BALTIMORE -- For the second straight season, Craig Breslow spent Opening Day on the disabled list. However, the invaluable lefty feels he will return much sooner than 2013, when he didn't pitch until May 6.
"I think these are totally different circumstances this year," said Breslow. "I feel strong, I feel healthy, I've thrown throughout Spring Training. Last year, I was shut down for a period of probably four to five weeks and needed to get ready for a season in three weeks.
"Whereas this was just, we kind of listened to my body, any findings in the training room or anything in terms of when it was time to progress to the next step in a throwing program. In the conversations I've had with [general manager] Ben [Cherington] and [manager] John [Farrell], I wanted to make it clear I'm not injured. I just ran out of games."
The Red Sox list the cause for Breslow's DL stint as a left shoulder strain.
On Sunday, he stayed back in Fort Myers, Fla., and pitched in an intrasquad game before joining his teammates in Baltimore.
"I went up against [Clay Buchholz] actually. I outdueled him for two innings," quipped Breslow.
Breslow will pitch in a Minor League rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. Though the competitor in him would have liked to start the season on time, Breslow realizes why the decision was made to put him on the DL.
"I was brainwashed a little bit by John and Ben into believing that we're looking at the big picture, but once you can remove yourself, it certainly makes sense," Breslow said. "To arbitrarily be ready for March 31 when we're talking about the alternative being maybe April 5 or 6, and being able to move forward a little more prudently, it obviously makes sense. It's just hard to get your hands around when you're the person on the inside that's not going to be ready for Opening Day."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.