Buchholz feels good during easygoing spring training


Buchholz feels good during easygoing spring training

By MaureenMullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. In past spring trainings, right-hander Clay Buchholz has been the guy whos had to prove himself, showing that he deserved a spot in the starting rotation. At times even that wasnt enough to secure a spot.

Thats in the past. This spring he has none of those worries. After going 17-7 -- his 2.33 ERA was second-best in the American League -- and earning his first All-Star berth, Buchholz has established himself.

It feels good, he said. Im not going to say spring training is stress-free, because theres always things that you know you can get better on and you dont do them as good as you think you should. But going in, having a little bit of confidence, and knowing the team has a little bit of confidence in me, its definitely a different feeling this spring.

Against the Twins Sunday night at Hammond County Stadium, Buchholz went two scoreless innings in the Red Sox 8-4 loss.

It went pretty well, he said. I got to mix in. The only pitch I didnt throw today was the cutter and that was sort of what I was wanting to do going into it. Threw a couple of breaking balls, and majority of fastball, changeup, two-seam, and felt good. First time out, and on the right road, so far.

Buchholz faced six batters, striking out catcher Drew Butera to open the third inning.

Buck looked great, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Just downward angle from the beginning. Kept the ball down, mixed his pitches up, just lights out. Looked good.

Although Buchholz and Saltalamacchia worked together just once last season, Saltalamacchia sees no reason why Buchholz wont improve in 2011.

I dont see any reason why any of our guys wont improve, he said. They all got great stuff, and Buck, hes got four pitches. He can get you out. So, a guy like that makes it easy to sit back and call the game, for sure.

Buchholz likes what he sees from his new catcher, too.

Good, he said of their first Grapefruit League game together. Hes a big target. We got two catchers this year that are just huge targets. Its easier to throw to a guy thats wider than the plate than a guy thats sitting back there. Even with Victor Martinez last year, its the same case. Its definitely good.

"Saltalamacchia's got his things that he does and hes made sure hes come by everybody and asked if its alright. The little leg thing he does (the Tony Pena-style squat with his right leg out). But hes a big target, can call a game, knows what hes doing. Thats what it takes to be a good catcher, from that point of view. So hes doing a real good job.

Buchholz entered the game in the third inning, relieving starter Josh Beckett, giving Buchholz a slightly different feel. He hasnt entered a regular-season game from the bullpen since 2008. Its just part of the early spring training routine.

"I knew that it was basically going out there and getting my work done, he said. So it wasnt like a game in October or anything. No, I tried to do the same routine I do when Im starting. But it went pretty smooth out there.

Buchholz is expected to start against the Yankees on Friday in Tampa.

Sweet, he said when informed of his next opponent.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.