Monday, March 30, 2015

Buchholz To Start The Opener In Philly

Opening Day is exactly one week away for the Red Sox, and members of the battery made news this week.

Clay Buchholz was named the Opening Day starter for next Monday in Philadelphia. He's "the old man" of the revamped starting staff, and his numbers this spring aren't bad, despite giving up 12 hits and 4 runs over 5 innings last Friday. (And you obviously take Spring Training numbers with a grain of salt.)

2015 is a make it or break it year for Buchholz. He has to prove he is a top-of-the-rotation starter, and stay healthy at the same time. Most Red Sox fans don't believe he is a number one starter, and I don't either. But he's had the most experience of any of the starting pitchers the Sox have, so he almost gets it by default.

Rick Porcello will pitch the second game in Philadelphia, and either Wade Miley or Justin Masterson will complete the opening series.

In far more troubling news, the Sox placed Christian Vazquez on the 60-day disabled list today, and acquired catcher Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations. Vazquez has been having right elbow discomfort, and is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama on Wednesday for a second opinion. Unfortunately, this has "Tommy John surgery" written all over it.

Leon is strictly catching depth for the Sox, who will go with Ryan Hanigan as their number one catcher with Vazquez out. Blake Swihart has had a good spring, but figures to play everyday at Pawtucket, as he is not ready. And all of a sudden, that Hanigan for Will Middlebrooks deal the Sox made this past winter is looking more and more crucial.

And in more injury news, it sounds like Koji Uehara will not be on the roster for Opening Day, as his hamstring injury will not be settled by then, and John Farrell said yesterday that Edward Mujica (God help us) will be the primary closer, but he did not rule out going to a closer-by-committee until Koji is ready to return.

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