JUPITER, Fla. -- If this weren’t spring training, left-hander Chris Capuano’s Red Sox debut Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals might be a concern.
He wasn’t very efficient -- 37 pitches in just two innings and only 21 of them strikes.
He wasn’t very productive -- two runs allowed on three hits and one walk.
He didn’t throw very hard -- the veteran hit 90 mph but that was as good as it got for his fastball.
And even something Capuano usually does really well -- get lefty hitters out -- failed him a bit when he gave up a walk to Jon Jay.
That walk preceded a two-run homer to left by minor-league first baseman Xavier Scruggs.
Capuano fell behind 3-1 to Scruggs and came in with a get-me-over 84 mph pitch that quickly left the yard. Scruggs is such an unknown that Capuano called him “Scaggs” by mistake.
Asked if the wind was a factor, Capuano responded: “A little bit ... It was definitely windy, but that Scaggs put a good swing on that ball. I was trying to throw a two-seamer down and away, and I just pulled it down the middle of the plate.”
In case you were wondering, the 26-year-old Scruggs -- or Scaggs if you prefer -- played Double-A last season, where he hit 29 homers.
Capuano, who will likely start the season in Boston’s bullpen barring an injury to a starter, gave up two singles in Wednesday’s first inning but got out of trouble largely due to the comebacker he induced from Jhonny Peralta, which he fielded and converted into a double play.
In his career, Capuano has held lefty hitters to a .632 OPS, eighth-best among pitchers since the start of 2003 (minimum 1,000 batters faced).
He appeared in 24 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, including 20 starts. He landed on the disabled list twice -- once for a calf strain and once for a shoulder injury -- and finished 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA.
After Wednesday’s outing, he said he felt good.
“I threw all four of my pitches,” he said. “For the most part, it felt like I had pretty good location.”
Capuano said he got eight bullpen sessions in Arizona before signing with Boston on Feb. 22, and he said he is ready for any role.
“For the past three or four years, I’ve had some really great experiences,” he said. “That has helped me be flexible and prepared.”