John Farrell at winter meetings: No 'physical discomfort' for Clay Buchholz

Rob Bradford
December 09, 2013 - 12:19 pm

ORLANDO -- According to John Farrell, the concerns over Clay Buchholz' health has subsided. Speaking during his allotted time with the media at the winter meetings Monday afternoon, the Red Sox manager said that Buchholz has put his physical issues (shoulder, neck, lat) in the past and should undergo a typical offseason. "Based on the most recent report, very comfortable," Farrell said when asked about Buchholz's progress. "No residual feeling of any kind of physical discomfort. He's initiated his normal off'€‘season strengthening program. So all of that has calmed down from last year. So his durability and just innings capability is a huge -- will be a huge benefit further going forward." Some other noteworthy items from Farrell's media briefing: - It has still yet to be determined where Xander Bogaerts might be playing in 2014, shortstop or third base, a decision that is dependent on if Stephen Drew re-signs with the Red Sox. It's a door that Farrell continued to leave open when asked about the rookie manning the hot corner. "Oh, the way he played third base -- when he first came up compared to when he finished the season, he made tremendous strides there," the manager said. "So I think we're completely comfortable with him playing either position. Again, I think our focus has always been and will be what is the strongest and deepest team we can make or create? And we've got a ways to go here in the winter before that's determined." - Farrell was asked about the conditioning of Felix Doubront, whose physical shape has been marked as a priority for the player and team this offseason. "We wanted to adjust the fact that his annual trip down to Venezuela would be adjusted to go down earlier than in years past. Just make sure that everything's pointing in the right direction once we get through the early part of January," Farrell said. "'€¨On the same token, Rubby De La Rosa will be in Ft. Myers come mid-January as well. He's got another 10 days in winter ball pitching down there right now. '€¨But guys that we earmarked for maybe a little more structure, that's what's planned." As for drawing back on workload for some of the relievers, Farrell said that planning is in the works. "(Pitching coach) Juan [Nieves] and I have had conversations on looking at a couple of guys," he said. "Particularly whether it's Koji [Uehara],[Craig Breslow], [Junichi Tazawa] as three that we might look to alter their programs to get them in games maybe a little later than in the early part of the game-scheduled camp. So I think we have to be mindful of the added appearances and increased number of innings thrown. I think we've got a pretty good handle on that right now.'€¨"