FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When Allen Webster came to the Red Sox for Spring Training last year, perhaps he was trying to impress too much with his velocity. While that might have helped him dominate hitters during the exhibition season, perhaps it also created some unfair expectations.
"By his own admission, last year he was in a new place, tried to impress, tried to get over that initial uncomfortable feeling," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "That's behind him, and I think he knows himself a little bit more and what we're trying to get across to him."
Webster is still trying to iron out his mechanics and gain more consistent command. During Saturday's 6-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Twins, he got roughed up a bit, giving up four hits and three runs over 1 2/3 innings.
"I just got in there, got a little anxious, left a few balls up, fell behind, and they made good contact with it," said Webster, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Aug. 25, 2012, blockbuster. "It was my first outing so far, so I was definitely amped up."
What is the main thing Webster is working on?
"Delivery-wise, he was a guy who went over his head with his hands and was a little bit stagnant with his movement, where he'd begin his delivery and pause at the top with his hands at the top of his delivery," said Farrell.
And how will that adjustment help him?
"It takes the tension out of his shoulders and, in some ways, it's comparable to when Clay [Buchholz] made the adjustment, as well," said Farrell. "You would see Clay begin a game -- every pitcher -- as they're trying to get into the flow of the game, there's anxiety and there's some uncertainty -- and that translates to some tension.
"The key with Clay was, let's work to get the first ground ball on the infield. Then, you could see the tension come out. This is taking it out naturally by the adjustment in delivery. It just feels more loose and fluid."