Offseason gives Sox a chance to overcome injuries
Buchholz to have meniscus surgery as several others receive treatment
BOSTON -- The injury bug bit many Red Sox players during the 2014 season. They'll now take the offseason to recover and be ready for the '15 campaign.
Right-hander Clay Buchholz will undergo right knee surgery to repair his meniscus on Tuesday by Red Sox orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis.
"He's had some off and on symptoms for some time now. It's not something that prevents him from pitching, but we just want the offseason to take care of it," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "It is a relatively routine procedure with a relatively quick recovery. We just felt like given where we are on the calendar and the fairly quick recovery … we could just knock it out."
Cherington was quick to dismiss that the injury had anything to do with the underwhelming numbers Buchholz put up this season. He finished the 2014 campaign with an 8-11 record and 5.34 ERA.
"It wasn't a debilitating issue," Cherington said. "It is something that he managed. He would tell you that it didn't affect him. We just wanted to be proactive so it didn't turn into something bigger."
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who missed the last few weeks of the season because of discomfort in his right hand, will continue to receive treatment over the next month to resolve the issue.
While the team spoke about the potential of Middlebrooks taking part in Winter Ball, he made the decision to recuperate in Texas.
"Offseasons belong to players, and ultimately they need to do what is in their best interest. That can be different for every guy," Cherington said. "He gave it consideration and he understood where we were coming from, but he just feels like it's in his best interest to focus on an offseason without playing and get strong."
Cherington said that Middlebrooks' choice not to participate in Winter Ball will have no effect on whether he's on the 2015 roster.
"Whether or not he plays Winter Ball shouldn't be a determining factor of where he is next March or April," Cherington said. "We talked to him about it and felt like some merit was there, but players have to make decisions that they think is in their best interest. He has reasons for this and that's what he's going to do."
Super utility player Brock Holt, who missed the last three weeks of the season due to a concussion, will see Dr. Micky Collins in Pittsburgh on Oct. 9. The Red Sox are hopeful that the meeting will lead to a final clearance and allow Holt to go into the offseason without any issue.
The team also expects Mike Napoli's injured toe, knee and left ring finger to heal with treatment. The same goes for David Ortiz, who will continue to get treatment on his injured left wrist.
Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino are both doing well after their surgeries and are expected to be ready by Spring Training. Cherington said that Pedroia will have a normal offseason in Arizona, while Victorino should be able to play in Spring Training games if he stays on track.