Buchholz (neck) makes progress but may miss start

Buchholz (neck) makes progress but may miss start
June 10, 2013, 8:00 pm
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Clay Buchholz, who felt some stiffness in his neck while making an awkward fielding play in his last start Saturday, will likely not make his next scheduled start Friday, but probably isn't far off from returning to the mound.
     
"He feels better today," said John Farrell. "Over the next couple of days, we'll get a better idea of when his next start will line up. Most importantly, he feels improved over (Sunday). He's going to be pushed back (from his scheduled bullpen) a couple of days at a minimum, but we'll take the same approach we did last time (when Buchholz got skipped after experiencing some soreness in his AC joint) - once everything is cleared up, that's when he's going to go.
     
"His normal mound day would be Wednesday in anticipation of his next scheduled start, so we feel like this series will give us a better read on his next scheduled start date."
     
Buchholz, who suffered a stress fracture in his back two years ago, has learned from experience not to push things when his body is ailing at all.
     
"That was borderline career-threatening, anything with the back," he said. "I definitely learned something from that going forward. I know that everyone's not going to be able play baseball forever. I'd rather be healthy and not have anything hampering or nagging going forward. That's my mindset right now."
     
Buchholz won't throw again for a few days, waiting for things quiet down.
     
"I feel in synch right now," said Buchholz, "but me going out at 80 percent isn't going to help anybody because there's always going to be that apprehension of me throwing a pitch and thinking about something else.
     
"There's a lot of guys on this staff that could, if need be, fill in for a start and let this thing get cleared out and get back in the mix."
     
By inserting Franklin Morales into the rotation for the final game here Wednesday, the Sox can again buy themselves an extra day. They also benefit from the fact that they have an off-day set for Monday, meaning it would be possible to get through the rest of the road trip without Buchholz and still not have anybody go on short rest.
     
The rotation calls for Jon Lester to pitch Tuesday, Morales Wednesday, Felix Doubront Thursday in Baltimore, and Ryan Dempster Friday.
     
If the Sox hold out Buchholz for the weekend, they could have Lackey go Saturday (on his fifth day) and Lester Sunday without disrupting things.
     
On Tuesday, however, they'll likely need an extra starter for a day-night doubleheader with Tampa. Baseball rules allow a team to call up an extra player for such occasions, and the Sox could choose from any one of three Pawtucket pitchers to start one of the games: Allen Webster, Alfredo Aceves or Jorge de la Rosa.