Early Sox Notes: Buchholz on schedule

Early Sox Notes: Buchholz on schedule
June 28, 2013, 6:15 pm
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BOSTON – Right-hander Clay Buchholz remains on schedule to begin a throwing program this weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. Buchholz, 9-0 with an American League-best 1.71 ERA, has been on the disabled list retroactive to June 9. He underwent an MRI on Wednesday which revealed inflammation in the bursa sac of his shoulder, with 2-3 days of rest prescribed before throwing again.
Buchholz had attempted to throw from a mound on Wednesday, the first time since his last start on June 8, but shut down his session after about 15-18 pitches.
“We’ll put a ball in his hand either Saturday or Sunday,” manager John Farrell said. “And because he’s feeling improved, this is a prescribed time period to not throw, and everything is pointing toward this weekend to initiate that.”
The Red Sox are 11-1 in his starts this season.
* Rookie right-hander Allen Webster has stepped into the rotation in Buchholz’s absence. Webster will make his fourth start of the season Friday against the Blue Jays, his first start against an AL East opponent, after facing the Royals, Twins, and Tigers.
Webster is 0-2 with an ERA of 11.25, giving up 16 runs, 15 earned runs, in 12 innings this season. Most of his struggles have come early in his starts. Nine of the 16 runs he has allowed have come in the first inning, and 12 of the 16 have come in the first two innings. Opponents have hit .529 with a 1.571 OPS in the first inning against Webster.
“I think the biggest key will be getting settled into a rhythm and a routine, not so much a routine but a rhythm of the game,” Farrell said. “It’ll be nice to go out and see him put up a zero, hopefully in that first inning, just allow him to take a little bit of deep breath. When he’s gotten into the flow of a game he’s had very good stuff and has pitched very well in two of the three starts he’s made for us. So, that to me is the key tonight.”
* New closer Koji Uehara has recorded saves in each of the last two games, with two strikeouts in each. He needed just 13 pitches, 10 strikes, on Wednesday against the Rockies, and 16 (10 strikes) Thursday against the Jays. Farrell has said previously he would monitor the workload for Uehara, who turned 38 in April.
“After he goes thru his throwing program today, we’ll determine if he’s available tonight,” Farrell said. “Hopefully he is. Hopefully we have a save situation again. It’s no different than any other day when he was not in this role. We’ll check in with him as we do with every reliever on their availability on a given night. But in his case sure, we’ve got to be a little more cautious here.
“But the last two outings have not been high stress, even though they’re the ninth inning. He’s had some outings earlier and recently where it’s been 25-30 pitches where those have been much more stressful than the last two. And that's not to take anything away from the opponents. That’s to say he’s going out and he’s been efficient. So hopefully that continues.”
On days when Uehara is not available, Farrell said he is more likely to go with a match-up rather than a designated replacement for Uehara.
* Left-hander Franklin Morales, on the DL since June 23 with a pectoral muscle strain, threw today. But, that does not signal an approaching return to the staff.
“Just to get his arm moving,” Farrell said. “We’re not at the point of mapping anything out to ramp him up to get him back on the mound. But today was more just putting a ball in his hand and getting his arm [into] range-of-motion type exercises.”
* Right-hander Josh Johnson is scheduled to start for the Jays tonight. It will be the 57th time the Sox have faced a right-handed starter. They are an AL-best 34-22 (.607) this season when facing a righty starter this season.