Atchison goes 1-2-3 in first rehab appearance with PawSox

776328.jpg

Atchison goes 1-2-3 in first rehab appearance with PawSox

PAWTUCKET, R.I. Right-hander Scott Atchison, who has been on the disabled list since July 14 with right forearm tightness, began his rehab assignment Monday afternoon with Triple-A Pawtucket. Atchison pitched one perfect inning, throwing eight pitches, five for strikes.

Atchison entered for the seventh inning of the PawSox 6-4, 12-inning win over the ScrantonWilkes-Barre Yankees in the regular season finale. He retired Melky Mesa on a grounder out to second baseman Ryan Dent, Gustavo Molina on fly ball to right fielder J.C. Linares, and Jose Gil on a fly ball to left fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker.

Atch did a nice job, said Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler. He was up a little bit with a couple of pitches but his ball was jumping out of his hand real good and the breaking ball had some depth to it. He threw some quality pitches. Real quick inning, like he does. He pitches to contact and thats kind of his game. He looked good. He was good after he got done and felt good. So well see how that goes.

Atchison is 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 37 games for the Red Sox this season. He is eligible to be activated Sept. 13.

Atchisons next scheduled outing is Thursday in Game 2 of the PawSox playoff series against the Yankees. Initially, Atchison thought he might need Tommy John surgery on his elbow. But, after examining the right-handers elbow, Dr. James Andrew recommended rest and rehab. Monday was his first appearance in a game since July 27 on his last rehab stint with the PawSox. He has not appeared in a major league game since July 13. Before Mondays game he said he was pleased with how his elbow has responded to his rehab program. The true test, though, he said, will be to see how it responds the day after he pitches.

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

red_sox_hanley_ramirez_072816.jpg

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

Hanley Ramirez is getting a night off as the Red Sox look for their third straight win against the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field.

Travis Shaw will play first base, with Brock Holt at third.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Andrew Benintendi LF
---
Rick Porcello P

RAYS:
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SH
Matt Duffy SS
Logan Morrison 1B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Bobby Wilson C
---
Matt Andriese P

McAdam: Buchholz is the relief the Red Sox need

McAdam: Buchholz is the relief the Red Sox need

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This is the kind of season it has been for Clay Buchholz:

A little more than a month ago, he was merely taking up space on the Red Sox roster, having been summarily removed from the rotation after three months of poor outings.

He was in the bullpen, but the Sox were loathe to use him. Asked, memorably, why Buchholz hadn't been the choice to serve as a long reliever in a game in which the starter departed early, John Farrell candidly noted, in not so many words, that because the Sox still had a chance to win the game, Buchholz didn't make sense as an option.

Ouch.

But slowly, Buchholz became more effective in his new relief role. And when injuries struck the rotation, Buchholz got himself three cameo starts, during which he posted a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings, topped by Tuesday's beauty -- 6 1/3 innings, one run allowed, nine strikeouts recorded.

Just as Buchholz has straightened out, however, Red Sox starters are suddenly stacked up like jets waiting for clearance to land at Logan Airport. Steven Wright returns from a brief DL stint Friday, and Eduardo Rodriguez is not far behind.

When he pitched poorly, the Red Sox didn't have any other options.

When he pitched well, the Red Sox have plenty of other choices.

So, now what?

"As far as Clay goes,'' said John Farrell, "this will be, I'm sure, a conversation (had) within (the organization). But setting that aside, he's throwing the ball exceptionally well right now.''

That's indisputable.

But the question remains: In what capacity will he throw the ball in the near future?

There's been a suggestion to keep Buchholz in the rotation while moving Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen. That would give the Sox a dependable lefty in relief -- as opposed to, say, Fernando Abad -- while also serving the dual purpose of putting a governor on Pomeranz's climbing innings total.

Pomeranz, who has plenty of bullpen experience in the big leagues, has also thrown 140 1/3 innings this season, eclipsing his previous major league high by nearly 40.

But Pomeranz is 27, not 21. He's shown no signs of fatigue. To the contrary, he's 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts. The Sox shouldn't mess with his success.

Instead, Buchholz should become one of the team's high-leverage set-up weapons, available in the seventh or eighth inning.

True, Buchholz doesn't have the swing-and-miss capability you'd prefer to have in the eighth inning, where the fewer balls put in play, the better off you are. But he can get lefties and righties out, and, pitching out of the stretch full-time, he's greatly improved his command.

Buchholz would remain the best option for a spot start if one of the five Red Sox starters faltered or got hurt. But the bullpen remains the best choice for him.

Ironic, isn't it? When he pitched poorly, he remained in the rotation for several months. Now that he's pitching superbly, he can't earn a permanent spot.

It's been that kind of season.