Reliever Craig Breslow expects to be ready when the Boston Red Sox kick off their World Series defense with an Opening Day clash against the Baltimore Orioles.
Breslow, who dealt with shoulder weakness last spring, has been brought along very slowly this spring because of last season’s heavy workload. Both Breslow and the Red Sox insist there’s no injury despite the left-hander not yet facing live hitters as of Thursday.
“I think I’ll be ready, but I don’t make the final decision, obviously,” Breslow told CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam. “I feel good, I feel strong. We talked about from the beginning that I don’t need a ton of games, I just need some repetitions, and that was something I could kind of do on the side, throwing bullpens, etc.
“So I feel like we’re in good shape. The volume of my throws is probably more than some of (the other pitchers) in here. It just hasn’t been in games.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday that Breslow was scheduled to face hitters on the side Friday and was on target to soon pitch in a game. The Boston skipper wasn’t willing to commit either way to whether Breslow would be ready for Opening Day, though.
“We’re basing this all on what he’s capable of,” Farrell said Thursday. “There’s been no final determination yet. We’ll gradually get to the right decision.”
Brandon Workman, Drake Britton and Francisco Cordero are among those who could fill Breslow’s void in the bullpen if the 33-year-old isn’t ready come March 31. Farrell indicated Thursday that he wouldn’t feel compelled to replace Breslow with another left-hander.