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Buchholz starting to gaze

He’s looking for his first All-Star nod

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / June 15, 2010

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Clay Buchholz, who starts tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks, is trying not to think too much about making the All-Star team for the first time.

But the righthander acknowledges he has been following the exploits of other young pitchers in the American League and wondering were he stands as the July 13 game in Anaheim draws closer.

“It’s kind of cool when you look at it,’’ he said. “A lot of guys around my age are having big seasons.’’

Tampa Bay lefthander David Price, 24, is 9-2 with a 2.23 ERA. Phil Hughes of the Yankees, who is 24, is 9-1 with a 3.11 ERA. Buchholz, 25, is 8-4 with a 2.52 ERA. Teammate Jon Lester, 26, is 7-2 with an ERA of 3.18.

None have made an All-Star team. In a year in which established pitchers such as Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, and CC Sabathia have been inconsistent, some new faces could make the roster.

“It’s not something I’m really dwelling on,’’ Buchholz said. “If it happens, that would be great. But I’ve got plenty of games to pitch for us I need to worry about first.’’

The rosters will be announced July 4. That gives Buchholz approximately five starts to improve his résumé.

Buchholz is 5-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last six starts, allowing only 26 hits over 43 1/3 innings.

Short of stars
The latest tabulation of All-Star voting does not bode well for the Red Sox having any starters.

No Sox player leads at a position. Dustin Pedroia is second among second baseman but is more than 800,000 votes behind Robinson Cano of the Yankees.

Victor Martinez is third among catchers but is nearly 2.1 million votes behind Joe Mauer of the Twins. Kevin Youkilis (first base), David Ortiz (designated hitter), and Adrian Beltre (third base) are in fourth place.

The Red Sox do not have an outfielder in the top 15 and Marco Scutaro is not among the top five at shortstop.

The next Nava?
The Red Sox signed Daniel Nava out of the independent Golden League before the 2008 season. He’s now with the Sox and has driven in five runs in two games.

The next unlikely call-up could be Robert Coello.

A 25-year-old righthander, Coello was drafted by the Reds as a catcher in 2004 and was released before the start of the 2006 season. The Angels signed him five months later as a pitcher.

Coello appeared in 20 games and was released again despite a 1.37 ERA. He joined the Golden League in 2008, pitching for Edmonton and Calgary. The Sox signed him when the season was over.

Coello spent all but one game with Single A Salem last season, allowing only 38 hits over 66 innings. That earned him a spot with Portland this year. Coello struck out 51 over 43 1/3 innings, earning a promotion to Pawtucket over the weekend.

He appeared in his first game Sunday and threw three hitless innings against Louisville, walking three, and striking out four.

At 6 feet 5 inches, 250 pounds, Coello can hit 94 with his fastball.

Day daze
Perhaps the Sox need bed checks. They are 5-12 in day games, one of the worst records in baseball . . . Righthander Ian Kennedy, who is scheduled to start for the Diamondbacks tonight, spent parts of three seasons with the Yankees but will be facing the Red Sox for the first time . . . With the Celtics playing the Lakers in the NBA Finals, tonight’s game will be on WRKO (680) instead of WEEI . . . Through Sunday’s games, the Red Sox were third in the majors in on-base percentage and first in slugging. Their 85 home runs trailed only Toronto’s 99.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com . Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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