WEEI>On Demand>>Bradford Files: Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield talks defensive potential of Xander Bogaerts, Ryan Lavarnway, Will Middlebrooks

Bradford Files: Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield talks defensive potential of Xander Bogaerts, Ryan Lavarnway, Will Middlebrooks

Feb 10, 2014|

Brian Butterfield, the Red Sox' third base/infield coach, joined Rob Bradford in Fort Myers to discuss the defensive potential/progress of Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway, who is looking to learn the art of playing first base throughout spring training. Butterfield also elaborates on the art of hitting fungoes, a skill he has mastered better than most in the majors.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

It's time for the Bradford finals right now phone WEEI -- Welcome to another addition the Bradford files sponsored by -- distinctive clothing where -- go out with my absolute best and I think. -- in the spring training and I got my a game. And someone who can attest to that right now and we're honored and privileged to have to have them on witnesses. Brian Butterfield third base coach for the Boston Red Sox I don't know if you -- them to actually pass to. How well -- and cool Lester coolers that has made me look getting in the spring training -- if you could be the pitcher for spotter. Here again that's easy that's if I think that a way to start to get distributed in the right places -- look real good you get your shorts on you're sure looks good it looks like cup you've been in the weight room your face looks thinner. You look like you're a lot more streamlined and you look like you're ready for heavyweight championship. -- that's the end of the podcasts. That took effect it. That though in all seriousness where Brian Butterfield as one of the first people to arrive here at in spring training at Fort Myers and and as bad. Should come as no shock BK is what I'm usually get here in the morning and this typical spring training day. Well my hours are a little bit different I go to bed early so I get to my normal sleep in my upper earlier and a I -- anywhere from. 230 to 4:30 in the morning like being able to work out and get on them machines or. Or get on the bike before anybody gets here that's the players when they get here so. I do everything when the lights are still -- -- can gather my thoughts and get ready for the day. Now heading into tomorrow which is what tour there will be Monday for those listening in and really when players -- start trickling in because this is going to be. The week where spring training officially kicks off that's when you actually at the start -- uniform today what are you wearing. I'm just weren't my elements teacher. Aunts and sweat pants and I'm not gonna hang around too long because there there isn't a real good attendance here on Sunday but yeah. I think we'll be ready to go full throttle tomorrow and a he -- in shorts and Red Sox hat and teacher. You talk about going full throttle on and there's a lot of things that you're going to be able to dive into guys you did last year with. Mike Napoli that was one a year -- your projects by there's a few guys in. -- to go around and and just talked about some of the particulars of guys who -- gonna be focused on you real re working with all the infielders. Whose start with a guy that was on Bradford files last week and that's try Ryan -- and -- who is going to be trying to make it somewhat of a transition to first base. What how as as someone who did it last year has done it before of making guys first baseman catcher's first baseman. Whereas some of the first things that you gonna work on with them. I think one of the most important things RBs. When he first baseman is playing that position -- just learning it's real important for him to be ably handled himself on the base because he's him in the welfare. Of second baseman shortstop and third baseman is on the ball across the diamond so for worker on the base nor how to get to that position get to an anchor. And be able to adjust your feet to throw was up and down and off to the side are critical so you start with that well for -- on the base and and the approach that you take from your position. As you break to get to that anchors so that's number one and then we'll get into catching ground balls just the basic stuff. And then we'll get movement toward it as we go catching ground balls and a -- in the pitcher catching ground balls and start 36 they'll play. To the shortstop so. There's an awful lot of stuff to try to go slow what you try to give them the base but number one will start with Ron and with a lot of chalk talk and on how to break from first base and get to that base and you move your feet to really catch the ball well. What are some of the -- having -- -- with Napoli last year what's the biggest challenge I guess in general terms -- catcher. Pass to face when they go from that position to first base or maybe that that Napoli relief -- last year out of the -- What thinks about everybody's a little bit different maps a little bit more of the shorter squad your body where it's easier for him to play in -- low position which is critical for your infielders to play in the corners get into a low position we can get your eyes close to the ball. So that was an easy adjustment for him I think for catchers -- enough for the most part even though Ryan as a taller. Body he's been used to play and we'll be in that squat position for so many years so. That part might be something that he's able to adjust to quickly but everybody's a little bit different depending on the body type. I think with -- just. His you know that's -- to throw from first base to second base on the 36 and do and all that stuff was the thing that. He wanted to car straight to most I might be different with Bryant will seen a couple of days the things that he does well things that he can improve on more. Remember seeing you go here and who -- Napoli last year and he did you mean when the game started before the games. And in looking I am I'm at that maybe it was wrong but there are some frustrating -- -- some sense of frustration. From how how much is that was difficult the breakthrough with Napoli early on I had in the early days of spring training. That's great question I think one of the things would -- is. He does things that make him a great player and he does things that work against him I think he's very demanding he wants to be a perfectionist. So he wanted things to come real quickly I'm sure he was the same way as a young catcher he's the same way as a hitter he's very demanding he's very detailed. You walk by his locker in the clubhouse in his everything is is set properly everything's got its place so. I think that frustration for him is something that he probably always deals -- because he wants to do it right he wants to do for the betterment of the club. So. You know I think everybody's gonna be a little bit different I think Ryan is a little bit more of the laid back personality even though he is very detailed also aware. He might not be as frustrated when he doesn't get something it just depends on the athlete -- that that's part of my job I think it's part of -- coach's job just to make sure that. Guys are comfortable and they gained confidence and they keep getting better. Let's go the other side of the diamond and you look at what's in -- Bogart's movement -- did last year too. Different types of players two different types of athletes. This -- Bogart's and the brief time we had him in spring training published -- together actually get to work with him in spring training because I know that you know he was with Major League camp by it you're focusing on a lot of different things. Not nearly enough just because. You know you -- you see a guy and you see his skill set -- wanna spend a lot of time with them and then -- Obviously the tournament going on where he left us. So we felt like we were a little bit short changed there we wanted more time with the Mets shortstop and and at third base because we knew there was a possibility that. He could be plants and third base so it's not a lot of time but I think that we made up for some lost time when he joined us last year during the -- hard worker. He will seek you out to do is work so we -- an awful lot of work done when he joined us and there were there was a point to. That when he did join us that he wasn't playing every night so you can increase the workload. During the season when a guy's not playing as opposed to if he's -- 7 o'clock starter then you wanna decrease that workload because you want a solid player at 7 o'clock. When you look at two when he made the transition to third base. Was that it was and we saw what Iglesias to last -- -- an excellent transition at third base but with Bogart's. How hard is that to juggle progressing as a shortstop and then trying to learn a new position at third base. Very difficult boat but we were proud of the way he handled it if such a different position it may seem like because they're both on the left side shortstop and third base that it. Easy for guys to make that transition he he did it out fairly seamlessly in. But he's a little bit different anyway he -- special defender. Ample he has a chance to be especially defender too but -- again a little bit taller. More streamlined body where. There are some things that that make a little bit more difficult for him as he's in that position but. He did a nice job -- the one thing about bogeys. Is unfair as it seems at times that we work commit to different positions he was never overcome by the moment. He was never at any point even in big situations. He never seemed he never seems like he gets bent out of shape. By the magnitude of the World Series of the magnitude of -- playoff series so. He's poised beyond his years in he likes to work so there's an awful lot of good qualities that allow him to get through some times where. He hasn't had a lot of repetitions to where where is he right now as heading into camp and and boomers into bogus as a Major League shortstop defensively. He's a guy that with a with a big upside that still has a lot of work to do and I think he would be the first one to tell you that I think he made great strides last year. It was very important. For him to be here with us and take ground balls on a daily basis with John McDonald at shortstop but Johnny -- was of great benefit to bogey. But he's a great student. Courts are two different bodies in two different arm strength swear. Bogey kind of had to be his own person but -- I think he gained a lot from John McDonald and being with us but. He says he's got a lot of work to do just Michael Young short -- it's not it's not really and knock on him where he's at defensively but a lot of shortstop -- such a demanding position. Have an awful lot of things that they need to do and we're looking for that's why this is going to be such a beneficial sixties before pitchers and catchers that. When you attended the another guy playing on that side of the diamond will -- -- he's a guy that you probably did get some chance to work quit last year. What was it differences that you sign him. From when you work for them in spring training to even when he came back from triple it -- -- Well I think that just through repetition. What game we're deal with a young player through repetition you could see him get better and gain a little bit of confidence so. Again he he's a good athlete. He's 64 guy so there's. There are some things that you really got to focus on as far as being able to protect on balls -- firmly from your belt down your feet so. He's a little bit longer ways to go to catch that ball at tip firmly to his right -- that. Yeah and so many of these guys hit the ball so hard he's gonna play you know lower a position at 64 so. The thing is he's highly intelligent he understands and wants to be good so. He could get better in the thing that people can't lose sight of is. Some guys come to the big leagues and they get it right away and they become. Stars right away some other people. That and have been great careers and taken a little bit longer so we think you know there are some things that. May take him a little bit longer but he's progressing at a good clip and and unhappy worries that defense we think he's gonna continue to get better. Today's a big day as he you to surround him for my -- -- but you were greeted by Tommy McLouth in the clubhouse guy with your brand new fund goes there is there a model -- good you obviously bats have models in their model fungal. The SSKs are the greatest -- ever made so I wouldn't use anything else and there are other -- you know there are some good fungal companies and -- some new people that have. I tried to start their product but I just can't seem to get away our way from the SSK it's it's an appendage. So where did you where did you take it to the next level and here so long ago fungal dump. Because speaking to speak because this is an underrated thing is I think that in the world of baseball you're perceived as one of the best longer hitters around in now. I don't know if you put -- tombstone. By bud but waited where did you learn the art of fun go Fung go down and and when did it kind of take it to the next level. Well. I don't know what I don't know I think again we're talking about repetitions I think the more you do itself and the better you -- again we've had an opportunity being in the -- at least just being in professional baseball for so long. An opportunity to a lot of it to think that. As -- getting older though rub its amazing that how injuries. Tennis elbow or wrist handed mean early ending where you're landing your foot. Can really put a damper in years the quality fungus itself. You know I'm gonna stay in the traders who -- occasion just to make sure that this whole body gets in here so we can if all goes well through what's your best advise for young young kids coming up pointing at bongos. I don't know that there is any I've been blessed to -- around some coaches that were great players that couldn't hit -- was at all when I first started so. He even if you're greater that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be good for her -- I think that just follow and watch the good ones who -- him just like players are emulating players you try to emulate the good ones -- does he picks things up and work. Was in the my last final question I promise what is your greatest -- go achievement or -- go see you remember one time we set I I can't believe I actually did that. Or someone challenged you to something was anything -- -- so. And I threw batting practice. I was really having trouble throwing. My shoulder was bothering him batting practice with a fungal and you know shaped green and actually. With pretty consistent don't strikes -- hitters got some good swings. And also that same day which I had never done before. I acted as the catcher Fung and balls to second base in the we were simulated stealing a base that were our second baseman shortstop we're covering second. And I was throwing strikes down there at second base and right then and -- way it turned the corner and it may be as successful. Whoever is that just so we can document them -- make sure this is documented properly. Well I'm -- on years it was a long time ago when I was a young -- hitter that it first started doing that and she's area. Probably in my early thirties so late parties. I love you've -- quite away via I appreciate you joining us on the Bradford files and if you ever in act and feel free stop by -- Barbara -- -- Phil outfit you dislike you could see see they've out that'd be good. It's always a pleasure and I hope that we do this on a regular basis maybe every other day this spring training I love it things are being.

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