Abad, competing for job, proud to play in Classic

Abad, competing for job, proud to play in Classic

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Fernando Abad returned to Red Sox camp on Monday reflective of his experience pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, but also mindful of the fact he still has a job to win.

Robbie Ross Jr. is the one left-hander who is sure to win a spot in Boston's bullpen. Abad, 31, is the favorite in a competition with Robby Scott and non-roster invitee Edgar Olmos to be the second southpaw.

"I know I'm fighting for a spot, but I did what I had to do pitching [for the Dominican] when they gave me the ball," Abad said.

Abad's most memorable experience in the Classic game on March 16, when he entered a scoreless game against Venezuela and got an inning-ending double play. He was the winning pitcher that night in the 3-0 victory by the Dominican Republic.

"That was a big moment for me," Abad said.

Though Abad didn't pitch well for the Red Sox down the stretch last season after being acquired from the Twins, he feels he is primed to rebound.

"I feel like the way I felt last year in Minnesota, that's how I feel now," said Abad, who is out of Minor League options.

Abad will pitch two innings in a Minor League game for the Red Sox on Tuesday before returning to Grapefruit League action.

Though missing a couple of weeks of Spring Training wasn't ideal for a pitcher trying to earn a roster spot, Abad has no regrets.

"It was a good experience for me to represent my country," Abad said. "I enjoyed the time there, and I enjoyed my teammates."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.