Emboldened by his return to health, Buchholz tackled an ambitious offseason training regimen. His next bullpen session, scheduled for today, will be the ninth or 10th of the winter.
“I haven’t had a problem,’’ Buchholz said. “As of right now, I feel good.’’
The goal now is to stay healthy and reach 200 innings for the first time in his career.
“I think it’s big,’’ said Buchholz. “It’s what I want to do every time I come to spring training. It’s what I prepare myself to do.
“The last two seasons came with injuries that I didn’t have any control over. It was frustrating in that aspect. But you can learn from everything.’’
Globe -Buchholz feeling strong
As players are arriving in Fort Meyers, there are lots of "chicken and beer" stories floating out there, but I don't have the stomach to write about that any more. Although, I will say this: the chicken and beer story really overshadowed the Francona assassination. I find it odd that no one is asking about that anymore. But enough about last season's collapse. Spring Training is here and hope springs eternal, and all that.
Which brings us to Clay Buccholz. The man whose back is solely responsible for all the heartache we suffered through at the end of last season. If Clay stays healthy, the Sox don't have to throw Kyle Weiland out in September and we surely would have had a few more notches in the win column. But bigger than last season's collapse is the fact that the Sox are employing a 27-year old pitcher with a bad back.
I'm loving the fact that the Sox have had Clay pitching since the end of last season. First, he needs to build up his confidence and get comfortable throwing again. As he tried to pitch through the pain last season before being completely shut down, he talked about favoring his back on the mound. For a number of reasons, you don't want your pitchers messing with their mechanics. The more times he can step on that mound and be pain-free, the quicker he'll lose the instinct to protect his back.
More than last year, we need a healthy, dominant Clay in 2012. Lester, Beckett and Buchholz need to bring it because we have no idea what to expect from the other two-fifths of the rotation. And if Clay can clear that 200 inning mark, as is his goal, there's a very good chance the Boston Red Sox will be playing ball into October.
Rest of the links:
Herald - It starts with Josh Beckett | Bad attitude at root of historic Red Sox collapse | Mark Melancon’s set up to succeed | Red Sox hope healthy Ross Ohlendorf can pitch in | Globe - New ballgame | Good morning from Fort Myers | CSNNE - Joining the Red Sox is win-win for Melancon | ESPN - Morning report: Jet Blue Park, unveiled