Porcello works on fastball in spring debut

Red Sox righty looking to establish command in camp

Porcello works on fastball in spring debut

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Rick Porcello admits it now. At this time last year, he lost sight of the little things.

This time around, determined to have a more consistent second season in Boston, he isn't going to make that same mistake.

Porcello's goal for his first Grapefruit League start Thursday -- a 6-5 win for the Red Sox against the Twins -- was simple: Establish his fastball.

For Porcello, everything starts with fastballs -- most notably the two-seamer he got away from too often in the early part of 2015.

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Over two innings on Thursday, Porcello threw all fastballs except for, as he quipped, "one 40-foot changeup."

He gave up three hits and a run, but the stats don't matter to him right now as much as the process.

"Really seeing the way I started last spring and how I kind of just thought I was going to be able to come in and be in midseason form and overlook all the little things I had to do to establish my fastball command and get comfortable in my delivery, I don't want to make that same mistake again," Porcello said.

"And so, primary focus is the fastball this year, and I'll live with the results early. Obviously they know I'm working on fastballs, but it's just about executing them right now."

Entering his second season with the Red Sox, Porcello looks far more comfortable in his surroundings. Some of that is the addition of David Price, but much of it is just the fact it isn't his first season anymore.

"I think for anybody who changes a job or changes scenery, the first couple weeks, or whatever it is, takes a little getting used to," Porcello said. "But this year I definitely feel much more comfortable and familiar with everybody."

Last season ended just as Porcello was starting to get into a groove. The overall numbers -- a 9-15 record and 4.92 ERA -- indicate the struggles that took place in the early months.

This time, he is confident he can set the tone early and be the dependable No. 3 starter the Red Sox need him to be.

"Yeah, I think the coaching staff gets to know me better, I get to know them better, and I can lean on them for certain things," said Porcello. "Especially developing a relationship with [pitching coach] Carl [Willis] and having the opportunity to work with him last year, he knows me and he knows certain things to tell me or adjustments or little triggers. So it's definitely to my benefit."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.