Clay Buchholz initially was not keen on discussing his move from the Red Sox’s rotation to Boston’s bullpen.
But four days after becoming a full-time reliever for the first time in his major league career, the right-hander finally was ready to speak at length about his new role.
“I took a couple of days after the move,” Buchholz told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford before Tuesday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. “Obviously it’s not the type of news you want to hear for yourself. I took it as a demotion and I needed a couple of days to take a breather from just talking about it, sort of get it out of my head and try to figure out a routine that will work for me. it is what it is.
“I’m here to pitch. Regardless of if it’s starting or relieving, I still have to do what I can do to help the team out in any way I can.”
Buchholz was removed from the rotation Friday after posting a 6.35 ERA over his first 10 starts of the season. He made his first relief appearance two days later, tossing a scoreless 10th inning and earning the win in the Red Sox’s 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the first time the 31-year-old had pitched out of the bullpen since 2008 and just the third time he’d done so in his big league career.
While Buchholz naturally was not pleased with manager John Farrell’s decision to shift him to the ‘pen, he told Bradford he preferred it to the team’s other options, which included placing him on the disabled list, designating him for assignment and outright releasing him. He still views himself as a starting pitcher and wants to prove he again can succeed in that role for the Red Sox.
“This is the only place I’ve ever been,” Buchholz told Bradford. “It’s been probably the best that I can imagine playing, to being not so fun at times. That’s part of the game. I definitely understand that. There’s nobody who wants to go out there and pitch well more than myself. It stinks to not do well, and it stinks to have the fans criticize you or say you’re not good enough. So what you want to do is go out there and prove to everybody that you can.
“That’s sort of where my mind is at now. I already know myself, and I can do whatever I need to do in whatever role I’m put in. It’s just a matter of going out there and doing it and preparing for the best, rather than thinking about the worse.”
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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