Francona defends Buchholz
Red Sox manager Terry Francona is surprised that recent comments by Clay Buchholz in an interview with NECN were perceived as negative.
In short, Buchholz said that he can’t pitch any better than he has been, and he would rather be doing it at the Major League level, be it with the Red Sox or another team. He mentioned that he spoke with his agent about it.
“There was one line in there, out of a really mature interview,” Francona said. “If you go down and ask 25 guys in Pawtucket, which one of them do you think is going to say, ‘I don’t want to go to the big leagues?’ I mean seriously, who do you think would do that? Whoever says that, we don’t want him.
“The kid is pitching his [butt] off. That’s part of what we tell these guys in Spring Training. ‘Do your job, if you can really help us, you’ll help us. It might not be on your timetable.’ That’s just the way the game is.
“I think Buck is maturing rapidly, and handling a situation that maybe he wouldn’t have been able to in the past. But I actually watched that interview, and I thought there was one throwaway line in there that is getting a lot of attention, over a pretty mature kid.”
Is Buchholz stuck in the Minors?
“I don’t know that he’s stuck. We could always have him pitch here. I think, as an organization, we try to do what we think is right, for the organization, for the player. And if it doesn’t always land on the player’s calendar, on the exact date they want, I don’t think we’re always going to apologize for that. I think communicating with these guys is the right thing to do.”
On Buchholz’s overall progress:
“I think he’s doing a great job, I really do. I’m tickled to death, the way he’s pitching.”
Buchholz will piggyback John Smoltz tomorrow in a game that should be a great treat for Pawtucket fans. Buchholz is 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA in 11 starts for Pawtucket this year. Opponents are hitting .167 against him.