Saturday, December 22, 2007

Please Mr. Postman.......

With the absence of any hard Red Sox news, I'm going to delve into Ian Browne's MLB dot com mailbag. There'll be a question about our veteran starter, Curt Schilling. I'll print it and Browne's answer, and then be back with a comment or two. After that, there'll be a question and reply about our young phenom Clay Buchholz, whose stuff is so good, it's scary! Here you go.. question numero uno.....

"What are your projections for Curt Schilling in 2008? I feel with the incentives that were written into his contract recently, these will prove invaluable to a productive season. Personally, I feel if Schilling keeps his weight in check and continues to rely on other pitches besides his once-dominant fastball, he will win 15-20 games in 2008."
-- Greg L., Owings Mills, Md.

"Schilling learned a lot about himself last season. Mainly, he learned how to pitch without the velocity he's had most of his career. I think Schilling is also making a strong commitment to getting in great shape this offseason, which is always a key for any pitcher in his 40s. I agree with your optimism, that he should have a pretty good year. Plus, in Schilling's mind, this is going to be his last season, and you know he wants to go out strong. This is the first time in a long time he'll go to camp as something less than an ace or a co-ace, so I bet that also motivates him."

Peter here, and right now Curt is in the midst of his off-season training routine. He's not losing weight....that will come later. He is building muscle mass, especially in his throwing shoulder. The hope is that the "tired" shoulder problems of last year, when he missed roughly six weeks to rehab into playing shape, will be a thing of the past. Schill certainly knows how to pitch, that's for sure. He can't overwhelm hitters with gas anymore, but he can mix up his speeds and use his devastating splitter for maximum effectiveness. All we need from Curt next year is six, maybe seven quality innings, giving up three runs or less. He will be a 15 plus game winner if he can do that, and that's so sweet. And not being the "top dog' of the rotation WILL motivate him. Like the car rental company AVIS, "he'll try harder!" Now, on to question numero dos.....

"I know that Clay Buchholz wasn't pitching at the end of last season because of a tired right shoulder. Is he ready to go for next season?"
-- Karl M., Clifton Park, N.Y.

"Buchholz was in Boston earlier this offseason and underwent some strength tests and the Red Sox were very pleased with the progress he has made. The expectation is that Buchholz will be full speed ahead at the outset of Spring Training. And as pitching coach John Farrell recently said, the club is hoping to get about 180-185 innings out of Buchholz in 2008."

Peter here, one more time on this still dark but balmy Saturday morning, the first hours of an exquisite four day weekend. Clay Buchholz is a gem in the making, a developing talent who has such great stuff, he's a "can't miss" future All Star. Remember his no-hitter last year against the Orioles? I sure do. He used his great fastball and mixed in his "fall off the table" curveball to keep the Baltimore batters off balance the entire night. His pitch count was mounting in the later innings, however, and Theo MIGHT have had to make a decision that would seemingly vilify him to every member of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International...a few more pitches and he would have had to "strongly suggest" to Boston manager Terry Francona to pull him from the game, no-hitter or no no-hitter. Boy, I'm glad it didn't come down to that. He was shut down in early September of '07, and that was a good move. As the above letter showed, 185 Buchholz innings in 2008 will be a joy to behold. I love watching him pitch. And with a Daisuke who will be embarking on his second run-through of the American League and Josh Beckett continuing his dominance and.....oh well, I could keep going, but I won't. We ALL know that the 2008 Boston Red Sox club will be a good one, fun to watch while staying successful. What a combination! And maybe a Johan in the starting five? We'll see.......

Click on the title of this post for an article from the Boston Globe that illuminates, a little, the Jason Grimsley steroid tell-all "who did this, who did that" story. There's not much Soxy stuff around today. probably because so many people are taking the long weekend off....time to be with families and friends, loved ones. Be well, have fun, and I'll be back tomorrow, and every day thereafter, the Big Guy in the sky willing. I'd love to see and respond to your comments....comments about Schill or Clay, or ANYONE/ANYTHING. Thanks!!


At 12/22/2007 4:20 PM, Blogger gingerly said...


I'm looking forward to seeing Buccholz pitch too, and I say we hang on to Ellsbury no matter what. This is going to be a great season . . . it just seems so far away when we're sitting here in December.

And Peter, thanks for telling me about I love it. It used to be hard to find new baseball blog entries. Now I've got a fresh page of them to view every day. Good deal.

Now if we could only fast-forward to Spring training.


At 12/23/2007 6:30 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Keith, I'm so glad you set up an account that enables you to comment directly...great job! And basballnooz dot com is a great place to pick out your favorite blogs, Sox or others, and get an overview of what's happening here and now, all at the same place. I'm glad you like it. And for ALL of my readers, the link is on my link list, near the top. Keith, I hope you subscribed to the BN link to my blog, because I'm sitting at number six on the top blog list, ready to crack the top five!
Always great to hear from you, and Clay Buchholz is as untouchable as anyone gets! And that's good.
Happy and healthy holidays to you and yours, and again, thank you for reading!!!!!


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