Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

Hanley hits seventh for first time since rookie year

Amid his  quest to regain his  timing and production at the plate, Hanley Ramirez was moved down to the No. 7 spot in manager John Farrell’s batting order. It was the first time Ramirez has started a game in the No. 7 spot in the batting order since 2006. Chris Young was vaulted up to the No. 5 spot.

“Yeah, as we know, Hanley’s been working through some things to try to get timing on track,” said Farrell. “Bottom  line, the players are going to kind of tell you where they hit in the order. Chris has done an outstanding job this year, particularly against left-handed pitchers. And while Hanley works through the timing issues, we felt we needed a little jump start or a spark potentially.”

Ramirez thought he had found something a week ago when he hit a mammoth home run against Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman.

“Yeah, even it wasn’t a home run, you saw hard contact,” Farrell said. “Really, that’s kind of what you’re looking for when timing is a little more consistent or on the mark. The fact that it went out of the ballpark in my mind is somewhat irrelevant. He squared up a breaking ball that stayed up in the middle of the strike zone. As we’ve talked about, the leg kick, the timing, the bat path, that’s all being worked on.”

After a  monster first month with the Red Sox in 2015, Ramirez hasn’t hit for the type of production the Red Sox envisioned when they signed him to a four-year, $88-million contract. Since May 1, 2015, Ramirez has a line of .250/.303/.372 with 14 homer and 70 RBIs.

Mookie gets a day

Mookie Betts got his first day off of the season on Thursday night against the Rockies. Betts was Boston’s only player to start the first 46 games.

In his place, the ultra-hot Jackie Bradley Jr. batted leadoff. However, this is just a one-day thing, as  Bradley will move back toward the middle of the order on Friday.

Blake Swihart is Boston’s emergency catcher tonight if something happens to Christian Vazquez. Ryan Hanigan is still ill. Manager John Farrell said there’s a chance Swihart could start at catcher on Friday if Hanigan isn’t up to it.


Price detects flaw in delivery


David Price had a  good discussion with reporters today, detecting  some flaws he picked up,  with help from Dustin  Pedroia.

What did he find? “I mean still execution, absolutely. But you know I had a good talk with Pedey today, he showed me some stuff. You know he was just watching video of himself hitting off lefties and I came into that video and he showed me — you know, we were talking in the food room — and he was like, ‘Man, something, you know something doesn’t like right. Something looks a little off.’ And he showed me a picture of myself in 2012, 13, 14, and then you know, what I’ve done so far this year. It’s a simple fix for myself to not be able to feel that, or to pick up on that, to me that’s the most frustrating thing. ‘Cause I know I’m very good at making adjustments on the fly and you know I didn’t pick that up. It’s something I’ve said many times — I’ve said it this year, whenever I talk to other pitchers or to you know at baseball camps, it’s something that I always say. I want my hands and my right leg or my right knee to be connected by a string. Whenever my knee goes up, I want my hands to go up. Whenever my knee goes back down, I want my hands to go back down.

“My hands have stayed right here. And that’s not allowing me to get my full leg lift. It’s been about a half of a leg lift of what I’m used to and it takes away you know the rhythm of what I do out there on the mound and whenever my hands stay here, I have to be able to time it up perfect for me to be able to execute that pitch. It gives me no margin of error because I don’t have that rhythm.

“I’m not putting myself in my normal power position, absolutely. My leg lift, it at least comes up to my belt if not a little bit higher. And for right now, it’s getting about right here — it’s almost a slidestep out of the windup. And you know I’ll fix that tomorrow and hopefully Thursday I’ll go out there and I’ll be back to my normal self.

Nice to have  Pedroia help out? “Absolutely, it’s definitely appreciated. We’re 25 pieces to a puzzle. Everybody has to do their job. And I’m always talking to hitters, young old it doesn’t matter. I’m sitting in the cage, I’m watching ‘em swing. If they ask me something, I want to tell ‘em what I think, how certain pitchers are gonna pitch them. What I look for with certain hitters, whether their hands start real high or they start open and they close themselves off, how I would attack that hitter. Everybody can help everybody. And to have Pedey kind of — it took two minutes. It’s easy, and it’s something I definitely appreciated and I’ll make the according adjustments and get back out there.


“It’s tough. This is definitely a time period where I wanted to throw the baseball well. You know, to come here and to not pitch you know the way that I know that I’m capable of with a new team and you know a team that I’ve been a rival against for pretty much six seasons. I wanted to, I know my teammates know how I can throw that baseball and I know our fan base knows that as well. I definitely wanted to start off well, because that’s — whenever you put yourself behind the 8-ball like I’ve done, it makes it tough. It does. But I’m going to be alright. I’m going to bounce back from this, I’m going to get through this and I’m going to finish strong.”


You seem relieved? “Absolutely. And when he said it, so much stuff clicked. It makes so much sense. To me that’s the most frustrating part. Whatever my ERA, is a 7, or whatever it is, that’s frustrating. But, to know that it’s something so small and to not be able to pick up on that, even before I pitch every game, I’m watching video and I’m into the things that I see, and to to not be able to pick up on that, that’s not like me. It stinks.”

Salary in your head? “I don’t think so. I really don’t. I don’t think about the amount of money I make.  Honestly, I don’t, every 14 or 15 days when we get paid, I don’t’ know what my paycheck looks like. I’m not going to ask my agent. I’m not going to sit down and do the math. I don’t spend money. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle. I wear free Jordan stuff  to the field every day. The money that I spend is probably on Amazon and that’s with stuff I need for the house and stuff like that. I’m the same guy. I’m not going to let my struggles affect me. The amount of money that I make, I’m not going to change. I can’t change. I love this game. I put everything I have into it. It’s why I show up to the field the time that I show up and the reason I work as hard as I work. I love it.”

Pressure not getting to you? “That’s the guy I’ve been since I was 14 years old. I’ve been looked at  as that guy for as long as I can remember. It’s not new to me, honestly. I feel like that’s the norm. That’s something I feel like I’ve always been able to handle and I’m not pitching well because of that. I’m just, I haven’t pitched well. I know that I will and I know that my teammates and my coaching staff, they have that confidence in me to be able to turn it around. This is the worst seven-game stretch I’ve ever had in my career, I think. I’m pretty sure it is. For me, I know, it’s got to get better [knocks on wood], it can’t get any worse than what’s going on right now. It’s tough but I’m mentally strong. I can get through this.”

Worry that your performance has hurt team? “I guess our bullpen could have logged less innings. We’ve had other guys that have picked up that slack. Porcello has thrown the ball really well. Buchholz has pitched well his past couple of starts deep in the game. Steven Wright, he’s been phenomenal all year long. I’ve been the weakest link. That’s unacceptable from my end but the other four guys, they’ve picked it up. They’ve picked up my slack. That’s what good teams do.”

Affecting you off the field? “I try and let it go whenever I leave the field. I don’t want it to affect my relationships outside of baseball. I don’t want it to trickle into my family or to my girlfriend or just my friends. That was tough, absolutely. I didn’t lose sleep. I went to sleep probably a little earlier last night than I would have but I wanted to get back to the field tomorrow, flush it, and get here to do my work.”

Biggest takeaway? “Probably just trying to get on top of the baseball. Not being on the side and that’s an adjustment that I’ll go through and it looks different right now but I think it can also cause a lot of good things as  well.”

Kopech breaks throwing hand in altercation

Red Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech will have another abbreviated season after fracturing his right (throwing) hand in a recent altercation with his Spring Training roommate.

The incident comes on the heels of Kopech being suspended 50 games last year for testing positive for Oxilofrine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Kopech is the ranked No. 5 among Red Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline.

“There’s a small fracture in his hand,” said Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen. “We’re still trying to figure out what the medical [recovery] is going to be. We have to go through more tests just to make sure we know exactly what we’re dealing with.”

Without question, the Red Sox are displeased Kopech has cost himself more time away from the mound with an off-field mistake.

“It’s disappointing,” said Hazen. “Very disappointed. It was stupid. He’s going to have to grow up, obviously, with the things that have happened so far. He’s got a long road to go to get to the big leagues. He obviously has a ton of potential and he’s got a long way to go. These types of things, you don’t want to put more barriers in front of you than playing professional baseball already presents to you.”

The Red Sox took Kopech in the first round (33rd overall pick) of the 2014 First Year Player Draft out of Mount Pleasant (Texas) High School. Kopech is 19 years old.

“I don’t want to go into details of what happened,” Hazen said. “He was very apologetic. He’s very disappointed by what happened certainly, and now he’s going to pay for it with regard to more lost time.”

In the coming days, the Red Sox should get a better understanding of how much time Kopech will miss.

“It depends on the severity of the fracture and if we have to do anything with it [surgically] or not,” said Hazen. “Right now, we’re unsure exactly. There’s a wide range of time frames depending on what we have to do. We don’t have those answers yet.”

Kopech pitched in 16 games for Class-A Greenville last year, going 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA and notching 70 strikeouts over 65 innings.

Sandoval hopes for rebound in 2016

Pablo Sandoval arrived at Red Sox camp today, two days before reporting date for position players. He is excited to turn the page and start fresh after a highly-disappointing first season in Boston.

At first, Sandoval said he had nothing to prove. Interestingly, he gave the exact opposite answer later in the near nine-minute session with reporters.

“No, I don’t got nothing to prove. I just prepare myself to perform well, for my teammates to perform well, to try to get to the World Series. That’s what I’m doing. I put some goals in my mind, and I’m working hard to get it done on the field.”

And here is what he said the second time he was asked if he had something to prove.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m going to prove to the fans, to my teammates that I can be a better defensive player, offensive player to win games. I have to work hard to get to that moment. Keep working hard, keep your head up and do everything you can do on the field.”

Is Sandoval motivated to erase the bitter taste of last year?

“Real motivated. I just want to be one thing to my teammates, performing well and trying the best that I can performing out there and try to get my team to the World Series. That’s’ my goal.”

Manager John Farrell had said in January that Sandoval lost 20 to 22 pounds. But Sandoval was evasive when asked about his weight.

“I don’t weigh. I don’t weigh in at all. I just do my work and try to do everything I can. I don’t weigh in all offseason. I just tried to get better and be in better position like I said and and be an athlete.”

Did the Red  Sox tell him to lose weight going into the offseason?

“Nope,” Sandoval said.

However, Sandoval did talk  about improving his condition.

“After the season was over for me, when I was  sick with pneumonia.  I got the clearance to start working out in October. I started working out to prepare myself to be an athlete on the field. That’s what I did. I don’t’ try to lose weight, I don’t try to do nothing. I just try to put in my work and feel better and do the things I can do on the field to get better out there. That’s what I did.”

Was last year a disappointment?

“It’s not a disappointment. It’s baseball. It’s a surprise. You’re not going to have the whole season great. You’re  going to have some ups and downs. You have to prepare yourself to be ready for  when those down moments come, shake it off and you work hard to do everything you can do to prove next year you can be better than that. Like I said, It was a tough, tough year, but it’s in the past, and now I’ll prepare myself to be better and be in a better position this year.”

What went wrong  in 2015?

“Bad moments. For me, bad moments. It was up and downs during the season, but you have to prepare yourself, put your mind in the right spot to be better.”

As John Farrell said a couple of days ago, Sandoval will resume switch hitting after giving it up righty last May.

“I’ve been working out all offseason just righthanded. I didn’t hit left-hadned at all. I’m focused on that. I’m trying to get my confidence back. That was one of the things I lost last year — my confidence. Now I’ve got my confidence back, and I’m going to taste it again.”

It was noted  to Sandoval that his numbers have spiraled downard the last four years.

“I don’t worry about numbers. I worry about wins. You can see all the years that my numbers went down and how many championships I’ve got. That’s what I worry about.”

Sandoval admits he lost his confidence.

“If you don’t have that, if you don’t feel confident at home plate from the right side, you’re not going to trust your swing, and you’re going to put pressure on you so that’s what I did.”

How hard was that? “Hard. Hard because it is the moment when you lost that confidence to perform well. You put in that spot but what am I going to do? What’s the next step? That’s what I’m working the offseason to try to shake it up and work hard and get my confidence back. that’s what I did right now, I feel great. I’ve been working hard to be a better right-handed hitter so that’s what I did.”

Trader Dave strikes again — setup man Smith acquired

Dave Dombrowski’s first offseason with the Red Sox continues to gain steam. On Monday, Dombrowski dealt lefty Wade Miley to the Mariners for a pair of promising young arms in righty Carson Smith and lefty Roenis Elias.

Smith, 26, was one of the top setup relievers last season. In 70 games, he posted a 2.31 ERA while striking out 92 over 70 innings and holding opponents to a .194 average.

Elias, a 27-year-old Cuban, gives the Red Sox some rotation depth. In 51 career appearances over the last two seasons — all but two of them starts — Elias is 15-20 with a 3.97 ERA.

Miley, 29, went 11-11 with a 4.46 ERA in 2015, his only season with the Red Sox. It was last year at the Winter Meetings that Boston acquired Miley from the Diamondbacks.

The Mariners have good cost control with Miley, who will earn $6 million in 2016, $8.75 million in in ’17 and has a club option for $12 million in ’18.

With three days still left in the Winter Meetings, it will be interesting to see if Dombrowski tries to acquire a Number 2 starter. Shelby Miller — who is Joe Kelly’s best friend — is an intriguing possibility. However, the Braves are said to be asking a lot for Miller and for good reason: He is under control of whatever team he pitches for through 2018.Smith

Hanley healthy, eyeing strong rebound

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – With the soothing shores of his native island crashing in the background, a cheerful Hanley Ramirez spotted a small group of Red Sox reporters having lunch and sat down next to them for an update on his health and overall state of mind as he prepares to switch positions for the second straight season .

In Punta Cana this weekend for David Ortiz’s Celebrity Golf Classic, Ramirez was affable, and clearly in a better state of mind than a couple of months ago, when his ailing right shoulder ended his season early.

“Great,” said Ramirez. “I’ve been working out. I’ll stop for a little bit [this weekend] and then go back.”

Ramirez left the Red Sox late in the season to concentrate on shoulder rehab in Miami, and feels that plan worked perfectly.

“The thing is, it was a good thing they did, when they sent me home, like two weeks or a week and a half before the season ended,” Ramirez said. “After a couple of weeks, I was ready to go. I was feeling strong after two weeks.”

Ramirez first banged up his left shoulder running into the wall at the end of April, and then ran into trouble with the other shoulder in July or August. The result was an utter lack of offense over the season’s final months from a player who has hit throughout his entire career.

Ramirez thinks that his decline in production – which he felt was mainly related to injuries – led to overblown scrutiny about his physique.

“The thing is, in April, nobody said anything,” Ramirez said. “I had 10 homers. I know how it is. It’s the media.  When you’re struggling, things are going to come out. When you do good, I just got to hit and that’s it, and everything’s going to be fine.”

However, Ramirez said he will honor the request of president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to get “more athletic”. He has altered his training routine this winter and the plan is for him to be about 230 pounds for 2016.

Ramirez admitted that he used to train like a football player in the winter, but noted he needs to adapt as he gets older.

“That’s what we’re doing this year,” Ramirez said. “We’re concentrating on the smaller muscles inside the different ones. It’s what the medical staff on the Red Sox want and it’s what we’ve been doing. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio and agility because to play the infield, that’s the difference.”

While Ramirez would like to play Winter Ball in the Dominican, he realizes the Red Sox might rather he keep focusing on his workouts and return to health.

“Every year I try to play to get ready. If they let me, I play,” Ramirez said. “If they don’t let me, I just keep working in the gym and doing my thing to get ready.”

Ramirez’s transition to left field didn’t go well at all last year, but he has confidence that playing first base won’t be nearly as difficult for him to master.

“I’ve been in the infield my whole life,” Ramirez said. “This is nothing new for me. Just work on my hands, relaxing my hands, and that’s it. We’re going to concentrate on footwork and all that stuff in maybe in like a week with the team I was supposed to play Winter League with and just go there and try to get some work done.”

Ramirez will arrive to Spring Training a couple of weeks early and feels he’ll have plenty of time to master the art of first base with renowned instructor Brian Butterfield.

“What we did last year, towards the end of the year, he gave me some keys, and I was like, ‘Wow, this works.’ You see it with [Mike] Napoli,” said Ramirez. “Napoli was a catcher and he moved to first. He picked it. Butterfield, man, he’s good.”

“The outfield is different. You can see Bradley, he’s unbelievable. Or Mookie, I wish I could do that. I was clapping every time they made a good play because I know myself, I couldn’t do it,” Ramirez said. “Going to the infield, it’s different, it’s way different. I’m an infielder. I don’t know why you guys think it’s going to be hard. I just have to keep working every day and no doubt I’ll make some mistakes but we just have to learn from that. At the end of the season, just win and everything is going to be alright.”

As for the speculation the Red Sox might try to trade Ramirez, he hasn’t heard any of that from Dombrowski. Ramirez very much once to fulfill the final three seasons of his contract in Boston.

“Why you think I cried when they traded me the first time when I was in Double-A? But the thing is, he’s honest,” Ramirez said of Dombrowski. “He tells you what we wants, and you respect people like that. That’s why I feel great right now. He told me what he wants me to do. We set up all the points, and I’m fine with that, he’s fine with that.”

Dombrowski, Kimbrel on the trade

Here is a transcript of tonight’s conference call in which the Red Sox announced the acquisition of four-time All-Star closer

Dave Dombrowski started out by recognizing the events of the day:

“I just want to acknowledge the tragic events that took place in Paris today and are taking place as we speak. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people and those that have been affected by those attacks. It just didn’t seem appropriate to start talking baseball without addressing what’s taking place across the Atlantic. We really were somewhat thinking if we should have this or not, but just thought it was appropriate to do so, but we didn’t want to do so without first acknowledging that.”

On why Kimbrel was the ultimate choice: “First and foremost, what was extremely important was the ability, because when we looked at Craig, we looked at him as a premium closer and there are various names out there, but one of the best in the game of baseball. There was no question that the years of control do make a difference, because you’re looking at the ability to control the contract as far as three years are concerned. And that was also able to make a difference as far as what we were able to give up, because we gave up a lot of good young players. We also thought that we’re going to have to give some quality to get quality. But giving the quality and having the three years made a significant difference.”

Getting someone with closing experience: “The key for us was we had identified a couple of guys that maybe stood above the rest as far as the ability to close, and the ability to get one of those guys we thought was extremely important. Because with the acquisition of Craig, we’re in a spot where we’ll move Koji to the eighth inning, and John Farrell really thought he’d be fine with that, knowing the type of individual that Koji is. And John made sure to reach out to Koji and spoke to him tonight already and said he was really good with the change of the role and that all he wants to do is pitch in the World Series again. He basically said, you don’t have to worry about me, I’ll pitch whenever you’re asked to and he acknowledged Kimbrel and understands the shift to the eighth inning, so I think that whole combination for us is really what made it work.”

Bullpen set for the most part: “I think this is enough of a major move that we need to make. Because when you shift Koji into the eight and Tazawa into the seventh, that’s significant. I can’t say we won’t do some tweaking as time goes on, I’m not really sure about that, but I think with the major moves, this is a big step for us and probably the major step we look to make at this point.”

Status update on Kimbrel? “He’s perfectly healthy. He feels great. He’s in the prime of his career. He’s 27. Our last scouting reports, which were late in the year in September, he was throwing 97 to 99 at that time with the good breaking ball. So he’s healthy, he’s been consistent throughout his career, he’s at the prime time, and so we look for him to be our guy back there for years to come.”

The haul:  “Well, you don’t ever like to give up young talent. We think they’re very talented individuals. But I do think with the good job that the people in player-development, scouting, international operations have done, we do have some depth at those positions and we also have some other quality young players that we were asked about repeatedly. In addition to that, I think the real key for us is that we made this acquisition in acknowledging that we didn’t give anything up at the major-league level to affect our club this year. So, we were able to add an All-Star closer without giving up the big-league-level guys. And so, again, it’s talent that is good talent. Some of it’s a while away. Again, you don’t like to give up this type of talent. I think San Diego did a very fine job, but we’re happy, of course, with getting Craig.”

Ace will be a free agent: “Well, my guess would be — and again, these are only guesses at this time — going into the wintertime and with conversations we’ve had with clubs over the last month, my thought process is most likely any acquisition we’d make in the starting pitching would first happen as far as the free-agent field is concerned. You never know, but that would be my guess. I thought that our acquisition of the relief pitching aspect would more likely come through a trade. We’re in a spot that this is probably our major acquisition for the wintertime as far as the trade market is concerned. You never can tell, but that’s what my instincts tell me.”

The importance of hard throwers in bullpen: “I think it’s always been a great way to go. Again, you have to look at different ways you put a bullpen together and to me, it starts with having a quality, premium closer, somebody that can get a big strikeout, get out of a tough situation. Someone who gets the save for you eventually. There’s different ways to go about it. Having that power arm out there at the back end is really important. I think it really strengthens the back end of our ‘pen overall then because you’ve got a closer there, a guy that’s closed in the eighth inning for us and  in the seventh. You see the way clubs have been successful, I think it’s important if you can do that. I’d like to combine it with real good starting pitching too and then you’ll really be in a quality spot. Having a strong bullpen is extremely important.”

The timeline of the deal: “We were working on it during the GM meetings. We’ve actually talked to San Diego almost since the very end of the season, just about various things, and they were really in a little bit of a hold as they went through their managerial hiring process, so it picked up right before going to the GM meetings and picked up as soon as we got there. We met on Monday face to face and really conversed about this, went back and forth on names. The whole GM meetings, we talked numerous times, met a few times, talked on the phone numerous times, but also did talk to other clubs. That was something that was taking place the whole time period. I was hopeful that we could make a deal after we left, but you never knew about those things. We actually finalized things this morning — it was about 8:30, I was in the office doing some work, catching up, got in here earlier than that. A.J. Preller called me around 5:30 in the morning his time, he was thinking about it and called me, and then we consummated the deal then, tentatively, agreed to things, and we had to go through different stages, medical people talking to one other, updating ownership at the time, and myself, too. That was really the time frame.”

Craig Kimbrel’s reaction

On being traded last year: “It definitely opened up my eyes, it definitely made you grow quite a bit. Especially with the trade being so last minute, the night before Opening Day. Things went kind of fast. I could barely know my teammates. I’m looking forward to having spring training to learn the team I’m going to be on this year. That’s going to be very nice. I felt like I’m from the south and playing in atlanta for that duration kind of spoiled me a little bit, being so close to home. I learned a lot about what it takes to move away from home and move away from my family and learn how to play the game that way. It definitely made me a stronger player and definitely a stronger person.”

Being traded twice in a year: “It’s part of the game. The more we looked at the game, there’s players who move around a lot more. From my view, especially being out of the bullpen, it’s something I won’t say I want to get to used to, but it’s become more common. Being moved to the American league, I’m excited. It’s a league of big bats and as a pitcher you want to have the opportunity to face those big  bats. It’s a challenge in itself and I’m looking forward to.”

On Pitching in Boston: “The history, the fans in Boston, the atmosphere is always awesome every time I’ve been there. You can tell the history and everything behind it there, so to be able to put the uniform on, to be able to play in front of those fans, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Boras on Bogaerts, Red Sox

An annual rite of passage at any General Managers Meetings is power agent Scott Boras holding court with a barrage of reporters for 45 minutes or so. That took place today in Boca Raton, but Boras doesn’t have as many Red Sox ties as we’re accustomed to this time of year.

We did ask him about his client Xander Bogaerts, and whether he might sign a long-term deal with the Red Sox several years in advance of free agency.

“Again, anything their clients say to me about their interest in doing things … Xander is very happy in Boston,” Boras said. “He had a great year there. It’s really a relationship between him and the coaching staff. They did a great job with him and he did a great job with him and he did a great job for them so we’re very encouraged about his future there.”

What if Mookie Betts — a non-Boras client — signs an extension? Would that make Bogaerts more apt to do so?

“I don’t know if players look to other players,” Boras said. “Look, the Red Sox have a history of signing players to long-term contracts. I don’t think that’s a secret among players. So the fact that they’ve been an organization that commits to good players and commits to good players long-term, I think all the young players there know they have the capacity to do that. I wouldn’t think the signing of any particular player would affect how [Bogaerts] would view things.”

What if Bogaerts says he’s interested in an extension?

“I would listen,” Boras said. “My job is listening to the player so whenever a player wants to sign a long-term contract I would make sure I would facilitate his goals for him.”

How does Boras think the Red Sox will impact the market this winter?

“The Red Sox have some very good players and their outfield and their up-the-middle, the talent they have at catching, they really have some really, really good players so obviously the teams that are in the playoffs they seem to have that really dominant pitching so that seems to be in today’s times what makes these clubs get past to that championship level. I’m sure they have every intention of focusing on that.”


Red Sox exercise Buchholz’s option

The Red Sox expressed confidence that Clay Buchholz is healthy again, exercising the right-hander’s $13 million option for 2016.

Buchholz’s 2015 season ended when he suffered a strained flexor in his right elbow pitching against the Yankees on July 10.

Prior to the injury, Buchholz was on a superb run, going 5-2 with a 1.99 ERA in a 10-start run between May 15 and July 4.

Buchholz’s career has been defined as much by sterling runs like that one as untimely injuries and dips in performance.

Still, a $13 million annual value is a bargain in today’s market if Buchholz pitches anywhere close to his capability and stays relatively healthy.

The Red Sox hold a $13.5 million option on Buchholz for ’17.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been open about the club’s pursuit of an ace this offseason. The Red Sox have Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley, Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens under their control for next season.

Boston could have starting depth to trade from, and Buchholz’s contract could be attractive to another team.

Buchholz hopes to continue pitching for the Red Sox, the franchise he’s spent his entire career with after being selected in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

A two-time All-Star, Buchholz has a career record of 73-51 with a 3.85 ERA, notching 806 strikeouts in 169 games, all but two of them starts.

Buchholz’s .589 winning percentage is the 10th best in the AL since the start of 2007 for pitchers who have a minimum of 100 decisions.

The 31-year-old Buchholz is the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox’ pitching staff and has been with the club the last nine seasons.