Buchholz and crisis management; Pap breaks out slider

While the star of the day was top prospect Daniel Bard and his 100-mph fastball (I’m not sure poor Mike Aviles ever saw it), Clay Buchholz and Jonathan Papelbon also had interesting outings against Puerto Rico.

Buchholz got into jams in both of his innings, and got out of them. This is significant because this is the same type of thing that would just sink him last year, be it in Spring Training or the regular season.

20090305_bmo_prvsbos_0063_ian.JPG

First inning, two
guys on, nobody out. Last year, it would have just snowballed and there would
have maybe been three runs at the least,” Buchholz said. “My thought process was alright, make a
pitch right here, get a groundball. I struck somebody out and then pop fly,
nobody advances. Last guy I struck out. That first inning made me go in the
dugout and just take a deep breath and say, OK, once again, I’ve been in that
position and I knew how to do it more [now].


“And second inning, right off the
bat, bases loaded, nobody out. From then on, my mindset was minimize and get a
groundball or get a flyball and I came out lucky and got a double play and then
ended up getting out of it with just one run.”

As for Papelbon, he is making a concerted effort to integrate the slider into his mix this season. Of course, Papelbon already has that lethal fastball and split, but the slider can give him a new wrinkle.

20090305_bmo_prvsbos_0787_ian.JPG

Papelbon said he hasn’t thrown it much since converting to reliever for good in 2006.

“Today, I felt
like I wanted to go out there and throw my slider more and I was able to do
that well,” Papelbon said. “Just because,
for me, I feel like it’s time to kind of give those hitters something else to
look at. For me, adding another pitch will just, I feel like, make me better. I
felt really good today and I’m really pleased about it.”

42 Comments

I wonder if the Sox would consider making a $400,000 investment to bring Dave Roberts back, now that he has been cut by SF? Could they give him a minor league contract for that number? or would he have to have an MLB contract?

Wouldn’t that be great, David? I’d love to see that! GO SOX!

007 Andy, thanks for the update on Dave. I hope we hear from him, when he’s got the time. Does anyone have a similar update on Jim Maynard?
Andy, it is beginning to sound like the Yanks are going to need that panic button. You were a bearer of good news on Joba! ;) It sounds like the Yanks can’t get their own A-Rod story straight, either! ;) Pity.

Hey, Ellen, have you got one of those bumper stickers that says, “My other car is a broom”? ;) Are you going to upgrade to a Swiffer sometime?

Greg1969 – I’m afraid to find out the back-story on the comment you just made to Ellen! :-) I would love to Roberts back! And this whole Yankee thing is making my head spin!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Julia, if you have checked out our pictures on Brownie’s Brigade, you’d understand. It is also how I got my “title”, King Gregory I, from my Brownie Points photo! ;)

It was good to read that Buchholz is maturing as a pitcher.

The Sox are deep both in the rotation and in the pen… but the news about Penny’s shoulder just goes to show you that you can never have enough pitching.

I hope “Bucky” continues to get better – we’ll need him before this season is all wrapped up.

Bottom Line Rob
http:www.bottomlinesox.com

Greg – the link you sent me didn’t get me to Brownie’s Brigade! I need help getting there!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

I made it to the Brownie Brigade page! Yay! Okay – I’m in! I’ll get a picture to you – maybe I’ll go the “Ellen” route – and get a little something to you in a day or so! Thanks! It will be an honor to be included!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

If Pap can get a slider working into his repertiore, LOOK OUT! He will be LIGHTS OUT!!

Hey, Ellen, a couple more “baseball names” for you–Dizzy and Paul “Daffy” Dean!

Arnie, regarding A-Rod bringing “bad karma” to the Yanks, I wonder when that might graduate to a “curse”?? ;)

Doesn’t matter Greg, as long as things go badly for them, who cares what you name it? Call it a hex if you’d like. Easier to spell and I’m sure you can come up with some good “plays on words” for hex.
Sorry, Kramer. We disrespect the Yankees here and you are always so very polite when you post here. No offense meant to you.

What a great day! Pap adds a new pitch to his repertoire, Buchholz keeps his cool and A-Rod has a torn hip labrum. Bringing back Dave Roberts would just be the cherry on top of my sundae.

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

Hey, Kramer, are you feeling that tug on your leg, yet? I’m pulling my aunt’s also–almost at the same time! ;)

If Daniel Bard can keep up his progress, we’ll have another exciting weapon in the arsenal! Keep going Daniel! GO SOX!

I hope Clay Buchholz does good this year. Even though I’m not a Sox fan, I do like the kid and he has massive potential.
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

Buch has the right mindset, it seems to me. I hope it continues to progress. Hopefully, he’ll be making the key out pitches BEFORE getting 1B and 2B, nobody out! Keepp your mind in the game, Buch, you can do it!

REPEAT FROM PRIOR THREAD
Andy,
I agree with Jeff. Carter swings a big enough bat on his own. He would not be a stopgap until another big bat comes along.

Brian,
In my opinion everyone with a higher income seems to overspend on many things. Why should baseball teams be different? It’s a perfectly natural act if you have means, opportunity, and a need!

Ellen,
I’m a little surprised by your expression of glee over any opponent?s injury. I expect it from Brian, but not you!!!

Hmmm. More surprises at that glee? Well, I guess it could be dismissed as “good for the Sox.” I want to see the best level of competition available and injury to either side spoils that. Through the years I’ve always felt a victory over a weakened opponent to be shallow, unfulfilling, and more easily forgotten! Of course you’ll find reciprocating comments on Bombers Beat on the rare instance the Sox are mentioned. I’m just not attracted to that.

Kramer, I hate to see players from any team get injured. I always like when both teams are playing at full-strength, their best against your best. The “funny” part to me is the way the story seems to change faster than the wind! Hmmm…But the best competition comes when both teams are at full strength. But speaking of injuries… are you walking with a limp yet, or do I need to pull your leg a little harder?? ;) Take care, Kramer.
It does seem to me that Carter is going to be that “big bat” we’ve been looking for–he, and Lars Anderson! It seems to me that these guys are the main reason we did not pursue a FA “big bat”. I hope we see Carter a lot this year, and Anderson, shortly thereafter! GO SOX!

Kramer:
You should have said you agree with Jeff and Andy regarding Chris Carter. I have been saying if Ortiz falters, Carter should be the DH until another big bat comes along. Knowing Francona, it won?t happen even if Ortiz?s BA is 0.0001 and he would still occupy the No.3 spot. I disagree with Jeff re Bowden to some extent. But I haven?t totally given up on Bowden yet. Let?s see what he can do in a game that counts.
Brian: Talking about Bowden, where have you been? I thought you would vigorously defend me. lol

007…

In the last thread you said, your on the verge of given up on Bowden. I can’t defend that, I’m nor given up on the kid. I am hoping he has a long career in Boston. That being said, I do not like his windup and the (1) start he made I was not impressed. I hope I am dead wrong!

Kramer…

Gleeing over A-Rod’s injury, that would be a strong word too use. I don’t like too see any player hurt/injured. That being said, I am not exactly going too feel sorry for the guy! Why would I? He has brought his issue’s/drama with him and he can’t blame anyone but himself! Has karma caught up with A-Rod? Things that make me go hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Brian: I hope I am dead wrong about Bowden also. I am just not impressed what I saw thus far and neither was I impressed by his first ML win last year. Aagin Bowden is young and see what happens.

I am really kinda sitting on the fence about A-Rod’s injury. If A-Rod is on the DL, who knows what his replacement would turn out to be. It can a boom or bust. Nevertheless A-Rod ‘s injury definitely will put a psychological dent on the team’s confidence. All eyes will turn to Texeira who is a notoriously slow starter.

How did I miss the memo that the Red Sox were going to be on Dave Letterman last night??? King Gregory – are you not keeping your subjects informed?? We serfs might revolt! Now I have to see if I can find the video!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

When did the Yankees braintrust find out about A-Rod’s injury? If earlier why no sugery this off season? Anyone knows? I’m just curious.

007…

Regarding the A-Rod injury….If he is out for any length of time, the chances of the Yankees making the playoffs are very slim. He is the big bopper in that lineup, the one that pitchers must be very careful too. The Yankees pitching will not carry that team for a long stretch. The Yankees won all those titles under Torre because of great pitching ( starting & bullpen ) I don’t see that type of pitching in New York in 2009! I think Girardi could be toast after this season!

007…

I’ll give Theo and the baseball ops. dept. the benefit of the doubt when it comes too the young players. Under Theo the Sox have drafted guys that have done well on the big stage in Boston. Others are on the way. I’m not sold on Bowden, he hasn’t wowed me.

Other young arms drafted by Theo…Papelbon, Masterson, Buchholz have impressed me the first time I have seen them pitch.

Then again a year ago at this time, I didn’t think Lester would have had the season he just had. I expect Lester too lead lefties in wins this year and make the All Star team.

Found it! The Top Ten Reasons to Watch the WBC – featuring Pedroia and Youk! http://lateshow.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/index/php/20090305.phtml# and 8 other guys from Team USA!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Kramer: I think if you re-read my post you’ll find I was NOT finding glee in Arods injury. I was feeling ‘not sad,bad or unhappy’ for the Yankees boat load of injured players.. I was short on time, otherwise I would have gone on to say that with all the money that the Yankees spent on free agents, it wont cure the ills that the have with the other players and their injuries. Sorry if I offended you. I never take pleasure in someone elses illness/injury.

Ellen…

Kramer is a very sensitive guy for some reason. I am with you about not finding glee. As I said earlier, I do not feel sorry for the guy….A-Rod that is.

So youre having another “fun-filled” day at work too??

Ellen,

Please re-phrase that, the place I show up at and get paid. LOL!!

I like too multi task here at work. Do 4 things at once and this blog here makes my day move along quite well. Always enjoyable too read what people write/think about the Red Sox among other stuff. Interesting stuff.

I know the feeling…. I’m one of those people who when given a task, I complete it right away, so I find myself with time on my hands…. and you’re right, this does tend to make it go by easier

Scott Bora+ss is going to be on “In the Herd” (espn radio) in 5 minutes. Should be interesting…..

I’m Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey everyone. It has been the month from h$$l and I just want to say how absolutely cool this group is and I am dying to get back into things. The first thing of course is Zazu himself. I can’t believe LA hired him so here goes:

Manny?s Pitch

?Hello, I?m Manny Ramirez and let me tell you. There have been some issues about me getting a job and I want to clear it all up here OK?so like here they are. Now I know LA offered me 25 million but I gotta tell ya, that sort of forces me to actually work hard again on playing the game and you know?I get worn out. Now we clear it up.

1) I don?t have a temper
2) I am a team player
3) I don?t fake injuries
4) I make everyone happy

Now I?m going to setup a series of tests to show you once and for all that I, Manny Ramirez, is who he is. ?
>> Later that day > The next day > The next day > Later that day with a bunch of crying five year olds > Advertisement > The Next Day <<

“Oh man the Dodgers hired me — for two years. I’d show up to spring training but my knee joint is just killing me and did I mention my back pain — oh J.D. I know what you’re going through and of course…oh what the heck. I’ll see you Dodgers after my world Manny tour since I have some money to spend. Dodgers — you’re best best idiots…ah…guys in the world.

Julia, King Gregory I careth not for certain things, and doth not keep tabs on Letterman. If thou choosest to pursue such frivolities, the king shall not stop you–thou mayest pursue said interest on thine own blog! ;) King Gregory I henceforth shall pursue more important issues in his Realm!

King Gregory, this poor subject is remorseful. I did not mean to insulteth my king and lord-high-mucky-muck by implying that he wouldeth dabble in sport better suited to use poor subjects. I bow down low in your presence and beg you forgiveness! ;-)

Your ever humble subject,

Serf Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I even meant to say “us poor subjects”. But alas, I am not educated to such a fancy degree; being a poor wench.

Serf Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Welcome back, Dave !!!! The blog is not the same without your satirical comments.

Comforting to see a reading of “glee” is unjustified. At least from everyone except Arnie so far. If sensitive means I won’t always take the barbs lying down it fits. Otherwise, some level of precocious is expected!

Andy,
Your mention of Carter sufficing “until another big bat comes along” mislead me. Carter to me would make an excellent replacement for Ortiz when one is needed. I hope that won’t be the case for a long time. Otherwise Carter’s glove is hard to hide when you have defensive corners like Lowell and Youkilis.

New thread

It would be great to see Papelbon add a slider to his arsenal, and that’s what Spring Training is all about! Isn’t Lester working on a changeup? I’m glad that Clay Buchholz is more mentally prepared for this season. I think it was very wise for the Red Sox to hang on to him this offseason.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

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