Smitty: He seems like he has learned to become more of a thinking pitcher as he has gotten older.
Ross: This game is a game of failure but it has a funny way of humbling you when you think you can just not think your way through the game. That’s why you see so many veterans hang around and other guys come and go. The veterans have learned the game and know how to make adjustments. It’s a game of adjustments.
Smitty: Everyone talks about how valuable manager John Farrell has been to the pitching staff, but pitching coach Juan Nieves has been great too, it seems.
Ross: I think Juan is one of the best pickups they made this offseason along with John. Juan is so positive, but he gets his point across about work.
I think Juan and John and the preparation that we go through as a unit — the pitching staff, the catching staff and the coaching staff — there is more information that I feel like we had this year than probably they had last year, just listening.
Smitty: How has Farrell and Nieves had a positive effect on Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester?
Ross: They do their homework, they set up good scouting reports and then Buchholz can really execute the pitches you want him to execute. He can really manipulate the ball. He’s got three to four plus-major league pitches. You don’t know what you’re getting in an at-bat if you’re the hitter. It’s a tough skit.
Same with Lester. You don’t know what you’re getting with him. Those guys can really do stuff with the ball and are really deceptive and can move the ball in and out of the strike zone.
Follow Eagle-Tribune baseball writer Christopher Smith on Twitter @SmittyonMLB