Buchholz thrilled by arm strength in debut

Buchholz thrilled by arm strength in debut

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Clay Buchholz didn't have great results during his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday, but the key for the righty is that he felt healthy, something he was not at the end of last season.

Buchholz threw some fastballs at 93-mph against the Rays. In Game 4 of the World Series, he was topping out in the high 80s while being bothered by right shoulder fatigue.

"Definitely, I feel good," Buchholz said. "I don't know if it's because of the time off or whatever, but everything seems to be coming together pretty easily right now."

Before he started suffering shoulder and neck woes last June, Buchholz had put together the most dominant stretch of his career, going 11-0.

Buchholz thinks that he's made the physical recovery necessary to regain his status as an All-Star.

"It definitely feels completely different than the last month and a half, two months that I threw last year," Buchholz said. "That's what I wanted to feel like coming into camp, and I just have to keep working day to day and getting out there every five days."

By design, Buchholz pitched just one inning against the Rays, giving up three hits and a run. He threw 26 pitches.

"I've been pitching against them for seven years now, so they know what I've got and I know them," Buchholz said. "It's more about going out and getting a feel regardless of who you're pitching against."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.