could also have signed with Seattle, and probably had a better chance to start.
“I was eight years old in 1986 when they lost to Mets. I can remember being devastated as a kid. Grew up watching the Sox and really followed them. When I was in the back yard playing Wiffle ball with my friends, we’d always imagine ourselves on the mound at Fenway. It’s kind of cool to come back.”
Capuano said he will likely be stretched out as a starter. Pitching coach Juan Nieves has outlined a 10-day program for him where he will throw two bullpen sessions and one live batting practice before entering a game.
In other camp news Saturday:
• John Farrell was gushing over Grady Sizemore so far.
“Given to what we’re seeing right now, we’re looking forward to it (seeing him in games),” Farrell said. “But we’re going to have to temper that. His history is well documented. He feels great and two days ago he had a phenomenal day out there. He was running the bases full speed, his defensive work was at full speed, handling live pitching well. Everything has been very good. But we’re either going to have temper our enthusiasm or really how much we push him as he gets into game shape.”
Farrell said Sizemore has bounced back from tough workouts, a sign that he’s responding so far, to the daily drumbeat of the workouts.
“At the end of the day he felt he had solid workday,” Farrell said. “After the workout as couple of days ago he had a little soreness, but that next day he felt great. No need for different treatment or any concerns. So far so good.”
• Farrell also likes what he sees from Andrew Miller who threw an impressive BP Saturday.
“We’re looking for him to be a mainstay in our bullpen,” Farrell said. “Losing him last year was a big blow to our bullpen. His ability to get both righthanders and lefthanders out was huge for us.”
• Daniel Nava has had a stiff neck and has missed the last two days of workouts, but has been on the field as an observer. Nava said he slept the wrong way and hurt his neck.