BOSTON -- Right-hander Scott Atchison cleared waivers Monday and was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket. He is eligible to pitch for the PawSox as soon as he's added to their roster. He will also be added back to the Red Sox' 40-man roster.
Atchison was called up Thrusday and threw 3 23 innings and 67 pitches that night against the Angels, making him unavailable to pitch again for a few days after that. Right-hander Alfredo Aceves was called up on Friday from Pawtucket to take Atchison's place in the bullpen.
But Atchison could not immediately return to the PawSox -- not only because of his Thursday outing, but because of a little-known technical rule.
Despite the fact that Atchison still has options remaining, he could not immediately be optioned back to Pawtucket. Any player who made his big-league debut more than three years earlier and still has options remaining must first clear optional waivers before he can be optioned back to a minor league team. Atchison made his debut July 31, 2004.
To make room for Aceves on the 25-man roster on Friday, Atchison had to be designated, taking him off the 40-man roster and temporarily opening a spot there.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen