By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Even with the news that both Kevin Youkilis (hip) and Erik Bedard had returned to Boston to have injuries further examained, the news wasn't all bad for the Red Sox Friday.
Pitcher Clay Buchholz, sidelined since June with a stress fracture in his lower back, had what manager Terry Francona labeled "a really good day,'' in his comeback effort.
Buchholz threw from a distance of 120 feet, the longest distance from which he's thrown.
"He ended up with 70 throws,'' said Francona. "Very aggressive. The last 10 were on flat ground. He'll back off a little (Saturday) then we'll kind of put a program together for the last couple of weeks (of the season).
"We've got to sit down with Curt (Young, pitching coach) and Mike (Reinold, head trainer) and see what that is. But he really had a good day. It's encouraging when he gets out that far and he still feels better and better.''
Sometime next week, Buchholz should be able to start throwing off a mound in spikes and that will be the toughest test yet for his ailing back.
While the Red Sox are doubtful that Buchholz will have sufficient time to build up his arm strength enough to start again this year, they're holding out hope that he might be available to contribute out of the bullpen.
For a team seeking for a solution to its seventh-inning woes, Buchholz could have a role ready-made for him -- assuming he continues to progress and doesn't experience any setbacks.
Sean McAdam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal.
"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."
After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.
"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."
The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.
"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."
Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning? Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.