New Sense Of Possibility For Buttrey

BOSTON—For nearly three years, the question hovered over righthander Ty Buttrey.

What happened to the power arsenal that convinced the Red Sox to select the Charlotte high school product in the fourth round of the 2012 draft and sign him for $1.3 million?

In high school, the 6-foot-6 Buttrey sat in the low 90s, regularly touched the mid-90s and occasionally dialed his way up to 97 mph. Between his fastball, a spike curveball that showed swing-and-miss potential and a strike-throwing approach, he profiled as a starter if his changeup developed.

But Buttrey’s fastball didn’t make the jump to pro ball. The result was confusion and uncertainty, particularly when he ran up an 11.91 ERA through his first four starts at low Class A Greenville in 2014.

“Your mechanics change, things change, and you sit there wondering, ‘I used to throw this hard, now I’m only throwing this hard. What do I need to do?’ ” said Buttrey, 22.

Buttrey made a mechanical adjustment during 2014 instructional league, moving his hands over his head from the windup. The change seemed to free his body, and he took a considerable step forward in 2015, first during a dominant stretch at Greenville and then in 21 starts at high Class A Salem, where he went 8-10, 4.20 with 6.3 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings.

With better angle on his two-seam fastball, Buttrey’s groundball rate improved considerably, and he also generated more swings and misses at times.

His above-average velocity could play up even more if he ends up in the bullpen, but regardless of role, he will arrive in camp this spring with a restored sense of possibility.

“What I was in high school, where I am today, I kind of consider myself the same pitcher,” Buttrey said. “I feel like that’s how I’m going to be successful in the future, to stay on that path.”


• Billy McMillon, the 2014 Eastern League manager of the year at Double-A Portland, will serve as the roving outfield and baserunning coach starting in 2016. Greg Norton replaced Tim Hyers (the Dodgers’ new big league assistant hitting coach) as the roving hitting instructor.

• Of their first 14 non-roster invitees to big league camp, just three—first baseman Sam Travis and righthanders Kyle Martin and William Cuevas—are homegrown

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