The Red Sox and Clay Buchholz were pretty optimistic last week, going so far as to pencil in Buchholz for a rehab start over the weekend. Rehab starts are now the last thing on their minds, however, with Buchholz instead waiting several days just to pitch another bullpen session.
Buchholz has failed to get past the bullpen stage in his rehab over the last few weeks, experiencing complications each time he tried to take the mound. He has said it’s better to play it safe than to try to rush back.
This time, he’s preaching the same message, with a Thursday bullpen session hopefully showing some relief from the shoulder injury that has nagged him since his last start, on June 8.
“I’m not going to go out and do something that’s going to cost me the rest of the season,” he said Monday at Citi Field, where he’s on hand for the All-Star Game. “I want to be 100 percent the next time I get on the mound, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Buchholz also said he wants to pitch a simulated game before any rehab starts, which will be preceded by the bullpen session and these next few days of rest.
“I just don’t know what it would lead to if I did just keep throwing, throwing, throwing on it,” he said. “It’s like picking a scab. I don’t want to be messing with this forever. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but regardless of how long it takes, I want it to just be done in one time and not have to keep going back two starts and then going back on the DL. In a frustrating way, that’s sort of my mindset.”
Buchholz plans to do some long toss over the next few days. He said he’s still sore coming out of the windup, “trying to reach back and throw.” The inflammation is where his neck meets his shoulder, when he follows through on pitches.
Buchholz was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA when he was injured. While he says the injury has been frustrating, he reiterated that he isn’t rushing back, because he says he knows his teammates will be fine without him, and he’s more valuable in the long run.
“At least all the other guys are going out there and doing their jobs,” he said. “… It would be a lot more tough if everything wasn’t going as we wanted it to.”
The Red Sox are 58-39 at the break.