David Brown of Yahoo! Sport's Big League Stew has a nice roundup of the Sox day of camp yesterday. Among the things he discusses is a bullpen session Dice-K threw yesterday, and how good he's looking.
"That's the best bullpen session he's had," Valentine said. "He and [coach] Randy Niemann have done a little video work, they've done a little talking. Dice is just trying to be himself. He had good finish to his pitches in his delivery. It was pretty good, actually, for a guy who's supposedly as far behind as he is, that was a pretty good pen."
Actually, Valentine wondered if the session was almost too good to be true.
"I wanted to walk away, as a matter of fact," Valentine said. "Because I didn't want to push it. Usually, guys hit a thing when they're coming back. They regress a little. He hasn't had any of that yet and I don't want to be around if and when it happens. Don't want it to my fault."
As Scott has mentioned one or two... thousand times, Bard won't be pitching the full season for the Sox. That's simply too big of an innings increase. And while no one knows when Dice-K will be ready, it's starting to look like he's going to be suiting up earlier than expected.
If you're writing the fairy tale version of the 2012 Red Sox, Bard impresses in the first half then successfully transitions back to the pen for the playoff push. And Matsuzaka steps in and takes over Bard's spot in the rotation mid-season, giving the Sox 15-20 solid starts.
It may not be that much of a stretch.