WEEI>On Demand>>Spring Training Report: Expectations for Clay Buchholz

Spring Training Report: Expectations for Clay Buchholz

Feb 24, 2014|

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier break down Day 7 of spring training for the 2014 Boston Red Sox, highlighting the expectations of the injury-prone Clay Buchholz. Petraglia and Speier discuss whether this could be a break out season in terms of durability for the 29-year-old righthander.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome back to jetBlue park my name is Mike -- I had joined as always by Red Sox senior writer for WEEI dot com Alex beer. We've just concluded the first full week of Red Sox spring training 2014. As the defending World Series champions look to begin their quest to repeat. Okay the first. Bit of business I wanna start with Alex is the live batting practice which really got under way in earnest this weekend. Jon Lester and -- buckles getting on the mound today David Ortiz Dustin Pedroia Mike Napoli taking their swings. What are the some of the basic things that these pictures. Namely Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester those types are looking to accomplish at this stage -- spring training. It is three words build arm strength. Anything that happens right now is obviously irrelevant it's happening in the context of pitching behind NL screen and in back and with the batter standing in combating aids. So the goal of this is here is to -- increase the intensity a little bit because there is that a little bit of adrenaline that starts to taken. -- makes it something more than just the bullpen sessions. That are really kind of the pitcher working on his craft in isolation. But at this point yet they're looking to just to just kind of RAMP up the intensity a little bit throw with a little bit more velocity behind their pitches. -- and die in start to just feel the baseball coming out of their hand trying to shape -- -- on the plate. In order to get ready for -- for the start of teams a little bit further down the road. Clay Buchholz was one of those Red Sox pictures who spoke to reporters. On Sunday inside the Red Sox clubhouse I had a chance to ask him specifically. What type of conditioning are you doing differently to perhaps build up. The have repetitions the innings. And the game started this year are you really doing anything different in and Clay Buchholz said something very interesting to me perhaps really showing his maturity he said. I know I have a starting spot on this roster he used to be I would come into spring training and think I have to throw my hardest 9394. Right out of the -- They wanna spring training try to throw really hard in the games it's not like that anymore. And I think Alex that really does show his maturity and maybe show. Some signs that he is thinking about the long term in 2014. Trying to get that I -- magical 200 inning inning mark. It's an interesting. Thing because obviously Buchholz is the -- looks like an operation board him. He's been buzzed on his back he's been buzzed on his shoulder and neck last year he was buzzed on his hamstring before. I -- this is a guy who has had a number of body parts that -- really you know he's he's had a hard time getting through. A full healthy season he's done it before. Is worth noting that. Did in 2009 he threw over a 190 innings and in even in 2010 he ended up throwing. I think right around a 190 again he missed a little bit of time because of a hamstring strain while running the bases of all things. But you know when you draw up the prototype of the healthy durable pitcher. His body type -- met and so that means that there is going to be more uncertainty about whether or not he's ever going to reach the magical 200 innings threshold and John Carroll made the point. This was a guy who was kind of magic on the mound speaking of magic. One point seven yeah are a one point 74 whatever it was -- lower note to whip in the remarkable not a Lois that the lowest ERA by any right hander in the American -- since Pedro right so with at least a hundred innings. So this is someone who is incredible talent but. Whether or not you know much as the expectations for Pedro or somewhat measured in terms of the innings that he was going to absorb. Based on career track record we're kind of at that point with buckled where look there may be at 200 inning season in there. But we don't know it we we can't say that with certainty Jon Lester you look and say OK the expectation is that he -- when he gets 200. -- buckled there's this kind of historical band of pitchers. Who have who have had his innings load in the major leagues is full time starters there or something like four dozen pitchers in that category of like. Of between ages 25 and 28. And somewhere between four to 15600 innings and I think only two of them had a single that I would never before. Had a single 200 inning season by the time they turn 28. Had one after that so. You know it's he's not -- he's not the anchor of the staff in the sense of being able to provide guaranteed innings but when he's out there he provides great inning dozens of requests in for the Red Sox how to get that how to get him out -- the most again. But the one thing Alex that John Carroll did say he is definitely -- top of the rotation guy for us there's no. Getting around that he may not be the anchor he may not be an innings -- the classic innings -- you would expect. I asked John Ferrell today Sunday. Whether or not there was any thing he could do in terms of his core his lower body his upper body you know what brought up. His diet in -- diet in between starts and I thought that was also very interesting Alex. How much care in it goes to maturity and the maturity again of the kind of care that play has to take for his body not when he starts but when he doesn't. Yes certainly the five day you. Well -- five day routine has really kind of a staple of making that breakthrough as a professional pitcher I meant something that's emphasized from the time they guys. Get into their first full professional season. Jon Lester is someone who has it defined you know as a pretty precise science. -- buckle to it remains a little bit of a work in progress how much how much lifting is there to be done. What is the right diet known to be able to try to kind of put himself in the best position. To be able to withstand the rigors of a full baseball season and you know he's -- it's it's a different it's a different body type. OK let's move on to the younger pictures the pictures of the future if you well -- Anthony Renato. Matt Barnes who we saw today picks against David Ortiz and obviously Henry -- Your thoughts on that the impressions they need to make and whether or not there's any realistic expectation. Not necessarily any one of those three is gonna start the season with the team certainly that would not be the case but. If they could make enough noise down here opened enough eyes to where they could get some time like midway through the season. -- would be the most likely of those three because he's already on the forty man roster Matt Barnes and Henry Jones are not yet there are so they would may be. Maybe be late season considerations likely not before that. Obama can they make an impression yes we saw that with Alan Webster a year ago he was the single most impressive pitcher in Red Sox camp. In his time in his few weeks out before getting sent down to the minors. Me and that is why he was the Red Sox were basically trying to find opportunities to get him starts in the big leagues. The public that is -- -- on a little bit of a Yo-Yo between AAA in the majors and ultimately may have contributed to. In his since the mid year -- the made derailment of what had been such a a great start of his years so. There are talks -- -- good spot in the sense that because they have volume in a number of these talented pitchers whether it's a Brandon Workman or an entity or not know or an Alan Webster or ruby tiller -- On the forty man roster they don't have to rush these guys up to the big leagues before they're ready so. They they can open eyes though. The impression this is a unique opportunity to make an impression on a big league staff in a way that kind of leads coaching staffs and managers. To politics for guys to be brought up in certain situations. Chris kept you want around and Dell also Jake Peavy little news on on each Chris cap you -- joining the team this weekend finally he got his. 2.2 five the million dollar. -- contract a Major League deal he missing camp with the Red Sox Jake Peavy threw live batting practice today which was unexpected he's because they've been keeping himself in shape and ready. To sign with a team is that a -- do you think that Chris you know cap you wanna even at 35 wants to impress them to let them know that hey. Iraq and a waste your money I'm I'm going to be worth and I'm gonna show you what I can. -- right out of the -- I don't know well enough maybe that says -- normal offseason routine that he starts doing bullpen sometime in mid January. Comment but you know it certainly shows that. Yes he wasn't looking for -- for a nice contract to hometown team a stack of money in seven under his mattress or something while sitting around and getting fat. And Jake Peavy he is still nursing. The sore ring finger on his right hand the Carol asked John Carroll about Jake Peavy today and he says he's right on schedule. He threw out his bullpen I believe it was on Saturday are reported no issues a day later so he's right on course as well. Indeed so it looks like -- you know he is among that group of of Red Sox expected opening you know expected sees an opening rotation members. Who's probably going to be held back a little bit -- five starts -- instead of six. All right Alex games start I'll go ahead. When they had him on -- we did we did hear about one new wrinkle about with regards the Red Sox roster construction namely. John Farrell talked in very you know offer a great joke praise for my TARP. What a contributor he became as there as a corner bat last year as a first baseman and primarily left fielder I think he might have seen snuck in a couple of innings in right. -- but as a result of that the Red Sox are looking to open more avenues for -- to see playing time and so Ferrell offer this intriguing -- Molly may get him another. A little bit more playing time in different positions. Do a little further digging talked to carpet probably at third base Corey played a dozen games in the minors and if he's. Able to be capable of that position. That would be a really interesting compliment perhaps two will -- says they left handed. You know a left handed bat able to spell him perhaps against let's say you have a Max -- on the mound or something. And you know middle Brooks is due for a day of rest well. -- would be probably a pretty nice option be able to slide in at third base. And Carroll's words in terms of his position most of flexibility work. Stay tuned -- we can say stay tuned Dallek says this week the Red Sox can finally look forward to some of their first game competition starting with the college double -- On Thursday against northeastern and Boston College. -- number two is about to start here at jetBlue park in Fort Myers. He's Alex spear -- Mike petroleum with the Red Sox in Fort Myers WEEI. Dot com.

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