Righty Varvaro could be lefty specialist for Red Sox

Righty Varvaro could be lefty specialist for Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There is no rule that says a lefty specialist has to throw the baseball with his left arm. Right-hander Anthony Varvaro, one of the new acquisitions to the Red Sox bullpen, will likely be asked to get a lot of lefties out this season.

And Varvaro looked up to the task in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Twins, facing three straight lefties (Oswaldo Arcia, Max Kepler and Aaron Hicks) and retiring all of them.

"When I saw that first lefty step in there, it's like a comfort zone," said Varvaro. "I'm like, 'Here he is.' Then the next one, perfect. And then the third one, I'm like, 'Did they set this up to roll this way to really see [how I am against lefties]'? For some reason, I've pitched better against lefties. I don't want to say why I think that is so other people maybe catch on. I don't want to say it's a comfort zone, but I tend to have more success against lefties."

Last year, Varvaro held lefties to a .149 average while righties hit .273 against him. His career splits are similar, with lefties hitting .196 against him and righties registering at .262.

Varvaro enjoys being cryptic when asked for a reason.

"I don't want any lefties reading this article or anything, or trying to figure me out," said Varvaro.

The Red Sox were pleased to acquire the underrated Varvaro from the Braves for Minor Leaguer Aaron Kurcz and cash considerations.

"Once again, he was powerful and with good late action to attack both lefties and righties," said manager John Farrell. "Varvaro, I thought, was powerful."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.