|John Farrell on D&C: ‘I believe in and I like the talent that we have’ on pitching staff||02.25.15 at 11:09 am ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell checked in with Dennis & Callahan from spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday morning to talk about the outlook for the team this season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The biggest question mark as spring training begins is the pitching staff, with the lack of a true No. 1 starter.
“We all know that there’s a label that certain pitchers have earned. But I tell you this: I feel very good about the five that are in the rotation,” Farrell said. “There’s talent. There’s some question with the bounce-back capability of Justin Masterson, with an injury late in 2013 that seemingly affected last year; Clay Buchholz‘s durability, consistency, comes to mind, but when he has been healthy he’s pitched equivalent to a No. 1; and, to me, Joe Kelly, who’s got the stuff to be that type of guy — we’ve got to extend his overall innings workload.”
Kelly’s name has been mentioned as perhaps the most likely candidate to be the team’s top starter.
“I think Joe Kelly’s got the ability to go I think a step up as he’s learning himself as a pitcher. He’s got the best stuff in our rotation,” Farrell said. “You’re looking at a guy who’s mid- to upper 90s with a very good breaking ball, a strong, competitive streak that we saw in the starts that he made for us last year. I’m going to talk optimistically, there’s no doubt about it, because I believe in and I like the talent that we have.”
“I wouldn’t agree with that,” Farrell said. “Everyone certainly has the right to their own opinion. But having been with Clay for a number of years now, he loves to compete. He loves to be the best to his abilities. Now, there’s been some things that have held him back, and durability over the course of a career to date has come into play here a little bit. But I can tell you this: He’s driven and he’s got — as we all do — a lot of motivation coming off the year we just finished.”
|Clay Buchholz explains reaction to phone being hacked: ‘It was pretty shocking’||02.24.15 at 3:01 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was not the way Clay Buchholz wanted to begin his offseason.
In early October, the Red Sox pitcher’s iPhone was hacked, allowing racy pictures of his wife, Lindsay, to be spread over the internet. It was one in a series of cases at the time where content from celebrities’ phones were being stolen, with Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander and his girlfriend Kate Upton having to endure a similar issue.
Buchholz told WEEI.com Tuesday that his first reaction upon learning his phone had been hacked was to enlist the help of lawyers. But after some initial investigation, it was learned that the source was coming from the Netherlands, where laws make it difficult to prosecute such culprits.
“They just told us there wasn’t a lot we could do,” Buchholz said.
“It was crazy, It is what it is,” he added. “It was one of those things, if we could have prosecuted, we would have prosecuted. But as far as the laws go, I think it was done in the Netherlands and they have fence around them where you can’t do anything. We had lawyers look into it.
“It was pretty shocking. It was one of those things. There’s always looking to get somebody. It just happened to be me. There were multiple other people that it happened to, obviously. Seriously, it took five days and we really didn’t hear about it anymore.”
Shortly after the incident, Lindsay Buchholz — a former actress/model — told TMZ.com the pictures in question were intended for the couple and nobody else. “Clay and I are good,” he told the outlet. “I sent him pictures on the road.”
“Lindsay was pretty shaken up,” Buchholz explained. “I just told her to try and forget about it. Everybody knows stuff happens. That’s my wife and it’s our business, but at the same time people are going to use you for whatever they can.”
With no available legal recourse (including involving Apple, which has protected itself in regards to stolen material off their iCloud function), the couple has moved on while obviously taking some extra precautions.
“I’m definitely more careful,” Buchholz said. “It’s just as simple as you dropping your phone and losing it, and somebody guessing your password. I try to try and keep everything secure as possible.”
‘ Lindsay Clubine (@LindsayClubine) October 15, 2014
Buchholz joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to talk about his offseason and the start of spring training. Click here to listen to the interview.
|Clay Buchholz’s wife confirms nude photos of her were hacked||10.16.14 at 12:09 pm ET|
‘ Lindsay Clubine (@LindsayClubine) October 15, 2014
Talking to TMZ on Wednesday, Lindsay Clubine, a former game show model, said the photos — which were intended only for her husband — were accessed from Buchholz’s phone.
“This is a terrible crime,” she said, adding: “I have my attorneys removing the pictures. This is very upsetting to my family and I.”
She made it clear she doesn’t hold the pitcher responsible.
“Clay and I are good. I sent him pictures on the road,” she explained.
Clubine also told TMZ that some other more explicit photos making the rounds are not of her, as some have claimed.
“There are pics on his phone that [a teammate] sent some of the guys that are NOT me,” she said.
Clubine, who married Buchholz in 2009, initially vented her frustration in a tweet Tuesday, writing: A woman should be able to send her husband pics of herself with out fear of the whole world seeing them! iCloud hackers should be ashamed!!
A woman should be able to send her husband pics of herself with out fear of the whole world seeing them! iCloud hackers should be ashamed!!
‘ Lindsay Clubine (@LindsayClubine) October 14, 2014
News of the hacking scandal first broke in early September. Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and his girlfriend, model Kate Upton, were among those victimized. Some victims, such as actress Gabrielle Union, who is married to NBA star Dwyane Wade, reached out to the FBI for assistance. Clubine would not say if she planned to take a similar approach.
“We’re taking all the necessary measures,” she said.
|Red Sox health updates: Clay Buchholz to undergo right knee procedure; Allen Craig’s foot considered a non-issue||09.29.14 at 2:03 pm ET|
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington announced that right-hander Clay Buchholz was expected to undergo a minor right knee procedure to repair his meniscus by head team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis. Cherington said that Buchholz had been dealing with the issue on and off for some time, though the discomfort hadn’t always been present and it was not significant enough to prevent him from pitching. Cherington described the meniscus injury as “not a debilitating issue,” and was not at the root of the player’s struggles (8-11, 5.34 ER) in 2014.
“Given where we are in the calendar, it’s a fairly quick recovery. Let’s just knock it out and he should have a normal offseason,” said Cherington. “It’s something that we managed. I think he would tell you it did not affect him. We’re just trying to be proactive so it doesn’t turn into something bigger.”
— Brock Holt will see Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh on Oct. 9 to get clearance that he’s recovered fully from his concussion. He won’t play in games (that visit will come too late to clear him for fall instructional league), but given that Holt took batting practice and grounders in the final homestand of the season, all parties appear comfortable that he will enter the offseason healthy. Read the rest of this entry »
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Michael Pineda||09.28.14 at 1:22 pm ET|
The Red Sox conclude their 2014 season at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon against the rival Yankees. Clay Buchholz will pitch against Michael Pineda during Derek Jeter‘s last-ever game in the major leagues.
Buchholz (8-10, 5.31 ERA) has been resurgent of late, and is looking to gear up for next season. For seven innings last Tuesday against the Rays, the right-hander kept Tampa Bay off the board in a great outing. But in the eighth inning, things fell apart. He was charged with five runs and the loss.
“When you get that deep into a game, not giving up a run yet, it’s tough to swallow giving up five in one inning,” Buchholz said after the game. “But like I said before, it is what it is.”
Save for his start against the Pirates on Sept. 17, Buchholz pitched into the sixth inning in all of his previous nine starts. In three of those outings, he made it into the eighth inning. But one of the worst appearances over a stretch since August happened to come against the Yankees. Buchholz threw 114 pitches by the fifth inning on Aug. 3 against New York, allowing seven runs, eight hits and five walks. Three of the runs were plated by former Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew.
The only other appearance Buchholz has against the Yankees this year came back on April 10 at Yankee Stadium. He took the loss in that one, although he was charged with just two earned runs in six innings.
Jeter has solid numbers against Buchholz in his career. The shortstop has eight hits and two RBIs in 29 career at-bats.
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Alex Cobb||09.23.14 at 10:24 am ET|
Buchholz (8-9, 5.29 ERA) was roughed up in his last outing last Wednesday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. In four innings, the right-hander allowed six hits and four runs in the loss — his first defeat in six starts.
The Pirates got to Buchholz in the first inning with a Gregory Polanco home run. After a Mike Napoli error in the second, Pittsburgh used four consecutive hits to add three more runs. Neil Walker added the final run off Buchholz with a solo home run in the third.
“He made some mistakes against some good hitters. Ran into some hittable counts and they took advantage of him,” pitching coach Juan Nieves said of Buchholz after the loss.
Buchholz finished the first half of the year with an abysmal 5.42 ERA and a 4-5 record. But in four starts before the one against the Pirates, Buchholz had a 3-0 record and a 2.10 ERA. One of those appearances included a six-strikeout shutout against the same Rays team he’ll face Tuesday. Buchholz used pinpoint accuracy with his fastball to dominate the Rays at Tropicana Field on Aug. 31.
“He was hitting all the spots, every pitch,” catcher Christian Vazquez said. “He was painting every pitch. He was pitching to his best, and it was easy for me.”
The start in Florida was Buchholz’s only start against the Rays this season. Over his career, Buchholz has handled Tampa Bay’s top hitters, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist, well. In 36 at-bats, Zobrist is hitting just .111 against Buchholz, while Longoria has seven hits in 41 career plate appearances.
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-Pirates matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Francisco Liriano||09.17.14 at 8:54 am ET|
In another good outing last Thursday, a rejuvenated Buchholz (8-8, 5.19 ERA) pitched 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball against the Royals. He notched seven strikeouts in the winning effort, his third consecutive victory.
Manager John Farrell was most impressed by the right-hander’s location on his pitches throughout the start in Kansas City.
“As we’ve seen over the last four starts, he’s been very efficient, he’s had multiple pitches,” Farrell said. “I thought he had a great changeup to go along with a well-located fastball tonight, and he continues to pitch very effectively, very consistent.”
Last week’s start is just one of the many quality outings Buchholz has put together in latter part of the season. Over his previous four starts, he’s allowed no more than three runs or six hits in one outing. On Aug. 31, he threw a complete game against the Rays, one start after he pitched 8 1/3 innings vs. the Blue Jays.
So far through September, Buchholz has a 2.84 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in two starts. Before the All-Star Game, the 30-year-old’s ERA was near six. Since then, it’s under five, thanks in part to his recent success.
Unlike his starts at Fenway Park, Buchholz has pitched well away from Boston. In 13 starts, he’s compiled a 3.96 ERA and a 5-3 record. Opposing hitters have a .241 batting average against him on the road compared to a .309 mark at home. Against National League opponents this season, though, Buchholz has only managed to pitch 13.2 innings combined over three starts, allowing 13 runs.
Buchholz has yet to face the Pirates in his career. However, catcher Russell Martin has been a thorn in the right-hander’s side with four home runs in 12 career plate appearances.
|Why you should have cared about Thursday’s Red Sox game: Hope for Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz||09.11.14 at 11:38 pm ET|
(For the final month of the regular season, “Closing Time” will be called “Why you should have cared,” looking beyond the final score — at a time when losses are arguably more valuable to the Sox than wins (for draft and waiver position) — for either meaningful signs for 2015 or simple aesthetic considerations.)
Stephen Drew wasn’t simply sent to the Yankees as some kind of Trojan Horse. The Red Sox recognized, even hoped, that he might help New York. But the team’s desire to see Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Will Middlebrooks at third down the stretch was so compelling that they were willing to aid an enemy with whom they had not dealt since 1997.
Bogaerts has rewarded that strategy. He has shown growing comfort both at shortstop and back in the batter’s box down the stretch, laying what both the player and the team hope will prove to be a springboard for greater success in 2015.
Middlebrooks has been another story. The third baseman entered Thursday hitting .173 with a .209 OBP and .218 slugging mark in 32 games since the trade of Drew, and marks of .182/.249/.260 on the year. He had gone 10 straight games without a multi-hit performance; he collected two hits (and no more than two hits) in five of his first 53 games.
Team officials still believe that the same player who made a splash in the big leagues in 2012 — delivering arguably the best rookie performance of any Red Sox position player since Dustin Pedroia — still is present, but is dormant inside the struggling third baseman. While belief in his potential remains present in the organization, however, the validation of that faith has been rare.
And so, nights like Thursday matter to those who seek evidence of Middlebrooks the producer. The 26-year-old went 2-for-4 with a double , a walk and an RBI. He managed to lay off breaking stuff off the plate away, manage his at-bats and hit the ball hard. The game marked his second of the year (first since May 1, when he had two hits and got hit by a pitch) in which he reached base three times.
It was the sort of contest that served as something of a reminder — in the same venue where Middlebrooks had one of his most dominant early-career performances, slamming homers down both lines and nearly driving a ball out to center near the start of his big league career in 2012 — from a player who has plenty to prove down the stretch in order to win a roster spot in 2015.
Middlebrooks and the Sox did some spoiling, beating the AL Central-leading Royals, 6-3.
OTHER REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT THURSDAY’S GAME Read the rest of this entry »
Over his last six starts Buchholz (7-8, 5.29 ERA) has pitched like he did during the first half of 2013. In those outings, he’s pitched at least six innings every time, having only one start where he gave up more than three runs. During August, the pitcher’s batting average against (.220) was the lowest it was all season.
The right-hander won his previous matchup on Saturday against the division-rival Blue Jays. After 6 1/3 innings of four-hit, two-run ball, Buchholz finished another quality start and recorded his seventh win of the season. This followed a three-hit shutout on Aug. 31 against the Rays.
“At some point in the game, I’m using each and every one of my pitches in an effective way,” Buchholz said after his start against Toronto. “Regardless of it being two pitches in one inning to get outs, I’m using them and I have confidence in them.”
“When he came back off the DL there was improved stuff overall, so his velocity picked up some as did his action to his two-seamer,” Farrell said of Buchholz’s improvements. “And I think because of that, it’s given him some confidence to attack the strike zone early, work ahead in the counts. And he’s been on a run that, to me, is very reminiscent of what he did first half of last year. And he’s pitched with a lot of confidence.”
Buchholz previously faced the Royals on July 10 and did not have one of his better outings. He did get the win, but he gave up four runs on 10 hits in six innings of work. Eric Hosmer did the most significant damage with three hits and two RBIs.
|John Farrell on MFB: ‘Probably likely’ Dustin Pedroia inactive for remainder of season||09.10.14 at 11:01 am ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell, making his weekly WEEI appearance Wednesday, told Middays with MFB that Dustin Pedroia is “probably likely” to miss the rest of the season due to an injury to his left hand/wrist. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Pedroia, in the midst of a subpar offensive season (.278/.337/.376), had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed inflammation in the wrist. The 30-year-old was scheduled to meet with team representatives Wednesday to determine a course of action.
“Nothing has been arranged as far as surgery,” Farrell said. “Information is still being gathered. There’s not been a final, like I said, target date or decision in this way. It’s pointing towards him having the procedure done. So, whether or not he remains inactive — it’s probably likely he is inactive the rest of the way.
This injury is the latest in a series of issues with Pedroia’s hands. He had surgery on his left thumb last offseason.
“Let’s face it, he’s had a number of collisions, headfirst slides, a number of things that have affected the hands, and he’s dealing with it in the left hand right now,” Farrell said. “We look at it like, if this procedure is needed, which, the initial reports — and let’s face it, surgery is always something you have to be concerned with, but … the severity of it is not like a high-risk situation with him.
“So, we look at it like if there’s a chance to get an additional two weeks of recovery time so he can get into some strength training throughout the winter and go through a normal offseason workout program as he gets into later November and beyond, that’s probably the avenue chosen here.
“What Dustin means to us is obvious. This is the heartbeat of our team, and we’ve got to get him back to 100 percent as soon as we can.”
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