Two of the biggest disappointments of 2012, yet two of the biggest keys to 2013 were in the news at Red Sox spring training on Wednesday.
Jon Lester spoke to the media for the first time this year, while Clay Buchholz, who suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of workouts Tuesday, got some good news as the injury is not expected to be serious.
Buchholz, a 28-year-old right-hander, tweaked his hamstring fielding a ground ball and running toward first base during drills early on in Tuesday’s workout, which was enough to end his day as he was seen leaving the facility walking with a slight limp.
A day following the injury, the news was much better for Sox starter.
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“It was a good day for Clay Buchholz,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters. “He’s responded favorably to treatment … He actually went out and threw after the workout, not off the mound, but he was able to put a ball back in his hand. It was an encouraging day for him.”
Meanwhile, Lester, who is coming off of his worst season as a professional is determined to bounce back and said he wants to “prove last year was a fluke.”
Last season the southpaw was heavily criticized for his demeanor on the mound as well as his attitude off the field, but Lester had a much different take Wednesday, the second day of workouts for pitchers and catchers.
“I love baseball. I love Boston,” Lester told reporters. “People don’t see me other than the fifth day, and when I’m out there when I’m out there, I’m not out there to kid around, I’m not out there to joke around with hitters but at the same time, I’m having fun. It may not look like it, I may be cussing up a storm and yelling at somebody but I’m having fun.”
Lester went 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA in 2012, including just four wins following the All-Star break.
Also, first baseman Mike Napoli will have an MRI Thursday on his hip to fully clear him for full-time baseball duties. Fifty-eight of the 59 players on the roster have arrived at camp as outfielder Shane Victorino is the only player missing. He is expected to arrive in time for Thursday’s physicals for position players.
Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @hannable84