Lighter workload is working for Clay Buchholz

His fastball consistently clocked at 91-92 miles per hour, Clay Buchholz retired his final 11 batters in his start Friday.
kathy willens/associated press
His fastball consistently clocked at 91-92 miles per hour, Clay Buchholz retired his final 11 batters in his start Friday.

DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Red Sox once had Clay Buchholz start working out early in the winter, believing that would help keep him healthy during the season.

After several stints on the disabled list, the new strategy is hoping less will lead to more.

The Sox have been cautious with Buchholz, starting him slowly this spring training and installing him as their No. 5 starter. He missed three months last season with a strained shoulder and pitched cautiously after returning in September.


“We felt like the most obvious thing was let’s delay things to allow some recovery to take place and build him up slower,” manager John Farrell said.

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That seems to be working. Buchholz threw four scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory against Toronto Friday, retiring the final 11 batters he faced.

The righthander allowed two hits and struck out three without a walk. Buchholz was consistently at 91-92 miles per hour with his fastball and felt he had more.

“I could reach back a little bit and it was 92,” he said. “I feel like if I was going to go out there and give 100 percent max effort, that’s where I would be with every fastball.”

Said Farrell: “I thought he was in command for the four innings of work. He had three very good pitches working for him. I thought he had better stuff than five days ago and you see his velocity starting to climb.”


Buchholz believes he could handle a normal schedule. But he agrees with the team’s approach.

“Given the last couple of months of last season, they knew I wasn’t exactly where I was at in the past years,” he said. “We’re keeping an eye on it. But like I’ve told them every day, I feel fine.”

Prospect arrested

Red Sox prospect Jon Denney, a 19-year-old catcher, was arrested early Thursday morning in Fort Myers and charged with driving with a suspended license.

A report issued by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Denney was arrested at 4:06 a.m.

Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign. Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted to business and emergency use because of a previous DUI arrest.


Denney told police he was “partying” and called a friend to drive him home. Two hours later, police saw Denney get back in his truck and drive out of a parking lot. He was stopped again and told police he was giving the woman with him a ride home.

According to the police report obtained by the Globe, Denney “became belligerent and started to cuss” at two officers. Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers ever would.

After being handcuffed, Denney allegedly said he would be freed quickly because he played for the Sox and made $3 million a year.

Police determined Denney’s license was actually suspended and he was booked on a charge of knowingly driving while his license was revoked, a misdemeanor. He was released at 8:30 a.m. after posting a $500 bond.

Denney faces a March 31 hearing.

Denney was a third-round pick in the 2013 draft and signed for an $875,000 bonus out of Yukon High in Oklahoma. He played in 26 games for the Rookie Gulf Coast League Red Sox last season, hitting .203. His salary is approximately $1,000 a month during the season.

General manager Ben Cherington said via e-mail that he was still gathering information on the situation and had no comment. The team issued a similar statement.

Team officials are expected to make a determination of Denney’s status by the end of the weekend.

Denney has been arrested several times, and character may have been a factor in the high school All-American falling into the third round of the draft.

Denney deleted his Twitter account after his arrest. He could not be reached for comment.

A Red Sox player has been arrested in Fort Myers for at least three consecutive spring trainings.

Lefthander Drake Britton was arrested a year ago for DUI and reckless driving after leading police on a chase in a pickup truck.

In March of 2012, righthander Bobby Jenks was arrested after leaving a strip club on two counts of DUI along with property damage and leaving the scene of a crash.

Monster ticket changes

The Red Sox announced Friday that they would use dynamic pricing for seats and standing-room tickets on top of the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

Tickets priced under the new system will go on sale starting Tuesday at noon.

The price of Monster tickets will increase or decrease based on demand and market factors such as the date, opponent, and weather conditions. Two companies, Qcue and tixtrack, will track the data and help set the prices. If demand is high, there is no set limit on prices.

Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy compared the system to how airlines price tickets.

In November, the Red Sox announced a variable pricing structure for other tickets at Fenway. Games were placed in five tiers based on expected demand and priced accordingly.

According to the Sox, 32 games have seen a reduced average price with the remaining 49 games going up.

Extra work for Ross

In Fort Myers, backup catcher David Ross was 2 for 5 with a double playing in two minor league games at Fenway South. Ross was just getting in extra at-bats . . . Lefthander Craig Breslow threw in the bullpen but has not yet been scheduled for a game. Farrell said Breslow would need only 3-5 games to be ready for the season and that some of those could be minor league games . . . Eleven of the final 15 spring training games will be on NESN, ESPN, or MLB Network.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.