"For him to make an effective transition. Whenever he
has pitched from the bullpen in the past, which hasn't
been often, he's done a great job. And he's got the
type of stuff, delivery that should project well in
the bullpen. We just don't want to put too much on his shoulders right off the bat. Let him throw one inning at a time and a blow and see what he can do."
No more pain in the neck:
Lenny DiNardo, who was limited to just 15 games and 42 innings in 2006 between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket because of a neck strain, reported he is healthy.
"Knock on wood it's been very healthy," he said. "I
haven't had any problems since during the season.
There are things I'm trying to stay away from, like overstretching, over exertion."
DiNardo, who pitched in the Arizona Fall League compiling a record of 1-0, with a 2.70 ERA in 10 games covering 13 1/3 innings, expects to arrive in Fort Myers, Fla., for Spring Training around Feb. 10 after a disappointing 2006 season.
"It was very frustrating in the sense that I wasn't healthy," he said. "It's hard enough pitching to Major League batters healthy, but when your neck's bothering you and you're inconsistent, you're worried about overexerting, that is definitely frustrating. But at the end of the season I was healthy and in the Fall League I was healthy. So that's good."
DiNardo will be attempting to earn a spot in a bullpen
that has gotten very crowded this offseason.
"It's going to be interesting with me trying out for a spot," he said. "There's a lot of guys to compete against, but I'm still going to keep focused and stay aggressive out there. ... Just a fair shot, that's all I ask for. I've gotten that the past few years. The Red Sox hopefully will give me another this year, and I expect that they will."
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.