Sox Notes: Buchholz makes steps toward return

Sox Notes: Buchholz makes steps toward return
August 17, 2013, 4:00 pm
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BOSTON —- Clay Buchholz continues to make steps towards a return to the Red Sox.

Buchholz threw about 60 pitches in Saturday's bullpen session prior to the Red Sox' game against the Yankees.

"Yeah today was good," Buchholz said. "More intense today. Good pitches. So yeah everything was good. Fifty [pitched] yesterday so it was probably around 60-65 today."

Buchholz didn't just throw to the catcher, though. Both Brandon Snyder and Ryan Lavarnway stood in the box as Buchholz fired them in. That's something Buchholz hadn't done up to today.

"Little different. Feels like it came back pretty quick," Buchholz said. "But it was a little awkward seeing somebody stand up there besides the catcher. But overall it went well.

"I got more comfortable the more I threw to the hitter. I'd say the next step is to get some live swings … and see how that goes. But I'm willing to do whatever they want me to do and what I have to do to get ready.

Buchholz did somewhat of a game simulation, throwing a number of pitches, sitting down, then getting back up to pitch some more. He did that four times.

Manager John Farrell, who was speaking as Buchholz was throwing, said that Buchholz "feels confident that he's making steady progress here."

  • David Ross could be back up with the team at any moment.

Ross, who has been on the DL for concussion-related symptoms, was moved to the 60-day DL on June 26, retroactive to June 19.

He's eligible to return to the Sox on Sunday, and it appears as though that will happen either on or very close to the day. Ross is just 2-for-15 in the minors heading into Saturday's game, but Farrell is more concerned with how he feels physically than how he looks at the plate.

"Well we fully expect the timing to be a work in progress getting back to it," Farrell said. "But the fact that he'd be ready to go physically and get through a consecutive nine innings of catching today, these things that are all being considered. The one thing we don't want to do is delay his return. 16-18 at-bats, that's going to be some to get his timing back. But as long as there's no residual effect of a concussion coming out of today, we feel like it's time to get him back to us."

The Red Sox currently have Ryan Lavarnway in the backup role. He's hit .283 with zero home runs and eight RBI this season for Boston in 60 at-bats this season.

  • Lefthander Matt Thornton is also on the mend, having thrown a bullpen session on Friday.

He's not where the team needs him to be in terms of being activated, but Farrell said he's "closer".

"Threw a bullpen yesterday at about 80-85-percent effort," Farrell said. "Came out of it feeling fine. We've got another bullpen set for him tomorrow, so I think it's still would be beneficial for him to- we've got to get him back to game speed. We can throw bullpens all we want, but we have to get him into game situations. We don't have a date in which he could go out and throw an inning, but that would be a progressive step."

Thornton will travel out West with the Sox, but Farrell warned not to look too much into it.

"Doesn't mean he's going to stay with us the whole week," Farrell said. "Most importantly he's making very good progress."

The Sox are certainly in need of another lefty out of the bullpen, which is why they traded for Thornton in the first place.

Franklin Morales looked good yesterday for the Sox, pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief which earned him some praise from Farrell on Saturday, but fellow lefty Drake Britton had some trouble in the 9th inning. He gave up three runs on five hits. He did, however, strike out three.