Saturday, December 14, 2013
Breslow reflects on toll of extended season
By Kyle Brasseur, Special to ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- It's not just parades and buying duck boats that come with a World Series title.
The Red Sox played 16 postseason games en route to winning it all, and the extra work has affected some of the relievers' offseason workout plans.
"We have to take into consideration the innings of last year," pitching coach Juan Nieves said Saturday. "Guys like [Koji] Uehara, [Junichi] Tazawa, [Craig] Breslow, we've got to pick and choose their outings.
"Everything will be programmed for them a little different than the other guys."
Breslow was among Red Sox players and coaches at the team's annual Christmas at Fenway event Saturday and spoke about the offseason program he's been on.
"I've spoken to Juan and [manager John Farrell] and [bullpen coach Dana LeVangie], and I think the plan is probably to get a few of us started a little bit later and give us a little bit longer time off now, kind of keeping in mind that if we get into games a little bit later into the spring training schedule, it's probably not a huge deal," Breslow said. "I normally would have started throwing already, but the combination of the workload and the season going later had kind of pushed that forward a little bit."
Breslow, whose season started May 6 after he missed a month with left shoulder tendinitis during the spring, pitched in 71 games between the regular season and postseason, throwing 67 innings. The 33-year-old posted a 1.81 ERA during the regular season and allowed zero runs in seven combined postseason innings against the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers before allowing three runs in one-third of an inning (three appearances) to St. Louis in the World Series.
"In totality, I didn't really throw any more [innings] than I had in previous years. It just all started a little bit later and was probably a little bit more back-loaded," Breslow said. "But they were certainly higher leverage, more intense, and so I think when it was all done and I had a chance to catch my breath, I realized just how exhausted I was."
Breslow said he has yet to hear from Nieves or Farrell about when he'll start throwing but expects an ongoing dialogue with the two after last season's extended run.
"It increases the importance of being in communication with the training staff and pitching coach and being honest and recognizing that if your plan is to play into October and late into October, then there might be time to kind of save throws or pitches earlier on in the season," Breslow said of his first playoff experience. "Now I understand that some of the maintenance stuff I could probably take better care in."