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Clay Buchholz on possible trade: ‘I felt like something has to be going on’ 07.22.16 at 12:07 am ET
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Clay Buchholz pitched for the first time since July 2, Thursday night. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Images)

Clay Buchholz pitched for the first time since July 2 when he closed out Thursday night’s win over the Twins. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Images)

This might not be the last time Clay Buchholz pitches on the Fenway Park mound, but it sure is starting to feel like his run in Red Sox home whites is facing its finale.

Part of the vibe came from the obvious observation as to what Buchholz’s lot in life has become, as he finally pitched for the first time since July 2 when he finished off the Sox’ 13-2 win over the Twins on Thursday night with a scoreless inning.

But the other piece of the puzzle when surmising the end might be closing in for Buchholz when it comes to his time in Boston was the blunt explanation by Red Sox manager John Farrell prior to the game when asked about the pitcher’s role.

“He’s in a tough spot, I’ll be candid,” Farrell said. “I don’t want to say it’s purgatory, but as far as baseball he’s in a difficult spot. There was the four-day layover over the break. We’ve played very good winning baseball. We’ve gotten starters deeper into ballgames where the bullpen has been rested. That’s where the decisions have come in.”

And now with the Junichi Tazawa scheduled to return Friday, Joe Kelly knocking on the door to be a legitimate late-inning relief option, and the non-waiver trade deadline just 10 days away, it’s not a stretch to think Buchholz’s future will be with another club, starting in the not-too-distant future.

“If this is the way the team is going to be as far as the rotation part of it … I feel like the guys they’re rolling out there, I don’t have a spot. I’m the odd man out,” Buchholz said when asked if he thought we was going to be traded. “I’m not sure. I don’t know. Not having pitched in a while I felt like something has be going on. I’m just trying to stay as sharp as I can and that’s why I’ve been throwing on the side. I have to stay somewhat stretched out.

“Something has to go in some direction. I know we have Taz coming back, and Koji [Uehara] and Craig [Kimbrel] when they come back, and then it becomes a numbers game.”

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John Farrell on Clay Buchholz: ‘I don’t want to say it’s purgatory, but as far as baseball he’s in a difficult spot’ 07.21.16 at 5:17 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz doesn't have much of a role with the Red Sox right now. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz doesn’t have much of a role with the Red Sox right now. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

There’s no question, Clay Buchholz doesn’t have much of a role with the Red Sox right now.

In the Red Sox’ 11-7 win over the Giants Wednesday night when starter Drew Pomeranz was removed from the game in the fourth inning, every reliever besides Noe Ramirez and Buchholz were used.

Manager John Farrell explained his reasoning for not using Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched in a game since his last start on July 2.

“If we’re down 8-3, he’s probably the guy,” Farrell said Thursday. “But when you’re up 8-5 and with the number of guys that were available last night — I’ll be honest with you, if we’re sitting in this situation today you possibly are asking why did you use Clay if the game turned the other way and not use your other guys.

“He’s in a tough spot, I’ll be candid. I don’t want to say it’s purgatory, but as far as baseball he’s in a difficult spot. There was the four-day layover over the break. We’ve played very good winning baseball. We’ve gotten starters deeper into ballgames where the bullpen has been rested. That’s where the decisions have come in.”

Given his spot as the long relief guy in the bullpen, Farrell has needed to save him in case of certain situations — in Wednesday’s case, if the Giants somehow came back and tied the game.

For what it’s worth, Buchholz acknowledged he doesn’t view himself as a lost cause and as a starter to WEEI.com’s John Tomase on July 10, which was prior to the Drew Pomeranz trade. It’s possible the Red Sox look to deal the right-hander at the trade deadline to a National League team where he can start.

As for him with the Red Sox, given the recent stretch of winning baseball and consistent performances from starters, they just haven’t needed him.

“Fortunately for all of us, we haven found ourselves being on the downside with early exits from starters,” Farrell said.

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Red Sox GM Mike Hazen on OM&F: Red Sox will ‘continue to look at the trade market’ as deadline approaches 07.20.16 at 1:34 pm ET
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Mike Hazen

Mike Hazen

Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen joined the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss the team’s latest injured player and new starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz. To hear the interview, visit the OM&F on demand audio page.

In Tuesday night’s 4-0 win over the Giants, relief pitcher Koji Uehara came out of the game after throwing just seven pitches with an apparent pectoral strain. It is unclear yet when Uehara, 41, will be able to play again, meaning that Hazen and the Red Sox front office may have to make another move for a reliever.

“We’re going to get a better look at Koji this afternoon,” Uehara said. “Never really a good time after the game to get the best read on an injury. We usually like to let 24 or so hours set in before we can get a full handle on what we’re dealing with, hopefully its nothing overly serious.”

Added Hazen: “As far as what we do moving forward, I think there’s a couple of ways to look at it. One, we’re going to be opportunistic and continue to look at the trade market. I think one of the benefits to what we did early in terms of the aggressiveness, allows us to really survey the market and watch what else is going on, and allows us to continue to watch the team and see if there are other needs. I do think we feel pretty good about the bullpen as a whole. … I feel as a whole that the group the way we look at it is in a pretty good position. Our starters are working deeper into games, I think it’s really helped from a workload standpoint, it’s allowed [manager John Farrell] to more cherry pick where he’s going to use guys, and that’s always beneficial. We’ll see how it goes over the next seven or eight days or so, I do think overall, when you talk about getting [reliever Junichi Tazawa] back and you talk about getting [close Craig Kimbrel] back, we feel pretty good about the group. But there’s always room to improve the club. We’ll never sit here and not say that, given where we’re at.”

The team’s most recent move resulted in bringing in starting left-hander Drew Pomeranz from San Diego. Pomeranz was named an All-Star and holds a 2.47 ERA, but his workload capability is a concern. He has never pitched more than 100 innings in his five-year career until this season.

“We’re mindful of everybody’s workload,” Hazen said. “Certainly year over year is one way we look at it, outing to outing, number of pitches, how hard they have to work, we’re going to be mindful of that as we move forward. But that’s no different than all the other guys that start for us, or even the bullpen guys. We’re always conscious of the workload, we have every reason to believe he’s going to be there for us all the way through. I don’t think he’s pitched in the playoffs, so anybody who’s stepping into October for the first time … you need to be mindful for those things. It looks that the way the division is shaking out right now it may go down to the last day. Hopefully if you continue to play well and you can create some separation somehow someway, those are some of the benefits that you may have going into September where you can really monitor those things. You’re not always afforded that luxury, and if it goes down to the wire … you’re just going to have to deal with it when it comes. That’s where depth shows up again, and it’s something we’re going to have to be mindful of moving forward.”

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, blake swihart, Chris Young, Clay Buchholz
Red Sox notes: Eduardo Rodriguez to start Friday in New York; Clay Buchholz back in starting rotation 07.10.16 at 12:37 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox Friday night in New York. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox Friday night in New York. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

The Red Sox will get two starting pitchers back in their rotation coming out of the All-Star break — Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz.

Rodriguez will start Friday night in New York, as he’s appeared in two games with the PawSox since being sent back down in late June. He threw seven shutout inning on July 3, then allowed two runs over three innings in a rain-shortened outing Friday night.

“There’s been some adjustments made to his hand position,” manager John Farrell said. “It was a seven-inning and a rain-shortened three inning outing in which he’s pitched down there. The first inning in his second start — took him an inning to get into things, but the seven innings prior was sharp, was powerful. I think he’s by all reports and watching video of him looks like he’s gaining some comfort with the hand position that has been widely talked about. Required needed adjustments have been made.”

It also appears Buchholz will go back in the rotation, but the Red Sox won’t need a fifth starter until July 23. He hasn’t appeared in a game since July 2.

“Right now, we’ll work to get Clay back in there at some point,” Farrell said. “Where that slots in after the New York series remains to be worked through, but that’s the tentative plan right now.”

After Rodriguez in New York, Steven Wright will start Saturday and David Price on Sunday. Farrell said he did this to get both Rick Porcello and David Price a few extra days off.

“Yeah, we tried to build in as much as we could for everybody,” he said. “This will give David a couple extra days pitching on Sunday, but I think with Rick everything is pointing to a few extra days is what he needs.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— Both Brock Holt (sprained ankle) and Junichi Tazawa (shoulder) are unavailable Sunday, but Farrell is hopeful they will be available Friday and he doesn’t expect either to go on the disabled list.

“Both are unavailable today,” Farrell said. “We don’t anticipate either situation, a DL situation. The four days is coming at a good time for a number of guys.”

Holt sprained his ankle after jamming it sliding into second base on Friday night, but is getting better by the day.

“Getting treatment,” Farrell said “Walking around a little bit more. The increase is a little bit more each day. Those guys are going to remain here over the break to continue to get treatment. Hopefully things are pointing to Friday for Brock and [Tazawa].”

Read More: Brock Holt, Clay Buchholz, eduardo rodriguez, junichi tazawa
Red Sox moves: Christian Vazquez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, Ryan Hanigan activated to 25-man roster 07.04.16 at 6:21 pm ET
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Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez

While many saw the move coming, it became official after Monday’s 12-5 win over the Rangers.

With catcher Ryan Hanigan set to return to the big league club from a neck strain, the Red Sox have optioned Christian Vazquez back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

“He answered the durability question that we needed to see, and that was back-to-back nine innings caught,” manager John Farrell said of Hanigan. “Someone who’s been an accomplished big league catcher, particularly defensively and handling a pitching staff. It was time for him to come back to us.”

Vazquez has been struggling at the plate this season — hitting only .226 in 51 games — and Sandy Leon has been very impressive during his stint with the team since Hanigan went down. Leon went 4-for-5 with three doubles on Monday and is now batting .500 on the season.

The team can’t have three catchers on the roster and with Leon without options, the Red Sox were left with little choice but to option Vazquez.

“I think players are understanding of what goes on around them, I think they’re fairly aware,” Farrell said. “In Sandy’s case, where he’s out of options — at that position, you’re always a foul tip away from needing another guy. From the performance of Sandy in combination with the organizational depth, we felt like this was the move we needed to make.”

Additionally, Farrell announced Sean O’Sullivan will start Friday against the Rays and Clay Buchholz will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the first half. O’Sullivan was strong in his start on Sunday, allowing two runs over five innings in earning the win over the Angels. Buchholz will give the team a long relief man out of the bullpen, something they desperately need of late with so many relievers logging a lot of innings.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: christian vazquez, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Hanigan, Sean O'Sullivan
Red Sox notes: Clay Buchholz could be shifted back to bullpen at 12:07 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

After his 4 1/3 inning performance on Saturday, Clay Buchholz could be going back to the bullpen.

Although nothing official has been announced, manager John Farrell hinted Buchholz could be going back to the bullpen and Sean O’Sullivan could get another start on Friday night when the manager was asked about who might start on Friday.

“I will say one of the things that will factor into this is that we’ve leaned on a few guys in the bullpen of late,” Farrell said. “Clay would give us the ability to include him in the bullpen sooner than it would be with Sully (O’Sullivan). That’s something that has got to be sat down and talked to with each guy. That’s not part of an announcement, but is something that is being considered and factored into this. The starter on Friday is yet to be named.”

— Ryan Hanigan is back at Fenway Park after catching back-to-back games with Pawtucket the past two days as he works his way back from a neck strain. It’s possible he gets activated to the team as early as Tuesday and then it would seem Christian Vazquez could be going back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Vazquez is batting just .226 in 51 games this season and after catching Rick Porcello for 15 straight starts, Sandy Leon is catching the right-hander Monday, which Farrell said was due to “Sandy’s performance.”

— Joe Kelly will throw a bullpen on Monday before two rehab outings out of the bullpen this week. The first will come Wednesday with Portland in Manchester, New Hampshire and then the other will be next Saturday with the Lowell Spinners.

Farrell said the plan after that would be to go back to Pawtucket, but if the need arises for him to join the big league club after the All-Star break, that could be an option.

— Blake Swihart took some fly balls in left field for the first time on Monday since spraining his ankle on June 5. Farrell said he isn’t ready for much change in direction, but was a good sign that he was able to get out on the field just a month after suffering the injury.

Read More: blake swihart, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Sean O'Sullivan
Clay Buchholz: ‘I only gave up 3 earned runs, it wasn’t the worst performance I’ve had all year’ 07.03.16 at 12:05 am ET
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Clay Buchholz wasn't happy to leave the game when he did on Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz wasn’t happy to leave the game when he did on Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

While Clay Buchholz wasn’t the biggest of the Red Sox’ problems Saturday night, he still allowed six runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings of work to take his ninth loss of the season as the Red Sox were embarrassed in their 21-2 loss to the Angels.

The right-hander allowed two runs in the first inning, another in the second, another in the fourth, before being pulled after allowing two batters in the fifth to reach.

Both of the runners came around to score to account for his six total runs allowed. His ERA now stands at 5.91.

“I mean, I only gave up three earned runs, it wasn’t the worst performance I’ve had all year,” Buchholz said. “Home runs, still a problem. Yeah, still haven’t found a way to fix that. It wasn’t a good start.”

Buchholz allowed a two-run homer to Albert Pujols in the first inning and a solo homer to C.J. Cron in the fourth. He’s now allowed 17 home runs on the year. The right-hander has also had troubles in the early innings as his first inning ERA is now 10.38 and his ERA in the first and second innings is now 9.35.

The Red Sox even changed the way he warmed up by trying to simulate the first inning by sitting down and starting back up, but it didn’t seem to work out.

With the way the schedule is set up before the All-Star break, the Red Sox don’t have to use him the next time through the rotation as they can have Sean O’Sullivan (Sunday’s starter) or someone from Triple-A start next Friday.

Manager John Farrell wouldn’t commit to Buchholz making a start before the break.

“I can’t really commit to that,” he said.

Buchholz was visibly frustrated when he left the mound after throwing just 66 pitches. He met Farrell about halfway between the dugout and the mound to hand him the baseball and then was seen going right to the clubhouse and not sticking around in the dugout afterwards.

The two spoke about what happened afterwards and Buchholz still felt he should have stayed in the game given his low pitch count.

“We’ve had a chance to talk about it,” Farrell said. “It was a quick exit. I know he’s frustrated, but there’s some things within the game you’re trying to execute.”

While Buchholz certainly wasn’t the only issue Saturday night, he still hasn’t won a game as a starter since May 9 and the Red Sox may not have the time to wait around for him to turn things around.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, John Farrell,
Closing Time: Red Sox allow 4 home runs, get blown out by Angels in worst loss in long time 07.02.16 at 10:54 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz allowed six runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings of work Saturday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz allowed six runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings of work Saturday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Saturday night was a typical Clay Buchholz start and that was not a good thing for the Red Sox.

In fact, once Buchholz left the game it got even worse.

Buchholz allowed two runs in the first and another in the second and that was just the beginning as the Angels crushed the Red Sox, 21-2.

The Red Sox have now lost eight of their last 12 games.

With two outs in the first inning Mike Trout doubled and that was followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Albert Pujols. The Angels added another run in the second inning and one more in the fourth on a C.J. Cron homer before really blowing things open in the fifth as they scored five runs. Buchholz was pulled after the first two batters of the inning reached and Heath Hembree couldn’t bail him out. Aided by a Travis Shaw throwing error, the Angels scored five runs in the fifth to take a 9-0 lead.

The Red Sox starter finished the game going 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out one. Hembree wasn’t any better in relief as he allowed three runs (no earned) in 1 2/3 innings of work. Following Hembree things didn’t get any better — they only got worse, which included the bullpen allowing 11 runs in the seventh inning.

Robbie Ross Jr. allowed six runs in 1/3 of an inning, Pat Light allowed six runs (five earned), including two home runs in 1 2/3 innings and finally outfielder Ryan LaMarre pitched the ninth. Ironically, he was the only player not to allow a run.

For the Angels, Cron had a monster game going 6-for-6 with five RBIs and five runs scored. He’s the third ever Angel to record six hits in a game.

Offensively, the Red Sox got their runs in the fifth inning as Mookie Betts scored when Dustin Pedroia reached on a throwing error and then Betts hit a solo homer in the seventh.

Closing Time note

Shaw has now played in 134 straight games, the longest streak by a Red Sox player since Pedroia played in 148 games from 2011-12. He’s started 123 of the 134 games.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, heath hembree, mookie betts, travis shaw
Saturday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Hector Santiago at 11:28 am ET
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Clay Buchholz will get another chance to turn around his disappointing season when he’s handed the ball for Saturday night’s game against the visiting Angels and left-hander Hector Santiago.

Buchholz is 3-8 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.467 WHIP. He hasn’t pitched terribly since returning to the starting rotation, but in those two starts he put his team in a hole early, allowing five first-inning runs. In his most recent outing last Sunday against the Rangers he gave up three runs in the first inning and five runs overall (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and a season-high five walks (two in the first inning) while striking out three in Boston’s 6-2 loss.

“There was a stretch where we’ve seen in a number of his starts where he was very good, but there’s an inning inside of it that’s the one you can point to,” manager John Farrell said after the game.

Buchholz has started against the Angels 12 times in his career, posting a record of 6-4 with a 4.83 ERA and 1.441 WHIP. He last faced them twice in 11 days in August of 2014, giving up nine runs in 14 innings as the Sox lost both games.

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Sunday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Martin Perez 06.26.16 at 9:23 am ET
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For the final game of the Red Sox-Rangers series on Sunday afternoon, the Sox will count on Clay Buchholz, while the Rangers will turn to left-hander Martin Perez.

Buchholz is 3-7 in 16 games this season (11 starts) with a 5.83 ERA and a 1.408 WHIP. Buchholz has been enduring a tumultuous season. His start last Tuesday was his first since May 26 after being demoted to the bullpen. In that outing against the White Sox, the 31-year-old right-hander gave up a home run on the first pitch of the game, but he settled down to pitch five innings, giving up three runs on four hits, including two home runs, and one walk with five strikeouts in a 3-1 Boston loss. In all but two of Buchholz’s starts this year he has given up at least one home run.

“The stuff was good,” Buchholz said after the outing. “I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand. I threw some good pitches in full counts that I needed to throw. I walked one guy, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad walk, in my mind. I prepared as much as I could for this start, and my body felt good out there. I feel strong. We’ll see what happens again five days from now.”

Buchholz is 1-5 in seven career starts against the Rangers with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.320 WHIP. His last start vs. Texas came last season when Buchholz went 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

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