Doggone! Buchholz takes next step in comeback

Friday was a big one for Rockies righty reliever Taylor Buchholz. He faced hitters for the first time since last Spring Training. That was when he suffered an elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.

 

Reaching a milestone in a comeback that appears to be ahead of schedule, something else big happened.

 

He got a new dog!

 

Well, the dog might not be good news. He doesn’t exactly want one. We’ll explain that later.

 

But Buchholz was all smiles after his 25-pitch session against a mix of hitters. He threw fastballs for all but six pitches, which were changeups.

 

It’s still awhile before Buchholz will make it back to the Majors. He’ll more than likely need a month in extended spring training, then he can work his way back to the Majors. But no one expected him to be facing hitters at this point.

 

Buchholz had a career year in 2008, posting a 2.17 ERA in 63 appearances as the Rockies’ primary right-handed setup man.

 

“I was very happy with it – it went about as well as I can imagine,” Buchholz said. “I felt under control. I felt normal, which is about all I can ask for going out there for the first time.”

 

Buchholz will throw another bullpen on Monday and begin mixing in three or four curveballs per session.

 

“When I can throw my curveball with the intensity that I’ve done in the past, that’ll be a good day,” he said.

 

Little did Buchholz know, but an omen pointed to his day being different and special. Buchholz and his wife, Ashley, have a bull terrier and a Pomeranian. But on Friday morning, Ashley was walking the dogs in a nearby park when a cocker spaniel began following them, and didn’t stop.

 

Folks began entering the clubhouse, telling Buchholz he has a new dog. After several folks informed him, he asked, “Is this a joke or something.” Then Ashley sent him pictures.”

 

“I hope we don’t have three dogs right now,” Buchholz said. “I can’t handle three dogs. I guess he’s adopted us, followed her the whole way around.”

 

Maybe with each milestone in his comeback, a new dog will appear.

 

“That’s not happening,” he said.

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