Notes: Buchholz has arrived

Notes: Buchholz has arrived

BOSTON -- Except to local Portlanders and Pawtucketers and various far-flung Minor League baseball fans, Clay Buchholz has existed mainly as a media phenomenon.

For as long as the Red Sox prospect has been striking out batters this season -- and at an astounding clip (a Minor League high of 164 in just 117 innings) -- reporters, scouts and sabermetricians have fanned the flames remotely. Only in smaller, incomplete quantities has modern technology been able to satisfy the interest of Red Sox Nation in the hard-throwing right-hander from Lumberton, Texas.

That will soon change. On Thursday, the Red Sox announced that Buchholz will start Game 1 of Friday's day-night doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a game with playoff implications for both clubs.

It will be Buchholz's first big league start. The Red Sox announced that they will clear space on the active roster with a corresponding move on Friday. After the game, it is believed that they will shuttle Buchholz back down to Triple-A Pawtucket in order to clear space for a reserve outfielder, such as Jacoby Ellsbury.

Buchholz, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-hander, turned 23 on Tuesday. He's 8-3 with a 2.15 ERA in 21 starts between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. He was 20 years old when the Red Sox selected him 42nd overall in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft as compensation.

The departed free agent that netted Boston the pick: Pedro Martinez.

German Nation: The Red Sox recently traveled to Germany to sign their first European free agent under the current ownership group.

Six-foot-five right-hander Jennel Hudson, a 17-year-old starter for the Cologne Cardinals of Cologne, Germany, was spotted and signed to a 2008 contract at the Major League Baseball Academy in Tirrenia, Italy, by Red Sox vice president of international scouting Craig Shipley and Pacific Rim scouting coordinator Jon Deeble.

The Red Sox expect Hudson to attend their Florida instructional league program in the fall.

Fenway tribute for Conigliaro: Forty years to the day after he was hit in the left eye by a pitch from Angels right-hander Jack Hamilton, the late Red Sox slugger Tony Conigliaro will be honored in a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.

Conigliaro's career was never the same after he was beaned on Aug. 18, 1967. Less than a month before, the 22-year-old native of Revere, Mass., had become the youngest player to hit 100 career home runs.

Not until 1969 did Conigliaro return to baseball. He earned Comeback Player of the Year honors after that season, but he played only 241 more games for the rest of his career, plagued by vision problems. In 1982, Conigliaro suffered a debilitating heart attack, and in 1990, he died at the age of 45.

The Red Sox will remember Conigliaro before Saturday's game with an on-the-field video and audio tribute. Several members of Conigliaro's family are expected to attend.

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.