Saturday, January 11, 2014
Pierzynski expects smooth transition
By Kyle Brasseur
BOSTON -- Five weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Fort Myers, new Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was in Boston on Saturday introducing his family to the city and speaking with reporters at the Jimmy Fund’s annual New Stars for Young Stars event.
Asked about his preparation for spring training and familiarizing himself with the Red Sox pitching staff, Pierzynski said he has yet to get started on learning the ins and outs of his new teammates.
“To be honest, I have such a history with a lot of these guys, especially with [pitching coach Juan Nieves], that we kind of already know the same language,” Pierzynski said. “I think once I get home from this then I’ll start trying to ramp up the baseball activity.”
Nieves, who spoke to Pierzynski about coming to Boston as a free agent during the World Series, worked with the 37-year-old catcher for five years as the Chicago White Sox bullpen coach, leaving for Boston shortly before Pierzynski left Chicago to sign a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers last offseason. Now switching teams once again, Pierzynski said his experience from last year will help him to adjust quickly to another new pitching staff.
“Every year is different,” Pierzynski said. “Every team has different parts so it’s never the same thing going into spring training. It’s an ever-changing process.”
Despite speaking to Red Sox manager John Farrell since signing in December, Pierzynski said he prefers to do most of his preparation during spring training, where he can sit down and work with each pitcher directly to figure out their tendencies.
“Until you’re in a game situation, it’s hard to actually figure stuff out,” Pierzynski said. “With guys like [former White Sox teammate Jake Peavy] and [Ryan] Dempster and [John] Lackey, guys that I’ve known for a really long time, it shouldn’t take that long because I have a pretty good idea how they like to pitch.”
As for the pitchers' shorter offseason and increased workload last year due to the World Series, Pierzynski believes there is nothing to worry about with any of the members of the Red Sox staff.
“These guys aren’t young kids, they’re veteran guys and they know how to get ready for spring training and they know to take some extra time off and do things,” Pierzynski said. “At the end of the day when it gets to February 15, they’ll all be ready to go.”