WORCESTER — Pitchers want to come out of spring training feeling ready for their first start, but Red Sox prospect Brandon Walter knows he also has something to prove.
“I want to prove to myself and prove to everybody else that I can get through the whole season as a starting pitcher,” Walter told NESN.com during Triple-A Worcester’s media day at Polar Park on Wednesday. “That’s my goal.”
The 26-year-old left-handed pitcher was sidelined for pretty much the entire 2022 season with a neck injury and was only able to pitch in 11 games for Portland and Worcester.
“I just need to get into a good routine,” Walter said. “Pitching every five days. So get my body ready to just last the whole season because I wasn’t able to do that last year.”
In the 50 innings Walter pitched in Portland, he had a 2.88 ERA, giving up six home runs, and 20 runs, of which 16 were earned to go along with 68 strikeouts. Unfortunately, Walter did not have strong outings in Worcester — he had an ERA of 8.22 with all seven runs he gave up earned.
“I feel good,” Walter said. “Spring training was good. Getting up here and getting acclimated to the different weather is obviously the biggest thing, but I feel good, ready to go.”
Walter added during spring training in Fort Myers, he gravitated towards the other starting pitchers.
“I talked to (Garrett) Whitlock a lot,” Walter said. “He was great one-on-one. We kind of have a similar background, coming out of nowhere, not big prospects in the minor leagues, and working our way to where we’re at. He was great, but everybody was great.”
According to Walter, the message from Red Sox manager Alex Cora was pretty simple.
“He told me to keep doing my thing and build my innings and be ready when they need me,” Walter explained. “That’s my goal.”
The Worcester Red Sox take the field against the Syracuse Mets at Polar Park on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. You can watch the game, plus Opening Day ceremonies, on NESN.