Clay Buchholz to have knee surgery
Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz will undergo surgery on his right knee on Tuesday at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Peter Asnis, the team’s head orthopedist, will repair a torn meniscus.
According to general manager Ben Cherington, Buchholz has been dealing with symptoms throughout the season. The injury did not prevent him from pitching.
“It’s a relatively routine procedure, pretty quick recovery,” Cherington said.
Buchholz was 8-11 with a 5.34 earned run average in 28 starts.
First baseman Mike Napoli will require only rest, not surgery, to solve the finger, knee, and toe issues that limited him to 11 games in September. A bigger problem could be a case of sleep apnea.
“That has been going on for several years. As sleep issues do for people, they tend to get worse as time goes on and his has. It’s affected him.” Cherington said. “Because we have a longer offseason, we may look to work with him on some different ways to manage that going forward. We don’t know what that’s going to mean yet.”
Napoli said Sunday he was planning to spend the offseason in Boston.
Utilityman Brock Holt, who missed the final 21 games with a concussion, will be in Pittsburgh on Oct. 8 for an exam with Dr. Michael Collins, the specialist who diagnosed him. The Red Sox expect Holt to be cleared at that point. He will not be required to play anywhere this winter and he remains very much in the team’s plans for 2015.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (right hand) and designated hitter David Ortiz (left wrist) will need only rest and rehab for the injuries that kept them from playing the final few games.
Dustin Pedroia, who had surgery on his left thumb, is doing well and will have a normal offseason of workouts.
Shane Victorino, who had back surgery in August, should be able to participate in spring training to some extent.
“Can’t put a date on it yet. But that would be our expectation,” Cherington said.
Red Sox officials said a month ago they believed the entire coaching staff would return. On Monday, that message changed.
“I think any time we finish in the position we’re in, we’re always looking for ways to get better,” manager John Farrell said.
Cherington, sitting alongside Farrell during the annual end-of-season press conference, offered no disagreement.
“Our staff is always going to be an integral part to this organization and to our success going forward,” Farrell said. “But we still have a number of conversations to be had with each guy on the staff. But I think the most important thing is we’ll always have a group of people here that are a big part of what we do.”
Hitting coach Greg Colbrunn is the leading candidate to be replaced. The Red Sox were one of the worst offensive teams in the game this season.
Colbrunn, 45, suffered a brain hemorrhage in Cleveland on June 4 and did not return to the team until June 30 on a part-time basis. He resumed traveling in August and said then he was not sure about his plans for the future.
Another change could come if bench coach Torey Lovullo or third base coach Brian Butterfield leave to manage their own team.
Cherington said that while the Red Sox preferred Middlebrooks play winter ball, he understood why the third baseman decided not to.
Counting Triple A, Middlebrooks was limited to 92 games because of calf, finger, and hand injuries. Cherington, Farrell, and even team president Larry Lucchino went public with their desire that Middlebrooks play in the winter.
Middlebrooks declined and Cherington said that would not be held against him.
“I don’t think whether or not he plays winter ball should be a determining factor where he is next March or April,” he said. “We talked to him about it. We felt like there was some merit. But players have to make decisions that they think are in their best interests. He has reasons for this.”
On Sunday, Middlebrooks said the ligament issue in his hand would take several weeks to heal. He also wants to work on improving his core and lower-body strength as an injury deterrent.
“I thought about [winter ball] but I know what I need to do and that’s to get myself in the best shape possible and be ready to play,” Middlebrooks said.
Middlebrooks will be working out in Dallas and include more baseball-specific drills than he did last season.
Uehara in plans
Koji Uehara had his last save on Aug. 12, shortly before a six-game stretch in which he gave up 10 runs on 14 hits over 4⅔ innings.
Uehara was essentially shut down after that, appearing in three of the final 31 games.
Uehara, who turns 40 in April, will be a free agent after the season. Farrell reiterated the Red Sox would like him to return as closer.
“We’d like to keep Koji with us and confident we’ll make every effort to do just that,” he said. “Despite the age, he’s still a very good performer and a guy we want to have anchor the back end of the bullpen.”
Uehara said he enjoyed his two seasons in Boston but will consider all offers equally.
Castillo on schedule
Rusney Castillo will spend a few days in Florida before reporting to the Arizona Fall League this week. He is expected to play for the Surprise Saguaros until roughly late October before joining Caguas of the Puerto Rico League in November. The only other players on the 40-man roster set for winter ball are catcher Christian Vazquez (Puerto Rico) and lefthander Edwin Escobar (Venezuela) . . . Ortiz was the team’s nominee for the Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive performer in either league . . . Good luck to Fenway head groundskeeper Dave Mellor, who had hip replacement surgery on Monday.