Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Clay Buchholz had some anxious days in spring training last season, when he wondered whether a bad outing might lead the Red Sox to consider somebody else for his spot in the rotation.
But the Sox never deviated from their commitment to the righthander, and Buchholz rewarded them by going 17-7 with a 2.33 earned run average.
Now he enjoys the same privilege as his friends (and golf partners) Josh Beckett, John Lackey, and Jon Lester: the opportunity to go through spring training simply to prepare for the season, not secure a job.
“It’s definitely less stressful,’’ Buchholz said. “That’s what I’ve been waiting to do the last two years.’’
Perhaps that explains his performance this spring. Buchholz has thrown nine scoreless innings in three outings, allowing five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
He went four innings against Baltimore last night, throwing 56 pitches in a 2-1 victory before a sellout crowd of 7,406 at City of Palms Park.
Well then, it seems like the way he's pitching, he'd even exceed our own projections. Of course we're talking about Spring Training so let's not think he's going to pull off a imitation of Pedro Martinez's 1999 season. (Although his hair is something we haven't seen since Pedro rocked his jeri curl. Seems like Clay is seeking to be the East Coast's version of Tim Lincecum.)
It's good to see Clay pitch without fighting to gain a spot in the rotation, but let's see what he can do with the expectations that many people have. You can argue that he's the key guy for the Sox this season. He's still going to be the #4 guy in the rotation but tif he goes for 17 wins and a 2.80 ERA... as Charles Barkley would say "that's not turrible."
The rest of the links....
Globe:Crawford gets up to speed|Francona pleased with Buchholz, Atchison|Herald:Crawford ready for return to Rays camp|Pedroias foot injury a thing of the past|Reyes tale takes left turn |CSNNE:Buchholz still spotless this spring|Crawford looking forward to seeing the Rays|WEEI:Francona:no closer controversy|Red Sox agree to terms with 15 players