Eat clean: Buchholz's focus turns to nutrition

Eat clean: Buchholz's focus turns to nutrition
February 26, 2014, 10:30 am
(AP Photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- One of the goals the Red Sox have as an organization this year is to get a more complete season out of Clay Buchholz.
     
For the first half of last year, Buchholz was one of the handful of best starters in the game, with an ERA of 1.71. But neck and shoulder issues sidelined him from mid-June until September.
     
In his six seasons in the big leagues, Buchholz has only made more than 16 starts twice and only once has he posted more than 175 innings.
     
Toward that end, John Farrell revealed earlier this week that the Sox are stressing the importance of nutrition with Buchholz, in an effort to keep his body strong throughout the course of the season.
     
The topic was first broached during one of Buchholz's visits to Boston this past winter.
     
"Since I can remember, I lose weight really easily," said Buchholz of his lean frame, "especially throughout the season. I've always taken in as many calories as I can, regardless of what it is, because I know I can burn it off.
     
"But I'm just trying to make sure that's it not all crap food. I'm just trying to do more with good food. If I'm making it myself at home, I grill and that's basically it."
     
Last season, Buchholz weighed between 178 and 186 pounds.
     
"That's my window," he said. "Last year, I think I came in at 182, got up to 185, then stayed in between 180-185. I feel comfortable pitching at around 180 pounds and if I can stay around there, that's where I want to stay."
     
Buchholz said he fell into some bad eating habits in the minor leagues, when meal money isn't great and the bus rides are long.
     
"You don't have a lot of (healthy) options," he said. "Getting fast food is the easiest way to go about it, instead of sitting down and eating a (more nutritional meal) or cooking stuff at home. I'm able to do that now."
     
The Sox have a chef in the Fenway clubhouse who will prepare meals to order during the season, making healthier choices easier.
     
"The days when you're running a little late and you've got to get something to eat," said Buchholz, "that's where I've cut back (on unhealthy fast food)."
     
Buchholz said he can feel some difference in his energy.
     
"Nothing extreme," he said. "I think it's more for my body to work right and sustain a season. I think that's where it's making the biggest difference."