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Clay Buchholz says Opening Day nod ‘a big, big honor’ 03.29.15 at 2:43 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Clay Buchholz got the message loud and clear.

This is his time, his year, to step up and shine as the time-vested leader of the Red Sox rotation. The Red Sox rewarded him for his diligence this spring with the nod as the club’s Opening Day starter on April 6 in Philly.

“Obviously it’s a big, big honor,” Buchholz said before Sunday’s game at JetBlue Park. “It’s another game. I have to prepare just as I would for any other start. I think it gets a lot of publicity and lot of attention on it just for it being Opening Day. I’m willing to try and take it as normal as possible and try to cherish the moment because there aren’t many people that get to be a part of that or actually be an Opening Day starter, especially for an organization like Boston. Yeah, I’m happy about it.”

While the official announcement was made by manager John Farrell Sunday morning in the third base dugout, the message that the organization expected him to step forward was made clear to the 30-year right-hander much earlier.

“It’s something that you can use to your advantage for sure, knowing that there were a lot of changes done and made to this team in the offseason. Knowing what they did with the offense this offseason, we’re in a better place right now on paper to get the season going and to really feel confident about what this team can do. I think everybody is going to be excited once we leave out of here and once we get to Philly, regardless of how cold it is. A change might be good for a couple of guys. It’s an honor. I think everybody here is ready to go.”

“We have meetings once we get here with Ben and Juan and John. We sit down and sort of go over what they expect and the outlook on everything coming into camp. And that was one of the messages Ben gave to me.”

The Red Sox have placed a great deal of trust in Buchholz, mainly because they feel he has matured. Buchholz showed off his maturity and perspective Sunday.

“I’ve been here for a little bit,” Buchholz said. “I’ve had some ups and downs, both on the extreme side. I feel like I’ve matured a lot as person and baseball player. I think it’s just knowing that nobody is going to be perfect but if you practice to be perfect, I think the direction it’s going to go is a lot less [of a problem] than if you don’t practice that way, and that’s one of the things I’ve tried to instill in myself, try to do everything hard, work hard and be prepared. When adversity is presented to you, I think you really know how to respond to that in a different way, going through it before and then having a lot of success. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. It wasn’t always fun but I think it’s put me in a pretty good spot.”

Read More: 2015 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz,
John Farrell (finally) confirms Clay Buchholz as Opening Day starter: ‘This is his time’ at 10:27 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell finally dispensed with the drama toward the end of his Sunday pre-game briefing with reporters at JetBlue Park.

Clay Buchholz will be the starting pitcher when the Red Sox begin the season April 6 in Philadelphia. Rick Porcello will start the second game on April 8 while the third pitcher for the series is undecided, pending roster moves in the final week before the team breaks camp.

Farrell made the announcement unprompted toward the end of the session with reporters, after several media inquiries the last three weeks were met with polite procrastination from the Red Sox skipper.

“Buchholz will start Monday in Philly,” Farrell announced.

What went into the decision?

“A whole plan, I’ll leave it at that,” Farrell quipped, before adding some insight and perspective. “He came into camp in a good place, both mentally and physically. Each bullpen to game outing he pitched, his delivery is on line. The line score last time out doesn’t reflect the way the ball came out of his hand. Now, line scores are important. I get it. But he feels good physically. He’s confident. We’ve seen when Clay has been in that place, he’s one of the better pitchers in baseball. We fully expect that to begin the season in that form.”

Buchholz allowed 12 hits and four runs in five-plus innings in his last start Friday at Disney against the Braves but has been very much in command this spring, striking out 18 batters and walking just three in 15 innings, posting a 3.60 ERA.

“He’s embraced it. He understands and has lived the changes that have gone on around him. He is fully aware of everything that is Boston and that goes along with being a starting pitcher for the Red Sox. He doesn’t back away from it. He may go about it in his own way. He’s not the most vocal guy in the world. He’s been here for a number of years and to me, he’s in a position to embrace that and assume that.”
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Read More: 2015 Red Sox spring training, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Philadelphia Phillies
Observations from Red Sox’ 4-2 rain-shortened loss in Disney: Mookie Betts (HR) shines, Clay Buchholz (12 hits) spotty 03.27.15 at 4:58 pm ET
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Mookie Betts homers in the fourth inning Friday against Atlanta starter Julio Teheran. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Mookie Betts homers in the fourth inning Friday against Atlanta starter Julio Teheran. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The stormy weather that ended Friday’s game here at Disney was appropriate because the day for the Red Sox featured the thunder and lightning of Mookie Betts and bleak results from Clay Buchholz in a 4-2 loss to the Braves at Champion Stadium.

Betts registered his first two walks of the spring in his first two plate appearances, swiped his first base, connected for his first homer that actually cleared the wall in his third appearance before being retired minutes before the rain halted the game at 3:28 p.m ET.

Betts is now hitting .487 (19-for-39) with a gaudy .923 slugging percentage and a .512 OBP in 13 games. Betts got an inside fastball from Julio Teheran in the fourth inning and laced a homer over the wall in left for his second homer of the spring, and his first that cleared a wall.

“I don’t look at it any different than any other day,” Betts said of his continued spring tear. “I just had to do a couple more things but it’s always nice to be able to do those things and be able to affect the game in many different ways. That’s kind of the way I look at it, being able to affect the game in different ways.

“I’m pretty comfortable. I’m not going to go out and stress or anything. I feel like the year of being able to play last year got me kind of comfortable this year. Now, I’m just going in and playing and I feel like I’m just settling in with the guys.”

“He seemingly is on-time all the time at the plate,” Farrell said afterward. “He’s never seen the guy before. Second pitch is a line drive base hit. He takes a lot of good pitches off the plate to stay in command of the count for the base on balls. Obviously, the two-run homer, he’s done it a few times where guys try to pound him in and he’s so quick in there that he’s capable of that. But it’s been very exciting to see. It hasn’t been against pitchers that might not be seen during the regular season at the major league level. He’s facing some of the better pitchers that are going to be pitching this season.”

Betts’ only miscue actually ended an inning as he misjudged a fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs. Phil Gosselin took a full swing at a Buchholz pitch but the ball didn’t carry. It was headed for the grass of shallow center when Betts broke back on the swing. But Betts used his speed and quickness to sprint forward and make a diving catch.

“Plays like that are rare,” Betts said of his play from center field. “Just to get one play like that I feel like I’ll be able to do something different next time and maybe the same thing happens but as long as I catch it, that’s the main thing.”

“Full swing, he’s reading the ball of the bat and he breaks back but he recovers,” Farrell said. “Maybe made the play a little bit more difficult than he needed to but an out’s an out.”

As for Buchholz, he had the roughest outing of the spring, ten days removed from his expected start on Opening Day in Philadelphia. The Red Sox starter threw 96 pitches against the Braves and allowed 12 hits and four runs over five-plus innings, getting pulled after Kelly Johnson launched a long homer to right-center off him to open the sixth.

“He gave a lot of hits,” Farrell said. “There’s a couple different ways you can look at it. One, he made some big pitches as he had men on base quite a bit today. I thought his stuff and the definition to his pitches, were better than the line score. Now, granted there were 12 hits on the board that he gave up. I thought he had a number of opportunities where he was ahead in the count where he could’ve done a better job of finishing hitters off, particularly expanding the strike zone down on top of the plate for some chase.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 spring training, A.J. Pierzynski, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox
Red Sox notebook: Joe Kelly seems ready to make next start 03.19.15 at 1:02 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Others might still be wondering, but Joe Kelly seems like he has little doubt he will make his next start, Sunday.

After throwing 32 pitches in a bullpen session outside JetBlue Park Thursday, Kelly proclaimed that the biceps ailment that had forced him out of his last outing was no longer an issue.

“That’€™s the plan,” said Kelly of keeping on his current schedule. “We’€™ve been working on this thing and trying to get my arm feel as good as possible and get ready for the season. Obviously you want to be healthy and feeling good. My arm is feeling good right now. Obviously a lot better when I had to come out of the game. After today, my bullpen session, I feel really confident where I’€™m going to be at in two days.”

While Kelly didn’t truly air out any of his pitches, he did integrate all his offerings, including the off-speed stuff that had bothered him during his recent 2 2/3-inning outing.

“I felt good on my bullpen,” said Kelly, who will appear on the Hot Stove Show on WEEI Thursday night (6). “I didn’€™t throw it obviously 100 percent, which I never do in my bullpens. What I got out there today was I got my body going, tried to see how the arm feels. I knew it was feeling fine, but it was more for staff, medical staff, coaching staff. For them to see and make sure I’€™m a guy who likes to pitch through a lot of things. It was more for them. But I felt pretty good out there. I threw about 70 percent. It went well.”

Kelly added, “Obviously on my off-speed pitches I didn’€™t put the intensity I would in the game because I wanted to go out there and get out feeling good and not overwork it, get tired or start breaking up nasty stuff just in case it wasn’€™t feeling up to par. But today went well and I’€™ll definitely a good step to try and pitch in two days.”

The last obstacle for Kelly to clear is approval from the Red Sox‘ medical staff upon arriving at the park Friday. The pitcher was optimistic he would be getting clearance.

“I’€™m going to feel good tomorrow,” he said. “It usually feels better the day after and today it felt fine, so I know I’€™m going to feel pretty good tomorrow.”

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly,
Observations on Games 4, 5: Clay Buchholz shines, Mookie Betts mashes, Eduardo Rodriguez sharp 03.07.15 at 4:55 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Observations from the Red Sox‘ 4-2 win over the Twins at JetBlue Park:

BUCHHOLZ IN CONTROL: The story of this one was undoubtedly Clay Buchholz. The right-hander allowed a leadoff walk and nothing thereafter, striking out four in three hitless innings. His fastball opened at 91-92 mph, he kept the ball down, and he featured an excellent changeup in mowing down the Twins.

With Buchholz coming off a season lost partly to injury and partly to ineffectiveness, the fact that he has hit the ground running is hugely encouraging. He has the stuff — and track record — to be the best pitcher on a playoff staff, though he has yet to do so consistently.

At least we’re off to a good start.

“It’s just another step,” Buchholz said. “That was my first inning against major-league guys, and the goal was to go out and work on fastball command and then throw my other pitches off that. I threw some more changeups today that were like I want them, and I was able to make some adjustments out there, too.”

MOOKIE MAKES THINGS HAPPEN: Those who have pegged Mookie Betts as the heir apparent to Jacoby Ellsbury in terms of dynamically impacting a game atop the order had even more ammo after this one.

Betts alertly breezed into second on a dropped fly ball to right, aggressively took second on a wild pitch, and tripled off the net in left before scoring a run.

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Clay Buchholz,
Clay Buchholz: ‘The ball was moving like it’s supposed to’ 03.03.15 at 5:16 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Clay Buchholz probably has the highest ceiling on the starting pitching staff, which makes it all the more painful when it comes crashing down around him.

That made Tuesday’s debut inning against Northeastern encouraging. Buchholz struck out one during a scoreless frame, incorporating the mechanical changes he has worked on all winter in an attemp to be more consistent. He exhibited greater command of his changeup, kept the ball at the knees, and accomplished everything he wanted out of a spring debut.

“The ball was moving like it’s supposed to, I guess, like I wanted it to,” Buchholz said. “The adjustments in the delivery that I’ve been working on felt a lot more smooth than last year in particular. I’ve still got a little work to do, but it felt good.”

Buchholz explained that he has tried to straighten his leg kick towards home plate, rather than being “roundabout” towards third base and the right-handed batter’s box.

“I’m more to home plate and staying on on line,” he said.

Perhaps most encouraging for Buchholz was the basic fact that he kept the ball down.

“That’s key for me,” he said. “I throw a lot of two-seam fastballs, and when they’re up, they’re flat, and they seem to get hit a lot more often. Being down is definitely something I need to be doing — down in the strike zone, four of the five starters, we’re sinker guys.”

Read More: 2015 spring training, Clay Buchholz,
John Farrell throws a little ‘camouflage’ into the starting rotation mystery while Red Sox look to run more in ’15 02.27.15 at 1:38 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — When three of his projected starting pitchers wound up on the first pitching rotation charts of spring training inside the JetBlue clubhouse Friday morning, John Farrell had some explaining to do. Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello were listed to pitch against Northeastern in the spring debut Tuesday afternoon, with Wade Miley set to take the hill against Boston College hours later in the nightcap.

Was it a grand conspiracy to hide who he feels is the club’s No. 1 starter from the group of Porcello, Buchholz and Miley?

“Camouflage, it’s a big thing,” Farrell joked.

Farrell then offered the more serious explanation in advance of spring games.

“We also have a doubleheader,” Farrell said. “It’s a matter of getting a number of guys to the mound as early as we can.”

Joe Kelly will start the Grapefruit League opener on Thursday against the Twins and Justin Masterson, who throws live BP on Monday, would be expected to start against the Marlins on Friday.

“We’ve got an overall plan with getting all five guys, really 10 or 11 guys stretched out as starters, to a point in camp where innings are going to be a little less available outside the initial five. We’ll get into that in due time,” Farrell said.

Farrell was asked what will matter most this spring when determining the order of his starters.

“Merit is one. You factor in what’s taken place either the year or years before,” Farrell said. “That’s one factor. You’re also looking at, when you start to slot guys in, if there are pitchers that have anticipated higher innings projections you try to stagger them so you’re not potentially over-taxing a bullpen on consecutive days. And then you’re trying to break things up. If you’re in a three-game series, are giving different looks, based on the style of that starter.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, John Farrell
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
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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.”

ESPN analyst Curt Schilling appeared on D&C before Farrell and questioned Buchholz’s inner drive to succeed.

“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.”

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Read More: 2015 spring training, Clay Buchholz, Curt Schilling, Joe Kelly
Clay Buchholz explains reaction to phone being hacked: ‘It was pretty shocking’ 02.24.15 at 3:01 pm ET
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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.”

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.

Read More: 2015 spring training, Clay Buchholz,
Clay Buchholz’s wife confirms nude photos of her were hacked 10.16.14 at 12:09 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz‘s wife confirmed reports that nude photos of her were stolen by hackers.

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!!

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.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Lindsay Clubine,
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