Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield was the first to admit this Tuesday, when the Sox placed the righty on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 18.
"Speaking on past experiences, I do need to slow down," Wakefield told projo.com. "Last year it wasn't really a solution to give me time off because I was pitching very well at the time. I think we are very well covered right now with [righty Clay Buchholz] being here and the pitching staff is pitching well. Hopefully I can get healthy and get back out there."
Wake is going to take some time off to nurse a strained lower back. Buchholz has been recalled to make his second start of the season this Wednesday in Texas.
"The docs wanted to build in some rest and that's what we tried to accomplish going into the break by having [Buchholz] pitch that first game and realigning everybody with Josh [Beckett] and me being in the back," said Wakefield. "Another week's not going to hurt anything. It is what it is and I can't do much about it. I'm trying to get back on the field and continue to pitch the way I did the first half. It's just a minor setback."
The team was hoping that the All-Star break would be enough time for Wake to rest his ailing back, but even though he didn't appear in the Midsummer Classic, the break simply wasn't enough.
Although he's one of the game's hottest pitchers, winning six of his last seven starts, Wake knew that it's best for the team that he take time off to completely heal.
"I'm trying to get it better with treatment every day, but it doesn't seem to be getting better right now," he said. "The smart thing to do team-wise is to DL me and make sure I'm healthy because if I try to go out there and pitch and can only go two or three innings, I'm [hurting] everybody else in this clubhouse. I don't want to do that."