Boston Red Sox: Curt Young

Jenks will make spring debut Thursday

February, 28, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks will make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies at City of Palms Park.

The right-handed reliever threw only his second live BP session Monday morning, tossing 26 pitches.

“I’ll be looking forward to getting in a game come April,” he said. “Right now, even Thursday, I’m going to go out there and work on things. Even though it’s a game situation, it’s still spring training and there are still a lot of things to work on before the season comes.”

Jenks, in his first season with the Red Sox, admitted he’s never gone this long into camp before throwing. Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young wanted him to throw four side sessions and two live BP sessions before getting into a game.

“I guess it’s working,” he said. “It was Curt’s idea. He just wanted me to get a better look, better feel off the mound before we jumped into anything.”

While he was pitching for the White Sox, he would usually arrive at camp too prepared and complained in the past of have a dead-arm feeling by the end of camp.

“I was getting tired in the spring because I was throwing off the mound too much, and you kind of go through that dead-arm feeling. I felt too ready for spring.”

After experiencing elbow problems last season, Jenks said he’s feeling healthy.

“At this point, my arm feels better than I was expecting in the first place,” he said. “To be where I am right now, not only is it a bonus, it’s a good sign because I don’t feel anything. I wasn’t expecting to, but it’s a good thing.”

Following his first live BP session on Saturday, he said he would rather ease into game action.

“I don’t like getting into a game until I’m comfortable with my fastball.”

After Monday’s session, he said it he could feel a big improvement.

Sox pitchers toss simulated games

February, 26, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester, John Lackey, Bobby Jenks and Alfredo Aceves all tossed simulated games this morning on the back field at City of Palms Park.

Lester worked with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and threw 15 pitches.

“He looked really good,” said Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young. "He was sharp with everything. His warmup was great. Just his attitude, he was getting ready to pitch a game and it was pretty impressive.”

Prior to his session, Lester spoke about his preparation with Lackey, saying he’s already treating his work as if it’s a regular-season game.

Lackey tossed 30 pitches and worked with catcher Jason Varitek. Jenks worked his first mound session and threw 20 pitches with Mark Wagner behind the plate. Aceves tossed 25 and worked with Paul Hoover.

Jenks announces presence with authority

February, 26, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks isn’t messing around this spring.

The right-handed reliever tossed his first simulated game of camp Saturday morning on the back field at City of Palms Park. He needed only two warmup pitches to get ready, and his first offering was taken deep off the center field fence by minor leaguer Brent Dlugach.

Jenks’ next pitch drilled Dlugach square in the backside.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona and pitcher Clay Buchholz were watching the session and both were amused when Jenks hit Dlugach.

“That’s part of it,” Jenks said. “I’m not there for [the hitters] right now, they’re here for us. If somebody gets in the way while I’m trying to work inside, that’s just part of it.

“This is my first time seeing hitters, so one’s going to get away. I’m glad it was down. I didn’t miss up.”

Jenks’ 20-pitch session was under the watchful eye of Francona and pitching coach Curt Young.

“He’s had four side [sessions] and the first day against hitters you don’t expect [pitchers] to be so sharp, but it looks like his arm is moving good,” Young said. “He’s feeling healthy and his stuff will come.”

Jenks will have the next two days off before he throws another simulated game, and if everything goes as planned he’ll have another two days off before pitching in his first Grapefruit League game.

“I would rather ease into it right now,” Jenks said. “I usually don’t like getting into a game until I’m confident with my fastball. Right now I feel great, but the command isn’t there, yet. A few more times off the mound should take care of that in about a week or so.”

Despite dealing with health issues in 2010, Jenks says his arm feels the best it’s felt in a while.

“I felt good,” he said. “I felt strong. Legs are good, arm’s good, everything felt great.”

Dlugach’s backside probably won’t be feeling too good later on, but it’s evident Jenks has a unique mound presence.

“He’s a great guy and very personable and fun to talk to,” Young said. “Not knowing him from the other side, he seems like a guy who would be unapproachable, but once you get to know him, he’s a great guy.”

Meeting Mr. Young

January, 19, 2011
NEWTON, Mass. -- New Boston Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young recently spent some time getting familiar with the organization and some of its young pitchers.

Young participated in the team's rookie development program at Boston College this week and officially met with the Boston media for the first time Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.

“To get an opportunity to work in this organization is very exciting, and with the talented pitching that they have here, it's going to be a lot of fun,” he said.

Since Young was named as John Farrell’s successor after the former pitching coach was hired as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, he’s been spending the offseason getting to know his new pitching staff.

“Really just trying to get in touch with guys, just really to say hello,” Young said. “You really can’t get into too much unless you’re standing right next to him and seen him throw and seen him work. It’s just calling and saying hello and getting good welcomes from them.”

Young was also able to watch Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon and reliever Bobby Jenks throw this week in Boston.

Not only does this winter program help the prospects in the organization, Young believes it will help him too.

“Getting a chance to come here and meet everybody in the organization is really going to help me down in spring training, and the process of going through spring training will help,” he said.

After Farrell left to take the job in Toronto, he said he would speak with Young about what to expect in Boston. This winter the two talked.

“Just one good conversation, kind of his opinion on some of the pitchers,” Young explained. “He just kind of let me know some things that can help the guys, and that’s a great thing.”

While he was the pitching coach for the Oakland Athletics, Young dealt with a different kind of staff than what he’ll work with in Boston, but he doesn’t think that will be a concern.

“I don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal. Pitchers are pitchers. Every year they’re all looking to improve and if I can help them do that, that’s why I’m here. I think everybody’s personality comes out as a pitcher and I need to get to know these guys that way. I’m sure we’ll jell quick.”

With the exception of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima, Young has met or talked to each Red Sox pitcher.

Farrell shares notes with new pitching coach

December, 6, 2010
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When the Red Sox hired Curt Young as their newest pitching coach to replace John Farrell, who was named manager of the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, Young said he would reach out to his predecessor for tips on Boston’s staff.

Farrell said Monday that he had a lengthy conversation with Young about the ins and outs of the Red Sox pitchers. He said that even though he's managing in the AL East, he believes, as does Red Sox manager Terry Francona, that talking with Young is the professional thing to do.

“Most importantly, the players are first and foremost,” Farrell said. “There are a lot of relationships that were built there, and to give some insights into the work routines and personalities that he’ll now deal with was right and just.”

Still, it must be strange giving insight to a competitor.

“If your approach toward the game and your decisions are always made with the player in the forefront, I think you’ll always take the right approach and make the right decision, and that was no different.”

At the same time, Farrell obviously has a good understanding of the Red Sox.

“Yeah, they’re a great organization, a great team, but hopefully there’s some competitive advantage to [knowing them] as well,” he said.

Young had a solid resume with the Oakland A’s, and Farrell said he believes Boston’s new pitching coach will do a solid job.

“Coming into Boston, he’ll do a great job,” Farrell said. “He’s done a great job in Oakland. He’s inheriting a lot of good arms.”

Breslow: 'Sox getting great pitching coach'

November, 2, 2010
BOSTON -- Craig Breslow has pitched for both the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics.

The left-handed reliever has worked closely with the newly appointed Red Sox pitching coach for the past two seasons in Oakland, and Breslow thinks Curt Young will be a good addition in Boston.

“The Red Sox are getting a great pitching coach,” Breslow wrote in an e-mail.

Young had been Oakland’s pitching coach for the last seven seasons before being named to the same post with the Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon. Breslow worked out of the bullpen for Boston in 2006 and spent the entire 2007 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Knowing the Red Sox the way he does, Breslow said he believes Young will fit in nicely in Boston.

“I think Curt will be a perfect Red Sox pitching coach,” Breslow wrote. “He has shown a remarkable ability to adapt, and I think that will serve him well. The A’s staff, while talented, was young and unestablished. The Red Sox staff, also very talented, consists primarily of veteran guys. I think Curt will endear himself and will be able to reach each player individually.”

During his stint as pitching coach in Oakland, Young helped guide the Athletics to an American League-best 4.03 ERA and held opponents to an AL-low .257 batting average. Last season, A’s pitchers led the AL in ERA (3.56) and shutouts (17).

Stepping into his new role, Young said he would bring suggestions to help the Red Sox pitchers get better.

“Curt was a great pitching coach,” Breslow said. “He recognizes that each player is unique and must be handled differently. There are a few fundamental tenets from which he never strays, but I’m confident that he will also use his personality and skills to foster different relationships with different players.”

Even though Breslow spent 2007 (Farrell’s first season as pitching coach in Boston) at Triple-A, he was able to learn about Farrell’s philosophy. Breslow doesn’t see much of a difference between Young and Farrell.

“I’m not sure there is a ton of difference, considering both recognize the importance of consistent delivery and strike one,” Breslow said. “Both guys try to keep pitching simple: change speeds, locate and use both sides of the plate.”