Holt finally gets his chance with Red Sox

Holt finally gets his chance with Red Sox
July 6, 2013, 9:15 pm
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Had Brock Holt been healthy earlier this season when the Red Sox needed an infielder, he likely would have been promoted to the big leagues.    

Instead, the Sox first went with Brandon Snyder.   

Then, when the Sox decided they needed some depth at shortstop when Stephen Drew injured his right hamstring, they went with Jonathan Drew.    

But with Holt's oblique injury sufficiently healed, he was finally ready when the call came Friday night in Rochester.    

"It's tough anytime you miss an opportunity,'' he said. "But a missed opportunity also allow other opportunities. Having Jonathan get to come up here and get into a few games and experience this was something that was awesome for me. I told him I almost shed a tear when I found out he was coming up because he worked so hard and he's a great player, a great teammate.    

"(For me), it was a tough injury but just part of the game. I worked at getting back and hopefully I can help here in any way. Anytime you can get up here, that's everyone's goal. To be able to do that is a lot of fun. Watching these guys the whole year and how they've been playing, it's been fun to watch. I'm excited to be part of it for however long it may be.''    

John Farrell said the Sox went with Holt over Diaz to give themselves another lefty bat off the bench. The Sox wasted no time putting Holt in the lineup Saturday night, playing third and batting eighth.    

"The stretch of righthanded starters we're going to go through here,'' said Farrell, "another lefthanded bat on the infield is what we're looking to add.''    

Holt can help out at third, short and second base.    

He could enter into a platoon at third for the time being with righty-hitting Brandon Snyder.    

"I don't want to pin ourselves into that,'' cautioned Farrell, "but it's clear that Brandon's strengths are against lefthanded pitching and honestly, he's done an excellent job.''    

As recently as spring training, Holt had never played third base. But there's a comfort level at the position now.    

"So much more,'' he agreed. "Spring training was the first time I've been over there. The more reps I got there and working with (third base coach and infield instructor Brian Butterfield) gave me a lot of confidence. I got in a few games in spring training and I've played eight or nine games at Pawtucket, so I feel really comfortable over there.    

"I thought the angles and everything would be tough, but whenever I get over there and take ground balls, it feels good. I'm comfortable at third.''    

Meanwhile, Holt said he's finally healthy and the oblique isn't an issue.    

'It feels good,'' he said. "I was kind of timid there at first, that first game back but I was able to go out and was tested on a lot of different balls. I didn't feel anything, so that gave me peace of mind and a little bit more confidence in it. No problems.''
     
* Clay Buchholz threw from a distance of 105 feet Saturday as he continues to come back from inflammation in the bursa sac.    

"No restrictions, good intensity,'' said John Farrell. "He'll look to repeat that (Sunday) and hopefully get out with another 15 feet of distance. We're two days on and one day off as he gets out to more distance and more intensity and we hope that by early next week that he'll be out on the mound for his first bullpen sessions.''   

"Good day today,'' agreed Buchholz. "We haven't put a day on (a bullpen). I'm going to come back out and throw and play long toss (Sunday) again -- probably out to 120 (Sunday) and see how that feels and then go from there.''    

The Sox have tentatively planned to have Buchholz make a rehab appearance on Sunday July 14.    

"Physically, if I feel good enough to do it, yeah,'' said Buchholz. "I want to get back as quick as I can. But it's already taken this long so there's no need to rush and have a setback. If that feels right and everything points to that, then that's what I'll do.''