It seems that the only thing that can hold Clay Buchholz back this season is an injury. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the right-hander is currently battling through such a situation, and his status for his next start is up in the air.
Buchholz, who was originally scheduled to pitch on Friday, will now pitch on Sunday at the earliest. Felix Doubront, Ryan Dempster and John Lackey are scheduled to start the first three games of the Red Sox’ series against the Orioles. Buchholz would then pitch Sunday if he’s ready, but it doesn’t sound as if he’s close to 100 percent after throwing on Wednesday, and manager John Farrell is already considering contingency plans.
“He threw the ball OK. I think he still felt a little bit of stiffness but he improved over the last time he had a ball in his hands, with 48 hours of no throw,” Farrell told reporters before Wednesday’s game. “We’ve got to factor in what takes place [Wednesday] and [Thursday] for preparing through the rotation through Baltimore. We have options. Obviously we can bring Jon [Lester] back on Sunday and push Clay back to next Tuesday. If there’s not marked improvement by [Thursday], we may be looking to do just that.”
Buchholz, who started feeling stiffness in his neck during Saturday’s game against the Yankees, has also battled an issue with his AC joint, which is located near the collarbone.
We shouldn’t have to wait too long before a decision is made regarding Buchholz’s next start, though. Farrell said that he expects to make a determination on Thursday, rather than let the questions linger until Sunday.