OAKLAND -- Clay Buchholz is here and ready to pitch for the Red Sox again. When that happens, though, is less obvious.
Buchholz flew into the Bay Area late Thursday night from Rochester, where he pitched for Pawtucket in his second rehab outing. Buchholz tossed six shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks, a good sendoff for his return to the big leagues.
But making a spot and finding room for him isn't easy. The Sox currently have five starters already here, and Felix Doubront's return Friday night further complicates things.
Manager John Farrell wouldn't say so directly, but it certainly seems as though the Red Sox are planning on returning Workman and De La Rosa back to Pawtucket to ease the logjam
"We're kind of taking this weekend to get through and determine who's going to start that third game in Seattle,'' said Farrell. "It will be (John) Lackey (Monday), (Jake) Peavy (Tuesday) and then TBA at this point, with multiple options available to us.
"I think the most important thing is, we're getting guys back to us who are healthy and we do have a couple of important decisions coming up.''
Beyond Doubront [who pitches] Friday night, Workman is three games into his six-game suspension. De La Rosa is scheduled to start Saturday. Add in Buchholz, Jon Lester, Lackey and Peavy and the Sox have seven starters for five spots.
Farrell was asked if he had given any thought to moving Workman or De La Rosa to the bullpen to make room for Doubront and Buchholz.
"We would consider it,'' said Farrell, "but there's going to have to be moves made to accommodate that. Who has options left? I'm unaware of any potential deal that would move a guy to create that space. I don't think we're looking to just move pitchers for the sake of fitting someone in at this point.
"We've already tapped into that depth. I'm sure at this point, we're going to need that depth again. As we get through this weekend, I think our view and look of the rotation will start to emerge a little more clearly.''
Farrell said it was still the organization's "preference'' not to move Workman back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, believing that switching his role mid-season can be disruptive and possibly risky.
"He's proving to be a dependable and durable starter,'' said Farrell of Workman. "Now, if we get late into the season and we're on the verge of having to make things fit, we might consider it as that point. But during the month of June, the summer months? We'd like for him to stay in one role.''