|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.
|Clay Buchholz still eyeing pitching one inning before end of season||09.14.15 at 8:15 pm ET|
Buchholz, who is recovering from a right elbow strain and hasn’t pitched in a game since July 10, continued his rehab progression at Camden Yards, throwing out to 120 feet prior to the Red Sox series opener against the Orioles.
The righty has also begun to throw breaking balls on the side, although no timetable has been presented as to when he might return to the mound.
But, as he explained, as long as he keeps going down his current path, the goal of coming out of the Red Sox bullpen for one game this season remains intact.
“We just out want to get out there and see what it’s like to ramp up to 100 percent effort level in a game,” Buchholz explained. “But I don’t have enough time to start.”
New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had previously said that he didn’t envision Buchholz pitching again this season. Yet the insinuation by both interim manager Torey Lovullo and Buchholz that his season might not be completely over, the target seemingly remains pitching in that final series in Cleveland.
Buchholz started 18 games, compiling 7-7 record and 3.26 ERA, before succumbing to the strained right flexor in his elbow.
|Red Sox pregame notes: Mookie Betts ‘sooner than later’ will play other OF spots||09.02.15 at 2:19 pm ET|
As the Red Sox have begun to expose their outfielders to other outfield spots with Rusney Castillo debuting in left field Wednesday, Mookie Betts could be the next to play either left or right field.
“That will be the next part of this and Mookie’s been working hard in left and right,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Once again Arnie [Beyeler] will sign off on that when he thinks the timing is right. Also get something from Mookie to make sure he’s comfortable and ready. There all very athletic guys. They are all very gifted with their movements in any direction. We feel it’s going to be a lot sooner than later.”
As for Castillo, he’s been working with outfield coach Arnie Beyeler for almost two weeks and he and Castillo felt the timing was right.
“Arnie has been with him since the middle of last homestand and Arnie signed off on it,” Lovullo said. “We decided that he was going to be the lead dog in the situation. Get some feedback from Rusney and mentally see what he’s doing and also verbally see where he’s at. Everything checked out. Rusney was ready for that challenge and we thought the timing was right today.”
— With Matt Barnes (elbow) and Steven Wright (concussion) unable to pitch, the Red Sox haven’t been able to go to a six-man rotation like they had hoped. With the off day Thursday they will keep their starters in line over the weekend and not skip anyone.
Discussions are taking place of how they can get a six-man rotation, as they monitor Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez’s innings.
“We’re talking about that right now,” Lovullo said. “We’re trying to figure out if there is another candidate. We’re trying to see if those two guys can’t go then maybe there’s a bullpen day. We’re throwing a lot of different options at one another. Obviously the two candidates are [Barnes] and Steven [Wright]. We’ll see where they’re at.”
With the team having only one Thursday game in the month of September there were off days built in, but even with those Lovullo and the team want to have a six-man rotation.
“We were aware of those day off, but we wanted to also throw in that sixth guy despite those days to give them a little bit more time in between and monitor the workload,” Lovullo said. “We were aware of that. We built those in and still decided to try the six-man thought. Obviously we’re trying to find the right candidate right now.”
|Red Sox pregame notes: Clay Buchholz yet to begin throwing program, rest of year uncertain||08.21.15 at 5:12 pm ET|
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz last pitched in a game July 10 and hasn’t been able to throw since.
“Clay has not [begun a throwing program],” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Right now Clay is kind of in a no-throw situation. He feels good enough to throw, but we are evaluating him daily to see where he’s at. I know he’s had an opinion where he can start to throw, but we’re not going to rush anything that he’s not ready to do.”
Lovullo was then asked if the right-hander would pitch again this season. He would not say yes or no.
“We haven’t determined that,” he said. “We’re trying to figure this out moving forward.”
In 18 starts this season, Buchholz is 7-7 with a 3.26 ERA. Over his last five starts that he was able to make, he allowed just one earned run in each of them.
Brock Holt is out of the lineup for a second straight day, but it doesn’t appear to be serious and Lovullo said he would be available off the bench, if needed.
“He’s just a little banged up,” Lovullo said. “He just needed another day. I decided to give him another day — I decided to give him another day to get caught up. I know I’ve been talking a lot the last couple days about these guys getting tired and fatigue and instead of staying with it we wanted to get a little bit ahead of it.”
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