Early Sox Notes: Buchholz moves forward

Early Sox Notes: Buchholz moves forward
July 26, 2013, 7:45 pm
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BALTIMORE -- Clay Buchholz threw from a distance of a little more than 100 feet Friday as he continues his slow comeback to overcome inflammation in his right shoulder.     

''It was probably consistent with what he did (Wednesday),'' said John Farrell. "It was a continued progression in terms of intensity and volume.''     

Farrell said the hope is that every time Buchholz picks up a ball, it's with increase in distance and intensity.     

"I think until he feels like he's cut the ball loose without any restriction or holding anything back,'' said Farrell, "that's the main goal of that phase. And at that point, that's when we look to have (him) get on the mound.''     

* Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is on a pace to play about 125 games, which would represent a career high. The most games he's played in a single season before this was 121 last year.     

Given that Saltalamacchia typically gets worn down in the last third of seasons (his career batting average is .187 after Sept. 1), the Red Sox are trying to monitor his playing time and ensure that's he not worn down.     

"Sunday gives us a natural break in the schedule,'' said Farrell. "It's a day game after a night game. (Thursday) night was another (off-day). But we know we're in a stretch now, with Monday being taken away from us an off-day standpoint. We'll monitor that closely. But of late, he's still held some good durability.     

"Physically, he's like a lot of catchers this time of year -- he's a little banged up. But he's done a very good job of handling our staff and leading guys through a game plan. That's not to say we won't pick spots (and rest him). With three righthanders going this series, we'd like to have the bat in there, but the Sunday day game probably trumps that.''     

When David Ross returns next month, the Sox may feel more comfortable resting Saltalamaachia. But the team's confidence in current backup Ryan Lavarnway seems to be uncertain: since being called up on June 18, Lavarnway has had just eight starts in the span of 32 games.
* Two Red Sox pitchers are set to begin rehab stints at Pawtucket.     

Franklin Morales, who is sidelined for the second time with a pectoral strain, will pitch an inning Monday.     

Alex Wilson, meanwhile, will get an inning of work at Pawtucket Tuesday as he comes back from a right thumb strain.