Buchholz pitches four simulated innings

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Buchholz pitches four simulated innings

FORT MYERS, Fla. While the main squad was traveling to Tampa to face the Yankees Tuesday night, Clay Buchholz pitched four simulated innings Tuesday afternoon at the teams complex against Red Sox big leaguers, including Nick Punto, and minor leaguers.

Buchholz recorded 11 outs over four scoreless innings, throwing 59 pitches, 33 for strikes. He gave up five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Punto went 2-for-2 against Buchholz.Catcher Max St. Pierre was the other player from big league camp to face Buchholz. He went 1-for-4.

Pitching in a simulated game can be a challenge.

The atmosphere is different, Buchholz said. You have to go out there and know youre working on certain things and try not to get too frustrated if some things dont go your way. Its different, but you still have to get your work in.

They asked me a couple of days ago if its something I wanted to do to be in a controlled environment and not having to worry about whos on deck or whos on second.

Buchholz used his full repertoire of pitches.

I was a little rough around the edges he said. I dont think I threw a changeup for a strike. Little too quick on some pitches.

Tried to mix all of them. The feel wasnt there for all the off-speed pitches today. The changeup was up more than it was down and curve ball, I was pulling off it a little bit.

He picked Punto off first base, a move hes been working on.

It felt good, Buchholz said. I like to peak over to first a lot. Ive always done it. Its neat especially against a base stealer like Punto who can run catching him between steps makes you feel good.

Buchholz season was done after his June 16 outing against the Rays, when he left after five innings. A stress fracture in his lower back sidelined him for the rest of the season.

I came from here (the Sox instructional league in Fort Myers) and threw six or seven innings and I pitched without any stress and strain and I went into the offseason knowing I could throw at max effort in a game situation. So Im pretty much over that fact. It eased my mind to take a month off and then got
back into it.

But he tries not to think about last season.

I dont think it would be healthy to go out there and worry about things that could happen, he said. My focus and goals are on getting through spring and throwing innings that I need to throw to get prepared for the first start they have me slotted for.

Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

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Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

If you're upset with the way the Red Sox have played recently, well, David Price understands.

But things, he vows, will get better. And he adds that it's only when you've been in the deepest valley that you can appreciate the highest mountain.

Or something like that . . .

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

After Eduardo Rodriguez's horrific performance Monday night against the Rays -- 11 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings, leading to a 13-7 Red Sox loss to a team that entered the game riding an 11-game losing streak -- the Sox succumbed to the obvious and shipped him back to Pawtucket.  

And they got no argument from Sean McAdam.

"I think this is the right move," CSN's Red Sox Insider told Dalen Cuff on Monday night's SportsNet Central. "Because, clearly, the step forward that [Rodriguez] took, however small, last week was more than wiped out and (he) regressed this evening the way he pitched. And things have to be worked out, both in terms of execution and his approach . . . "

In six starts this season covering 29 1/3 innings -- less than five innings a start -- Rodriguez has been, in a word, awful. His 1-3 record is bad enough, but couple that with an 8.59 ERA, an opponents' batting average of .315, a WHIP of 1.74 and nine home runs allowed (a rate that projects out to about 45 homers allowed in a 150-inning season), and you can see why a change had to be made.

“The bottom line is, [Rodriguez] is capable of more," said manager John Farrell.

But now comes the next question: Who replaces him? And that, noted McAdam, has no easy answer.

"What it means for the rotation going forward is completely uncertain," McAdam told Cuff. "In fact, (Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski) told us that there was no corresponding move. Of course, because this turn doesn't come up in the rotation for another five days with the off-day Thursday, it's not anything they need to address (immediately). And in all likelihood, they'll probably get somebody to pitch out of the bullpen here until that turn comes up."

So the Sox get five days to ponder a problem that seems, in many ways unsolvable.

"[There] aren't a lot of good candidates internally," McAdam noted, "and it's unlikely there's going to be any sort of trade . . . in the next four days to fill that spot