Vicente Padilla Getting Accustomed to Relieving, But Hoping for Shot at Starting Via Free Agency

Vicente Padilla Getting Accustomed to Relieving, But Hoping for Shot at Starting Via Free AgencyIt was a year full of new experiences for Vicente
Padilla
.

After three seasons with the Dodgers, he made his foray
back to the American League and signed with Boston. Having been a starting
pitcher since 2002, he then adjusted to life as a reliever for the Red Sox for
an entire season.

In retrospect, the veteran pitcher reflected on the
change of scenery with a positive outlook.

“It was an interesting year for me because it was a
new experience being in the bullpen,” Padilla told NESN.com in Spanish.
“But I think I did a good job, considering I haven’t been in the bullpen
for awhile and mainly starting through my career.”

Back in spring training, Padilla was hell-bent on
starting. Through 56 games this season, the 35-year-old backed off the hard
stance and demonstrated an ability to adapt, tallying a 4-1 record with a 4.50
ERA and 51 strikeouts in relief.

But that doesn’t mean he’s completely shed his starting
dreams.

“I’m getting accustomed to [relieving], but I’d
definitely like to be a starter again given the opportunity,” Padilla
said.

An opportunity to start will certainly be a factor in where
Padilla, who will be a free agent this offseason, winds up in 2013. Even if that opportunity doesn’t
arise in Boston, the pitcher would embrace a return to the Red Sox.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Padilla said of
Fenway Park. “The fans were great. My teammates were great and that’s a
motivating factor.”

It remains to be seen whether the interest would be mutual
on Boston’s end.

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