UPDATE: The Red Sox released their 25-man roster for the World Series, and Clay Buchholz was on it. It appears as though the team is confident enough in the righty to make a start at some point against the Cardinals. If he is deemed injured in the coming days, however, the team will be allowed to replace him on the roster.
BOSTON - On the eve of Game 1 of the World Series, the Red Sox find themselves in a potentially precarious position with their starting rotation.
Clay Buchholz, who had been considered the likely Game 3 starter, is now thought to be enough of a physical risk to have the Red Sox comtemplate some last-minute changes to their rotation.
A flurry of activity took place on the Fenway Park field toward the end of the team's scheduled workout Tuesday afternoon, with various members of the team's training and medical staff conferring with both general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell.
Though two Red Sox sources insisted that Buchholz would be able to make his scheduled start this weekend, the team seems, at the very least, to be preparing some contingency plans if Buchholz can't go.
Buchholz started the clinching Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers and tossed five shutout innings but encountered trouble in the sixth inning when he was lifted after his stuff and velocity diminished greatly from the fifth. He threw 85 pitches. Buchholz missed more than three months in the regular season because of inflammation in his right shoulder and upon his return in mid-September, did not pitch as effectively as he did in the first 2 1/2 months of the season.
While both sources suggested that no one incident in the past few days took place physically, there is concern in the organization about Buchholz's durability.
Toward that end, left-hander Felix Doubront began throwing off the mound to hitters late Tuesday afternoon as both Cherington and Farrell watched from behind the batting cage. Doubront later went out to the bullpen and continued a side session supervised by pitching coach Juan Nieves.
While Doubront threw for an extended period in the bullpen, reliever Matt Thornton next took the mound and also threw to hitters. Presumambly if Doubront is enlisted as Buchholz's replacement in the rotation, Thornton, who was not active for either the ALDS or ALCS, could be activated, taking Doubront's spot in the bullpen as a third lefty reliever.
Both the Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals must submit their 25-man roster by Wednesday at 10 a.m.