FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chris Capuano hasn’t arrived at Boston Red Sox spring training yet, but manager John Farrell has an idea of what the 35-year-old left-hander will bring to the table in 2014.
“Experience of both starting and pitching out of the bullpen,” Farrell said in Fort Myers on Friday. “He clearly gives us a depth starter if that need were to arise, but at the moment, all things considered, he would pitch out of the bullpen for us.”
Capuano, a native of West Springfield, Mass., made 24 starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, but the lefty’s work in relief also caught the Red Sox’s attention. Capuano will give Boston some veteran starting pitching depth yet also serve as a third left-hander out of the bullpen — assuming he, Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller all are on the Red Sox’s roster come Opening Day.
“Don’t want to limit it,” Farrell said regarding Capuano’s role. “When he switched to the bullpen last year with the Dodgers, there was very good performance, and that’s the one thing that attracted us to him, in addition to the experience as a starter as well if that need were to arise. At this point, we’re not looking at naming a role or defining a role.”
The Red Sox have a surplus of young pitching, so signing Capuano to a deal reportedly worth $2.25 million guaranteed wasn’t a move made out of desperation. Capuano could be an asset, though, especially given the offensive firepower within the American League East.
“When you remove Ryan Dempster from the mix and the potential veteran starter in the event we need a sixth starter at some point, Chris is in that same category,” Farrell said. “But the effectiveness in the bullpen and if we line up with three left-handers in the ‘pen, I think that adds to our strength, particularly in this division.”
Farrell said Capuano is expected to arrive in camp and take a physical on Saturday. Capuano, who went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA with the Dodgers last season, owns a 73-83 record and 4.27 ERA over his nine-year career.
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