The Red Sox were hoping that Clay Buchholz would be ready to make his next scheduled start during Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Rays, but Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports that he has been scratched due to continued discomfort in his neck.
Buchholz left his start last Saturday due to neck tightness. While Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he “felt a little bit better” while throwing today, he’s not ready to test things with a bullpen session. Felix Doubront is now scheduled to pitch one of the two games on Tuesday, but the Red Sox may end up placing Buchholz on the disabled list in order to make room for the other starter.
“Yeah, we are (considering a trip to the DL) and Clay’s well aware of that and we had a chance to talk about where our threshold might be to make a decision,” Farrell said. “Still, bottom line being we’re not going to put him out there until we go through the normal build-up and make sure he’s in a safe place physically.’’
Buchholz leads the majors with a 1.71 ERA and is tied with Detroit’s Max Scherzer for the American League lead with nine wins. The 28-year-old right-hander missed a start late last month due to soreness in his AC joint, but it’s not believed to be related to his current injury.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.