Buchholz' bad back leads to DL stint


Buchholz' bad back leads to DL stint

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Right-hander Clay Buchholz was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday afternoon because of a lower back strain. Buchholz left his last start, Thursday in Tampa Bay, after five innings because of the injury.

No setbacks, said manager Terry Francona when asked in Buchholz' injury had worsened. We were trying to shoot for Buchholz making his next start on June 25 and then the more we thought about it, we felt, 'Okay, if we back him up one more Saturday, itll cost him basically a week. We got a chance to get him healthy for the rest of the year.'

"I think he understood. Being the competitor that he is, he wanted to pitch. But I think its the right thing to do.

Buchholz, who is eligible to be activated July 2 against the Astros in Houston (the move was retroactive to Friday), concurred.

He noted that just recently he was given a couple of extra days between one start and the next one (because of the injury) . . . and it felt good for one start and then the lower back pain came back, he said. So, hopefully Ill miss a whole start right now and . . . it won't be anything thatll bother me for the rest of the season. I think thats the road were trying to take with this. Hopefully, we can knock it all out now and not worry about September, October.

While his back has bothered him occasionally, Buchholz doesnt believe he tried to push or rush back to the mound in his last start.

No. I just think thats the way it is, he said. Its a thing thats been lingering for a while, and now I need to attack it as far as getting in the training room and trying to do everything I can to try to be back on the field that Saturday in Houston. Time is going to be the biggest thing for it.

The only time I really felt anything throwing was those last couple of innings in Tampa. I felt like I was altering my delivery to sort of favor that side and I think thats the big thing for me. By doing that Im gonna end up hurting something else if we didn't take those measures.

"I think it was definitely the right decision. We sat down and talked about it, and get a little bit of rest here and then well have the All-Star break shortly after and hopefully itll knock it out.

Were trying for this not to happen in September and October, when everybody needs to be at their best, and try to get it done now and go from there.

In 14 starts this season, Buchholz has posted a record of 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA. He has not lost since April 26. In nine starts since then he's 5-0 with four no-decisions, a career-high stretch without a loss.

The move clears space on the roster for left-hander Andrew Miller, who was already scheduled to be called up Monday to start the first game of the three-game series against the Padres.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins


Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who’s on first? A middle infielder, maybe.

Hanley Ramirez, Josh Rutledge and Mitch Moreland aren't fully healthy. So the 25th man on the Red Sox has become a matter of corner-infield triage.

Rutledge was gearing up to play some first base with Ramirez restricted to DH because of his throwing shoulder. But Rutledge is hurt now too, likely headed to the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning in Florida.

Here’s the easiest way to think about who takes Rutledge's place: Who would the Red Sox like to see less against left handed pitching, third baseman Pablo Sandoval or first baseman Mitch Moreland? 

If it’s Sandoval, then you carry Marco Hernandez, who can play third base.

“He’s a very strong candidate,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday. “He’s one of a few that are being considered strongly right now.” 

If it’s Moreland, than you carry Steve Selsky, who has a history playing first base.

“He’s a guy we’re having discussions on,” Farrell said. “Any guy in our camp that we feel is going to make us a more complete or balanced roster, Deven Marrero, they’re all in consideration.”

The additional wrench here is that Moreland has the flu. If he's not available at all for a few days to begin the season, then the Sox probably have to carry Hernandez.

Why? Because Brock Holt can play some first base if Moreland is out. But then, you’d need another back-up middle infielder, and Hernandez gives you that. 

Hernandez is also hitting .379 in 58 at-bats this spring entering Wednesday.

Moreland isn’t the only one who has the flu.

"It’s running through our clubhouse," Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Probably be held out for three days for a quarantine.” (LINK:http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20170329/with-josh-rutledge-and-mitch-moreland-ailing-first-base-depth-compromised-for-red-sox)

That means the Red Sox won't have Moreland for their exhibitions against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md. Moreland could still be ready for the regular season, but would likely be at less than full strength.

Having Ramirez available would sure make things a lot simpler for the Sox.

Both Sandoval at third base and Moreland could use right-handed bats to complement them. Or more specifically, they could use people who can hit left-handed pitching to complement them.

Hernandez is a left-handed hitter who might actually be able to hit lefties. But the Sox haven't used him at first base, and there's no indication they will.

“As we look at the upcoming games, there is the potential for two left-handed starters in Detroit,” Farrell said. “So there’s a number of things being factored right now.”

Early in spring training, Farrell was asked what player had started to catch his eye.

The guy he mentioned was Selsky, an outfielder and first baseman the Red Sox feel fortunate to have picked up off waivers because he still has minor league options remaining.

Now Selsky, who has already technically been cut from major league spring training, has a chance at making the opening day roster. He's 27 and hit .356 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Chris Young isn't going to have an easy time finding at-bats as it stands now, but the Sox aren't considering moving him to first base.