Buchholz improving; Drew could return Saturday

Buchholz improving; Drew could return Saturday
July 4, 2013, 12:00 pm
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BOSTON -- Prior to Thursday's July 4 day game against the San Diego Padres at Fenway Park, Red Sox manager John Farrell gave a few injury updates, and relayed the reports that he's received from Triple-A on Will Middlebrooks.

Farrell relayed the improvements of Clay Buchholz and shortstop Stephen Drew.

"Buchholz will throw out from 90 feet today," said Farrell. "Yesterday he was out to 75 [feet] with greater intensity. We expect the same type of intensity today, with a little bit more distance. That'll be three consecutive days of throwing, and tomorrow's a planned no-throw day or just a real light catch day for him. So, the next progressive step after Friday would be to get out to 120 feet or 105 feet, and we kind of add 15 feet to each throwing session. Most importantly is how he's feeling this morning after a good work day yesterday."

Drew could possibly be ready to return by the weekend.

"Stephen will run again today," said the Red Sox manager. "And we're getting closer to hopefully stay away from the DL, with Stephen. We're thinking Saturday might be a day in which he's back in the starting lineup, if he continues to progress as he has the last couple of days. He's moving in the right direction.

"[Drew]'s still in a day-to-day phase, I guess, or status. So, hopefully we continue on as we've been. And that is, starters going deep into the game, where we haven't been forced to tax the bullpen. That's also factored into this, to buy us some time, and to go with one less reliever. That's the plan right now."

As for Middlebrooks, the third baseman went 4-for-5 with two home runs and eight RBI on Wednesday night for Pawtucket. He's now hitting .333 with four homers and 13 RBI in seven games since his demotion.

But Farrell reminded everyone that it isn't a rehab stint, so there isn't necessarily a date that they have circled on the calendar to bring him back up to the big leagues.

"A number of good swings, obviously," said Farrell. "The two home runs, the eight RBI, all those add up to his bat path through the strike zone when he's at his best. A couple home runs to straight-away center and right-center. Obviously a very good day for him.

"And as it was outlined to Will when he was optioned down is that, he's on option. And it's very, very different than a rehab assignment where there's an end date in mind. He's there to get on a roll that we're confident he will."