Results tagged ‘ Scott Atchison ’

Atchison avoids surgery, eyes September return

While a visit to noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews is often a precursor to surgery, Red Sox right-hander Scott Atchison was delighted to hear the opposite during his visit to Pensacola, Fla.

Though the 36-year-old Atchison, as the Red Sox previous said, does have a ligament injury, Andrews recommended that surgery isn’t necessary at this point.

So instead, Atchison will spend the next couple of weeks rehabbing his elbow with the hope he can help the Red Sox down the stretch.

“I’m hoping at some point probably in September, maybe be in a game and pitch and hopefully help this team down the stretch,” said Atchison, who was one of Boston’s best pitchers in the first half of the season, going 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 37 games.

There seemed to be a near inevitability that Atchison would need surgery once Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine revealed last week that there was a tear in his UCL.

But the truth is, nearly every pitcher Atchison’s age — and with his amount of professional innings — has some degree of tear in the elbow and shoulder.

“You never want to have surgery. I didn’t want to rush into anything,” Atchison said. “Obviously you hear tear and it automatically makes people think that. This is —  unfortunately everybody probably has a little bit of something going on. You just don’t ever know. It was good to hear and I feel like, at this point in my career, I can get through this.”

If the conservative treatment of rehab doesn’t work, Atchison understands that there’s still a possibility he could need surgery.

“If I come back and I start throwing, and it all doesn’t allow me to do it or there’s too much pain, then we have to sit back down and re-assess everything,” Atchison said. “There’s always risk. Any time you pick up that ball out there, even if you’re healthy, there’s always a risk. It’s not necessarily a natural thing to throw overhand that hard. You know, it’s nothing I’m worried about. I’m just going to go forward with it and keep a positive mindset and hopefully I can get back before the end of the year.”

Was Atchison expecting the worst when he visited Andrews? “Kind of. I don’t know. We had discussed things. I had already kind of discussed a few things with our staff here and everything and they said there would be an outside chance he would say you could rest and get through this. So I tried to take those thoughts with me. I didn’t present any of that [negative thought]. I kind of listened to him first and let him present his side of it and what his case was and that was kind of where he went with it. Once he kind of went with it from there, I was ready to jump on board. I feel like there’s been multiple guys who have pitched with ligament injuries and have done very well. I’m going to go with that in my mind and go with the feeling in my body that I feel alright and it’s calmed down a ton since it happened. I don’t feel it anymore doing things so hopefully the rest will be enough.”

Fenway Friday

Some nuggets of note from Fenway, where the Red Sox are set to open a four-game series against the Twins.

Alfredo Aceves is back in the bullpen, replacing Scott Atchison, who was here for just a day. Aceves did a good job the first time he was up, and was sent back not because of performance, but because of a roster crunch. He should be particularly beneficial over the next few days, because Tim Wakefield is starting tonight, and will need some rest before he is available in the bullpen again.

Jon Lester will get some extra time before his next start. Beckett will vault ahead of him in the rotation and pitch Monday night. Lester will open the two-game series at Toronto on Tuesday.

This would set up Buchholz, Dice-K and Beckett to pitch the series in New York, though they’d have the flexibility to pitch Beckett Saturday and Lester on regular rest for the Yankees’ finale if they want to skip Matsuzaka in that series.

Back at the Trop

Here we are, getting set for this three-game showdown between the Red Sox and the Rays. Obviously it’s a much bigger series for the Sox, who start the series 8 1/2 games back in the AL East.

This, even with five wins in the last six games. The Rays just don’t seem to lose. The Red Sox can at least control their own destiny the next three nights.

As for other subplots, Mike Cameron will be activated for Tuesday’s game, giving manager Terry Francona his full complement of players for the first time since April 11.

Jed Lowrie, still recovering from mono, is with the team for the next few days, taking a nice break from solitude in Fort Myers.

And Scott Atchison has returned for his second stint with the team, coming up from Pawtucket to take the roster spot vacated by shortstop Angel Sanchez.

Atchison on team; Tazawa to undergo Tommy John

Manager Terry Francona informed righty reliever Scott Atchison this morning that he is on the team. It is a feel-good story of sorts, as Atchision returned to the U.S. after pitching the last two years in Japan, hoping he’d be able to win a spot in the Majors.

The final spot on the roster is between lefty reliever Scott Schoeneweis — who will pitch today — and righty Joe Nelson. Either way, Nelson will travel with the team to Washington. The Red Sox are hoping to have a better read on Schoeneweis by the end of the day.

Alan Embree, the club has determined, is not ready for Opening Day. They’ve asked the lefty to pitch on a rehab program, which would consist of several outings in the Minors. Embree is going to mull it over and talk to his family. He has an opt-out clause in his contract on April 15.

And Junichi Tazawa, the Japanese prospect, will undergo Tommy John ligament transfer surgery on his elbow. Tazawa will be operated on by the renowned Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. on Tuesday. The righty won’t pitch at all this season, but given the normal time-table of Tommy John recovery, he could be ready by the early portion of the 2011 season.

Nelson understands the situation

So Alan Embree walked in this morning, heating up the competition in the bullpen. Among those on the bubble are Joe Nelson, Scott Atchison and Brian Shouse. As manager Terry Francona mentioned, some of the pitchers’ “radars might have gone up a bit”.

But Nelson, the well-traveled vet, knows by now he can’t stress about such things. After throwing a shutout ninth inning against the Orioles, the righty spoke openly about the situation.

“Theo owes it to the people that own the team, to Red Sox Nation, to everyone, to exhaust every possible avenue,” Nelson said. “That’s their job and that’s why they’re good at what they do. They’ll bring in a truck driver if he says he can throw 90-mph and can throw a splitter. If they check it out for themselves and he can, they’ll probably keep him around for a while. They have to exhaust every avenue.

“I expect that from the organization. I’m not rooting against Shouse or Atch or Embree for that matter. We can only do what we’re capable of. The decisions are going to be made behind closed doors besides what we do on the field and even that, you can say, what do I need to do, throw nine perfect innings? And even that may not be enough. They’re looking for a certain person, a certain spot, chemistry is involved, your ability to pitch is involved. It’s more than just, ‘we’re taking this guy, he’s got the best numbers.’

“I’ve been on teams where I had a better spring than guys and they didn’t go that way. The Red Sox as a front office owe everyone to try to exhaust every possible reserouce. Alan is a 17-year veteran. He’s had tremendous success. I know he hasn’t pitched in a while and I know from experience how hard it is to come back. We’re going to see in a couple of days how far along he is. You don’t forget how to throw overnight so I’m sure he’ll do just fine.

“If it ends up he’s the guy, then that’s the way it is. Shousey, Atch and myself, we’re putting a good foot forward. We all think we’re going to pitch in the big leagues. It may not be on our time-table because we all want to be there April 4 and that’s probably not going to happen. Now, I’m trying to make the team. If I don’t make it, I’m going to try to be the first guy to call when something goes wrong. I don’t try to think about the second one too much.”

What excited Nelson on Saturday was some refined mechanics that he felt led to his best pitching since the middle of the 2008 season.

“I’m focused on what I’m doing right now, which is every time I get the ball to go out and work on some things. I’m excited,” said Nelson. “I feel good. I can honestly say that’s the best I’ve felt in 16 months, since 2008. Last year I went thorugh mechanical just cluster. I tried eveyr different thing in the world. Thursday I threw a pen on the off-day and me and John [Farrell] looked at my stride and it was really short. I got home and saw one glaring omission in the last two years of trying to throw the baseball. Today I felt good. I was just excited to be able to throw. I felt like I could have thrown 15 changeups in a row.”

Pitching for a spot

While Clay Buchholz (two innings, five hits, three runs, two walks, 37 pitches) had a somewhat forgettable day, he is past the point in his career where he needs to be measured by Spring Training stats. Yet there is still one little problem: The Red Sox have more Major League-worthy starters (six) than spots (five).

Buchholz can add. He knows this. Is it a little awkward?

“It would be awkward for anybody. I guess there’s four guys regardless what happens will be on the staff,” Buchholz said. “The other two, three guys, yeah it’s awkward. Got to basically do what I did last spring, do what I did to finish he season last year, and I think everything will take care of itself.”

It was a pretty good deay for a couple of other guys trying to make the team in the bullpen. Scott Atchison had a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.

Boof Bonser looked extremely sharp for the second outing in a row, striking out three and giving up one hit over two innings. Bonser is being stretched out like a starter, but has the inside track on a spot in the bullpen.

“He’s got a nice, clean delivery,” said Francona. “For a guy who has gone through some things with his shoulder, he likes to pitch. He doesn’t look scared. He’s a really interesting guy. We’ll try to build him up and see where it will take him. I think as he builds up and gets some of that velocity back, he gets a little bit more interesting.”

 Atchison, meanwhile, is competing with Joe Nelson, Brian Shouse and some others for what would probably be the 12th slot on the staff.

The big story of the day was the hometown kid, Casey Kelly, firing off two shutout innings. It was Kelly’s first time back at Ed Smith Stadium since he led Sarasota High School to a state championship in 2007.

Even veteran umpire John Hirschbeck was taken aback that Kelly is only 20.

“Even the umpire, between innings, was like, how old is that kid?” Francona said.

In other news, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, citing a source familiar with the talks, says that early discussions between Josh Beckett and the Red Sox have been amicable, perhaps creating optimism that the ace will never get to free agency at the end of the season. It should be noted that it is still very early in the process.

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