Buchholz didn't doubt spot in rotation

March, 27, 2010
FORT MYERS, Fla. – On Friday, the Red Sox announced their starting rotation for the opening part of the season. Clay Buchholz received the news favorably.

“It’s what I came to spring training to accomplish,” Buchholz said this morning. “I know [Daisuke Matsuzaka] is a few weeks away, but it’s a big feat for anybody coming into camp and not being sure of what’s going to happen.”

Buchholz is slotted in the fifth spot of the rotation and will make his first start April 11 against the Kansas City Royals. With the Red Sox having three days off within the first 10 days of the season, he won’t pitch until after Josh Beckett takes his second turn.

That was part of the creative solution that manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell came up with to reward five starters they felt deserved spots, despite having those early days off.

“I look at one through five and the numbers aren’t really a big deal, because after the second week of the season, with the off days, the number five guy in the rotation is probably going to be pitching against the number one guy in another rotation,” Buchholz said. “It’s definitely a ranking system, but other than throwing opening day, I don’t think it really matters.”

The uncertainty of the situation had been on his mind, but Buchholz was confident he’d land in the rotation.

“I thought that there was a lot of good that I’ve done here in spring training,” he said. “I had one subpar outing [Tuesday against Minnesota] and you’re going to have those during the season too. It’s nothing to get down about, but I felt like I’ve done a good enough job to get a shot at it. I didn’t think that I was getting sent down to Triple-A or anything.

“I was a little uneasy about it two weeks ago, but there is more easiness now. All I have to do is go out and pitch now. No pressure, I just have to take care of the next couple games in spring training that I have and get ready for Kansas City [April 11].”

Mike Reiss

ESPN Staff Writer



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