Red Sox

Buchholz looks strong as Red Sox tie Rays, 1-1

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Buchholz looks strong as Red Sox tie Rays, 1-1

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In their final game at City of Palms Park before they move to a new facility in Lee County for next year's spring training, the Red Sox played to a 1-1 tie with the Rays Tuesday afternoon.

Clay Buchholz went four innings, giving up one run on a hit and two walks with three strikeouts. He held the Rays hitless through 3 23 innings. In his last outing he allowed 11 runs (six earned) in four innings.

It was good, Buchholz said. I felt as good psychically as I did the other day. But things went a little bit better. I think I was down in the zone a little bit more, made some better pitches in some key situations. I felt like I was out there for a while, had a couple at-bats where I threw some good pitches they laid off of, fouled off a couple of good pitches, got deep in the count. A lot of those guys are going to be guys that we see when we face that team so I got some good looks at some good hitters and thats what I went out there for.

Tim Wakefield, Dan Wheeler, Matt Albers and Blake Maxwell followed Buchholz to the mound.

Pretty good, manager Terry Francona said of Buchholzs outing. Got his pitch count 78 pitches, 44 strikes up to about where we were comfortable, maybe a little bit earlier. His stuff was crisp. Wake came in and threw the ball real well. I think thats Wheelers best inning of the spring, which is awfully nice to see. The kid Blake Maxwell comes in every time and throws strikes.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his second home run of the spring, leading off the fourth inning with an opposite-field shot for the Sox lone run.

More important, the Red Sox got through the spring with no significant injuries. Josh Beckett gave the organization a scare when he was hit in the head by a batted ball during batting practice early in spring, suffering a mild concussion from which he rebounded with no obvious problems. Other than that, the team suffered no major health issues no small feat after losing 1,018 player-games last season to the disabled list.

Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis -- who both suffered season-ending injuries in 2010 -- led the starters in spring training innings, with 102 and 100, respectively. Jacoby Ellsbury, who missed all but 18 games last season with fractured ribs played 89 innings, batting .333 with a team-high three home runs and eight RBI.

Thrilled, Francona said. Theres no way you can play the games and worry about guys getting hurt, because they have to play the game right, and you have to pitch and they have to do everything they can. But again, I think it comes down to a lot of it is the guys did a good job this winter. They came into camp not limping. We didnt have to really hold back. They worked hard and they did a good job. Probably my biggest concern is guys getting off that bus playing in spring training road games, because theres just no way to get around it. But the guys really did a good job.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

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Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Coming off a phenomenal season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel spent the offseason in Boston. Not to be closer to Fenway Park, but for proximity to something far more important: the city’s first-rate medical community.

Kimbrel’s daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with a heart issue.

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“It’s been a lot,” Kimbrel said Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods. “My wife and I, we’ve kept it kind of private. But when she was born, she had some heart defects so we decided to stay in Boston and work with Children’s Hospital and just been going through that ordeal and it’s had its ups and downs but she’s doing great right now."

Focusing wasn't always easy in season, but Kimbrel said his daughter's condition has motivated him even more.

“They always say when you have a child, things change and they have," he said. "I’m definitely more focused towards her and her needs and our family needs. It’s just one day at a time and give everything I got. It’s real easy to look at her and understand everything I’m doing is for her and it makes it a lot easier.”

Kimbrel and his wife, Ashley, found out early in the 2017 season that they would be staying in Boston for the winter and were preparing.

“Everything has kind of gone as planned so far,” Kimbrel said. “She’ll have another surgery during spring training, so I’ll come back to Boston for a week and do that, but it’s been good. It’s definitely been tough, but one of the happiest, joyful times of our life.”

"Being in Boston, we feel blessed, because the doctors are the best in the world. Being able to work with them has been great.”

Kimbrel said his wife has stayed in touch with Travis Shaw’s wife. The Shaw family has had a similar experience, Kimbrel said.

“It seems like they’re doing pretty good,” Kimbrel said. “It’s been very encouraging to see.”

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