|Bradfo Show: Clay Buchholz thought he might be traded||02.03.16 at 1:02 pm ET|
Clay Buchholz on the Bradfo Show podcastFORT MYERS, Fla. — Once David Price was signed by the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz — and the rest of the members of the team’s rotation — knew something had to give.
That led to a few uneasy, early December days for the Red Sox‘ pitcher, as he explained when appearing on the Bradfo Show podcast Wednesday.
“Yeah,” said Buchholz when asked if he thought he might be dealt this offseason. “Whenever you go out and get someone like David, that’s putting a lot of weight on his shoulders for reasons that are apparent. He’s the horse that every team wants to have on their staff. But given you do have someone like that, there obviously has to be one person that’s out of the mix. I was actually on the phone with Wade Miley talking about the whole Seattle thing, because my name was involved in that, and obviously his name. There were times I was unsure what was going to happen, but you can’t lose sleep over that. It’s a business and sometimes whenever an organization they have the best chance to succeed by doing one thing, and that’s what they do, you take it with a grain of salt and then you go to another team and try and help them win.
“There was a period of a week, 1 1/2 weeks, two weeks I was non-stop texting my agent, saying, ‘What’s going on?'”
As it turned out, Miley was the one dealt to Seattle, leaving Buchholz back with the Red Sox for at least one more season.
The 31 year old has a $13.5 million team option following the 2016 season, marking the second straight year he has had to pitch in a potential contract year. The real contract uncertainty began during last season, after an elbow injury shut him down in early July.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Buchholz said when asked if he ever thought his $13 million option for this season might not be picked up. “But then again, over my whole career I’ve been in the trade talks. From my first year to last year. It’s just one of those things. I’ve found a way to stick around. It goes back to me saying when I am on the field I feel like I’m as good as anybody else you can throw out there. Maybe that was the way they were leaning with it, I don’t know. I’m fortunate to be here to be a part of this organization. This is where I grew up as far as my professional career goes. I’ve got a lot of trust in them, and they’ve put a lot on me as the years have gone by. It’s one of those things.”
Buchholz said, with one option year remaining, it’s starting to feel like a whole new ballgame.
“Maybe a little bit because it is the final year of that contract so it’s more of a do-or-die type of thing and that’s why it was important to be in the gym this offseason, get the work in and try and prepare myself to the best of my capabilities and be ready,” he said of how he views this time last year to his current lot in life. “Once you get here there’s really no looking back on what you could have down, or what you should have done, or what’s going to happen. I’m looking forward to playing ball, getting on the mound and being around the guys. That’s what makes this game fun is to come out here and compete and do well at it.”
Clay Buchholz on the Bradfo Show podcastFORT MYERS, Fla. — After spending Wednesday morning executing a light game of catch with Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz sat down for an episode of the Bradfo Show podcast to catch up.
As he pointed out, for about nine years running the first question in these sort of early-February interviews start with an update regarding his weight. (For what it’s worth, the right-handers frame does look a bit sturdier when we last saw him.)
The next topic? Is Buchholz going to pitch 200 innings?
The closest the 31 year old has come to the coveted milestone came in 2012, when he totaled 189 1/3 innings. But since then the totals have been 108 1/3 innings in 2013, 170 1/3 a year later, and the 113 1/3 innings he put in last season before succumbing to an elbow injury in early July.
The last couple of years coming in my body felt good. It’s been around the All-Star break where something unfortunate happens,” Buchholz said. “Given the way it was going last year, up until that point, I was one of those runs you like to be on with your starting pitcher. Go deep into games, given your team a chance to win, not give up a whole lot of home runs, making guys earn their way on base. That’s the mental side of it. You’re out there, feeling really good and then you have something set you back and you have to learn how to handle that. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned the only thing I can do about it is try and keep that from happening. That has been sort of the question mark, even for myself because there’s nobody who wants to be on the mound more than I do during a season because it really stinks sitting on the bench, especially when the team isn’t doing as good as everybody hoped for or how they thought they were going to do and you have nothing to do with it. That’s a pretty rough patch for me to not have anything to do with the team winning or losing.
“It’s just one of those things where I felt like I put myself in a good spot. As I’m getting older now I feel like there’s some switches I can make with the program we do out here and how I go about the workout routine and program. Hopefully put our heads together this year and find the ingredients for that to happen.”
The most notable “switch” Buchholz has implemented has come courtesy at least partially due the advice of one of his former teammates, Cubs pitcher John Lackey.
Buchholz is entering his time at JetBlue Park without having thrown any bullpen sessions, which is a big difference from a year ago when he came to town having four or five bullpens under his belt.
“In my mind I was thinking I was trying it a little bit different this year,” he explained. “Instead of ramping up and throwing bullpens in the offseason I’m going to get to camp around the first or second. i knew Porcello was going to be here, and I knew a couple of catchers were going to be here, too. Given our reporting date is the 18th for pitchers and catchers I can throw the same amount of bullpens being here rather than being in Texas and not being around any of the guys. I felt like this route was going to work well for me this year.
“I tried to pick a lot of guys brains. I work out with John Lackey in the offseason and he’s found his niche as far as how he goes about what he does in the offseason going into camp. We played catch for about the last month. He might throw a couple of bullpens before camp, but at this point and time he hasn’t thrown any either and he sort of eases his way into it. That was the approach I sort of thinking about taking. I talked to Johnny Farrell about it over the phone, and they were a little bit worried me coming into camp without throwing.
“Two and a half weeks from right now to throw my four or five bullpens. I can throw one every three days and it puts me on track. I can throw to Vazqy, and get reacquainted with him. I don’t feel like it’s a different route, it just started at a different time.”
The throwing program wasn’t the only change. After meeting with Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski before heading to Texas for the offseason, Buchholz received some guidelines in terms the organization’s expectations/suggestions.
“I sat down and talked to Dave before the season was over. It’s pretty much black and white what he was talking about,” Buchholz said. “When I sat down and talked to Dave it was more so of knowing what I had to do going into the offseason, taking the right amount of time off, being pretty strict on the workouts five days a week, and that’s what I did. I feel like I got stronger in a couple of different ways that I wasn’t the last couple of years. It was a good offseason for me. The one thing that was different this year is that I focused more on legs this year than I have the last four or five years. I feel like everything comes from the ground up. If my legs are in shape I don’t have to worry about my legs giving out in the first couple of bullpen. I just have to worry about arm strength, and that’s a good thing.”
|Report: Red Sox in discussions about moving starting pitcher to Mariners||12.07.15 at 1:41 pm ET|
It’s no secret that the Red Sox are looking to unload one of their returning starting pitchers after signing free agent David Price last week. Now, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, we have some information about one of the teams with whom they might be dealing.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has plenty of familiarity with the players as well as the Red Sox front office, as he was a scout for the Sox a decade ago and he had a stint as a senior adviser with the Sox late last season after resigning as Angels GM midseason. He also worked for the Diamondbacks when Miley played in Arizona.
Dipoto has gone on record as saying he wants to upgrade the M’s rotation, and the Red Sox are an obvious place to start considering their surplus of arms.
Buccholz, 31, went 7-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 18 games during an injury-shortened 2015 season. He is set to earn $13 million in 2016, and the team has a $13.5 million option for 2017.
Miley, 29, overcame a 1-4 start to finish 11-11 with a 4.46 ERA in 32 starts in his first season in Boston. The left-hander has two years remaining on his contract — worth $6.1 million next season and $8.9 million the year after — and the Red Sox hold a $12 million option for 2018.
|Curt Schilling on D&C: Red Sox ‘have to get rid of’ Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval||11.04.15 at 1:06 pm ET|
ESPN analyst Curt Schilling checked in with with Dennis, Callahan & Minihane show on Wednesday morning to discuss the Red Sox‘ offseason and other MLB news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
There has been speculation that new Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski will attempt to rid the team of the hefty contracts of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, who arrived in Boston last season as free agents but underperformed as the team struggled to another last-place finish in the American League East.
“I don’t know if they can do that without eating at least 90 percent of the money,” Schilling said. “Because it’s not like you have these hidden flaws that no one else knows about, that you can sneak him out the door and somebody will go, ‘Wow, I didn’t notice that.’ Pablo, the question’s always been around his weight. And I love the guy. He’s a tremendous clubhouse guy — funny, great guy. But this is what everybody was afraid of.
“With Hanley, is anybody surprised by what happened? This was the guy they traded [in 2005]. He didn’t change. They just got an older version of him.”
Schilling said he never supported the acquisitions last year.
“I was a pariah at the winter meetings, because I was the only guy at ESPN that said, ‘I don’t like either one. I don’t like either signing.’ I don’t get the give [$]80 [million], $100 million to a guy — and then find him a position? That seems kind of backwards to me.
“And Sandoval — you’re literally going to have three first baseman/DHs maybe, going into the season. I don’t think they have a choice. They have to get rid of at least one. And if they can get rid of two, my God, go for it.”
|Red Sox exercise option on Clay Buchholz for 2016||11.03.15 at 12:54 pm ET|
As expected, the Red Sox announced they’ve exercised their option on the right-handed pitcher for next season. They had until Wednesday to do so.
Buchholz will be paid $13 million for the upcoming season, which also keeps his $13.5 million team option for 2017 in play as well. If the Red Sox didn’t pick up his 2016 team option he would have become a free agent.
The right-hander is 31 years old and is entering his 10th season in the league. Buchholz suffered a strained right flexor tendon in his July 10 start against the Yankees and didn’t pitch again the rest of the season. He did throw a bullpen at the end of the season and felt completely healthy.
He’s the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox pitching staff.
(For more offseason baseball banter, tune into the WEEI Sports Radio Network for the Hot Stove Show, Tuesday at 9 p.m.)
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Clay Buchholz appears on verge of cementing return to Red Sox in 2016||10.01.15 at 1:42 am ET|
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has told the media, Clay Buchholz and his agent that if the pitcher is deemed healthy at the conclusion of the 2015 season, picking up Buchholz’ ’16 team option for $13 million would be the team’s likely course of action.
Well, it appears as though Buchholz has done his part.
Buchholz threw what was likely his last bullpen session of the season prior to Wednesday night’s Red Sox win, coming through the exercise without incident.
“I feel good,” Buchholz said. “I had the same conversation (regarding picking up the option) with Dave a while back so I completely understand where they’re coming from on the business side of it. Whenever I’m healthy and in the field, the last couple years haven’t been a full season, but I feel I give the team a good chance to win. Whenever I’m able to follow a certain pattern and stay on schedule with the bullpens.
“I feel good and I’ll talk to Dave again before we head out for Cleveland and go from there.”
Option or no option, Buchholz has already achieved what he set out when he started coming back from his right elbow issue.
“Even when I started playing catch I felt the difference from the last game I was in,” he said. “Going forward I followed the protocol laid out and that was going to be everything was going to be fine. It’s always good going into the offseason knowing you’re not nursing anything and sort of treat it like a regular offseason rather than having to start rehab at a certain point. And then you get to that point it makes everything sort of monotonus and dry in the offseason. Looking forward to getting going into a normal time period off.”
Now, Buchholz can plan on a normal offseason, one which paves the way to a return to Fort Myers in early February.
“I’ve talked to our doctors and that’s what they’ve told me,” said Buchholz of having the same sort of offseason training regimen as a year ago. “It should be a normal run start throwing in November. I feel like when you start throwing then I’ll go to spring training a couple weeks early to throw a bullpen down there with our guys rather than throw them anywhere else.”
|Red Sox notes: Pablo Sandoval (pneumonia) to be re-evaluated Saturday; Rotation set for New York series||09.26.15 at 2:07 pm ET|
Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval hasn’t played in a game since last Sunday in Toronto and then was diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this week. He will be re-evaulated Saturday at the park to see exactly where he’s at.
“I have seen bits and pieces of him and he’s looking better, but he’s still ill,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s working through that.”
There’s been no determination on whether or not he will play in a game the rest of the season.
Lovullo said it’s “very fair to say” Monday will be Rodriguez’s last start of the year, as he’s reached his innings limit. Henry Owens is expected to get one more start following Sunday and it’s possible the team will need another bullpen game next weekend in Cleveland.
— There’s nothing new with Hanley Ramirez, as he continues to work on strengthening his right shoulder, which has shut him down for the season.
“Hanley is in the process of continued treatment, continued therapy on his shoulder, but all baseball activities have been shut down,” Lovullo said. “He’s behind the scenes conditioning, doing all his stuff here, spending time with the trainers just to assist that shoulder. That’s really the hindrance, the right shoulder.”
— Clay Buchholz “felt good,” according to Lovullo after throwing a light, front-toss bullpen on Friday. He will throw a 20-25 pitch full bullpen either Sunday or Monday, as the next step to getting back to full strength. There is still a slim chance he throws an inning next weekend in Cleveland.
|Clay Buchholz throws off mound Friday in first step to potentially appear in game||09.25.15 at 6:09 pm ET|
Although it was just the mound in the bullpen, it was a major step in Buchholz getting back to full strength, as he threw 20 pitches with a catcher standing in front of home plate, in a bullpen session he refers to as a “front toss bullpen.”
The entire starting rotation watched the session and Buchholz came away pleased, according to interim manager Torey Lovullo.
“He felt great. The reports were that there was a lot of energy, a lot of intensity,” Lovullo said. “He’s finishing his pitches. The conversation I had with Clay afterwards, he’s very encouraged. He was pain free and those were the things we were looking for.”
There was some optimism Buchholz would be able to throw an inning in a game this season, but with the regular season coming to a close a week from Sunday, it doesn’t appear likely — although not completely ruled out.
“Considering how long he’s been down, it’s going to be very risky to give him a start,” Lovullo said. “I don’t think that’s in the cards — whether it’s an inning or a start — we’re unsure right now. We just don’t want to put him in harms way. We want to make sure he’s healthy with step one which was today. Step two will be the bullpen. I think the idea is just getting him on the mound, with he slant, feeling the rubber, feeling the dirty in his spikes — there’s a lot to be said for that for a player who is trying to build confidence coming back from an injury.
“Step one is very good, I don’t want to look too far beyond that, but I don’t think a start is in the cards.”
If Buchholz feels well Saturday, a bullpen would be the next step, but the date of that has yet to be determined.
“We just don’t want to stretch him out too far and overwhelm him,” Lovullo said.
|Clay Buchholz gets clearance to keep pursuing his 1 inning||09.24.15 at 10:58 pm ET|
With the final days of the regular season dwindling down (with 10 games remaining), Buchholz got the news that he would be able to keep pursuing his goal of pitching in Cleveland.
“Basically we sat down with Dave [Dombrowski], [trainer] Brad [Pearson], [pitching coach] Carl [Willis, and Torey [Lovullo], and tried to map out a little plan,” Buchholz told WEEI.com Thursday. “The first step is going to be tomorrow.”
That first step will be throwing off a mound for the first time since injuring his right elbow July 10.
The clearance was a product of a call from Dr. James Andrews to Red Sox physical therapist Ray Mattfeld on Wednesday. Then Thursday, Buchholz would then talk to Andrews, whom the pitcher had conferred with twice since his injury.
“[Andrews] said he was completely fine with me doing it this way. So that’s how we’re going to do it,” Buchholz said.
Buchholz will throw between 20-25 pitches, at about 50 percent effort level, with the catcher standing on the plate. The next session would allow for around 25-30 pitches, with the catcher in his usual position.
“That’s basically how I’ve thrown my bullpen the last years anyway,” he said. “Just fastballs and maybe a couple of changeups and see how everything responds to that.”
|Red Sox notes: Pablo Sandoval has ‘significant’ upper respiratory infection; Uncertainty with Brian Johnson||09.22.15 at 5:22 pm ET|
Even though the regular-season is less than two weeks away from wrapping up, it doesn’t mean the Red Sox have any shortage of injuries.
— Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been out of the lineup eight times in the last 17 games battling a few ailments, including an illness. Tuesday it was confirmed Sandoval has a “significant” upper respiratory infection, which will keep him out a few more days, according to interim manager Torey Lovullo.
Sandoval became ill Friday in Toronto, missing Friday and Saturday before playing Sunday, but left the game early. The third baseman is not at the park Tuesday, as he is home taking medicine and resting.
— The news isn’t as good for Clay Buchholz (flexor strain), who hasn’t pitched in a game since July 10. There was a chance he could pitch an inning before the end of the season to get some confidence going into the offseason, but that isn’t looking so promising.
Buchholz threw 60-90 feet on Tuesday, but having not thrown off a mound yet and there being less than two weeks left, the possibility of him pitching in a game doesn’t look good.
“Well, we’re creeping up on him not being able to throw in a game unless something starts to move forward — quickly,” Lovullo said.
— Brian Johnson hasn’t pitched in a game since Aug. 2 in Pawtucket when he needed to leave the game due to elbow tightness. He experienced elbow irritation in the ulnar nerve area and was sent down to Fort Myers to rehab.
Lovullo said the left-hander, who made one major league start this season, would be re-evaulated on Oct. 1, but was very vague with the details. He said the evaluation would give an “update on what direction he will go.”
He also wasn’t sure who would do the evaluation, whether it would be the medical team in Boston, Fort Myers, or even an outside specialist.
“He’s an injured pitcher right now, we’re trying to figure out exactly what the best situation is for him,” Lovullo said.
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