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January 27, 2013

Webster, De La Rosa could make impact in Boston this year

(Continued)

He struggled during his two starts for Double-A Portland after the trade, allowing eight earned runs in 9.0 innings.

“You could tell, though, that he’s really, really good,” Portland center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said.

“He was consistently at 93, 95 (mph with) a sinking fastball. ... And at the end of his (first) outing, I asked him, ‘Allen, how do you feel?’ He was like, ‘I feel good besides me not pitching like I wanted to. I feel good.’ ”

Bradley said Webster’s change-up is a “plus pitch.” It “shows depth and bottom dropping action,” according to soxprospects.com.

“I didn’t see it a whole lot because I think he was more trying to establish his fastball, coming over here to a new system,” Bradley said.

Webster said his sinking action happens naturally.

“To get to the big leagues and stay I have to be really consistent with throwing strikes,” Webster said.

Webster plans to head to spring training early. He has spent the offseason training at Carolina Acceleration in Greensboro, N.C., with Carmine Pagano, a strength and conditioning specialist.

Webster, who is listed at 6-3, 185 pounds, has been trying to add weight.

“(Pagano) gets on me,” Webster admitted. “He pushes me to put on weight. I try. I don’t know what the calories are but he has got a list of stuff I’ve got to eat at a certain time of the day. He’s got it planned out for me.”

De La Rosa wants to start

De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery late in the 2011 season.

He returned from the surgery late last season, including pitching 0.2 innings for the Dodgers in relief Aug. 22.

Heading into his first full year back from the surgery, it should be interesting to see how the Red Sox use De La Rosa. He likely will begin the regular season with Pawtucket, but the real question is whether he will be a starter or reliever.

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