Clay Buchholz couldn’t start against AL East rival Baltimore, and now he can’t start against the Detroit Tigers in a big American League showdown this weekend either. Buchholz was finally put on the 15-day disabled list by the Red Sox after days of agonizing on a course of action.
The official announcement was made after Buchholz threw a side session between games of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, but the decision already seemed to be made. While the Red Sox are still claiming “progress on Buchholz’s neck condition,” since they can backdate him a day after his last start (June 8) it means that he will spend only six days on the DL. It doesn’t appear Buchholz would have to make any rehab starts when he returns, but that will be up to the righthander, who is on record as saying he will not pitch until he’s 100 percent.
“We needed a starter on Saturday and we didn’t feel like we had enough time to give him the proper amount of work to prepare him for that start,” manager John Farrell said. “We didn’t want to take any chances, and this way, his first eligibility will be Monday, that being an off day. So it shifts to Tuesday when he’s first available. We can get in a couple of work days, including some situation stuff, on the road in Detroit.”
The Sox also made a few roster moves after their 5-1 win in Game 1. They put David Ross on the seven-day DL list, his second stint on the list after taking another hit on the catcher’s mask in Baltimore over the weekend, bringing back some concussion symptoms he experienced during his previous stint on the DL. In his place, the Sox activated catcher Ryan Lavarnway.
The second move was recalling reliever Alex Wilson from Pawtucket. Wilson, earmarked for the bullpen, will likely be there until the team needs a starting pitcher for the Detroit series. That pitcher will be Allen Webster.
Buchholz was kicking a soccer ball in the outfield before the game and put off his bullpen session until between the games. Because his DL stint was backdated to June 9, it means Webster, not Rubby De La Rosa, will be the pitcher chosen because De La Rosa was sent back to Pawtucket Sunday. Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts. The Red Sox are 11-1 in his starts.
Lavarnway was hitting .261 for Pawtucket, with nine doubles, three homers, and 21 RBIs. Ross was on the concussion disabled list from May 12-24 after receiving two foul balls off his mask on May 11 against Toronto. Ross is hitting .185 with four homers and six RBIs.
Wilson is up for the third time. In 17 appearances, he went 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA. His last appearance came in Baltimore last Thursday.
Caught in traffic
Alfredo Aceves was caught in traffic and informed the Red Sox that he would likely be cutting it close for the afternoon game of the doubleheader. According to Farrell, the Red Sox kept in touch with Aceves until he safely got to the ballpark.
Farrell didn’t say exactly how close to game time Aceves arrived, but it was close enough for Franklin Morales to head to the bullpen to at least prepare for the start if Aceves had been late.
Farrell said that Aceves got to the park in time to have a regular warm-up and was not rushed. Aceves allowed one run on three hits and three walks over five innings prior to the 2:59 rain delay. He has given up one run or fewer in each of his last three starts, all of which have come as call-ups from the minors.
Aceves was the 26th man, which MLB allows team to carry for doubleheaders. He was likely headed back to Pawtucket after the game. Farrell said that Aceves was aware of the game time and that he was pitching the first game. Farrell said that Aceves is usually a late arrival on days he pitches, but that the traffic created an unusually closer situation.
The win was Aceves’s 30th. At 30-14 over his career for a .682 winning percentage, Aceves owns the best record among active pitchers with at least 40 decisions.
Farrell has seen some adventurous outings by Andrew Bailey of late, yet Farrell said after Bailey blew a 1-0 lead in the ninth by allowing a Kelly Johnson homer, “He’s our closer. We’ve got some work to do. It’s the same pitch he’s been beat on with the long ball the last two times out and we’ve got to get him more consistent, no doubt. But he’s our closer.” . . . Mike Napoli returned to the lineup in Game 1 and went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts, after missing three games and most of a fourth because of illness. Napoli underwent a few tests to find the cause of his dizziness and nausea, but the symptoms subsided and Napoli was in there in Game 1. He did not start Game 2 . . . Jarrod Saltalamacchia started both ends of the doubleheader after it was learned that Ross was heading to the DL and there was only 40 minutes between games. Gomes said, “Salty was the MVP of this doubleheader.” . . . With Chris Archer’s loss, opposing rookie starters now have a 10.04 ERA in 10 games, with the Red Sox going 7-3 in those games . . . The Red Sox bullpen has a 1.90 ERA since June 11 . . . Andrew Miller has struck out 43 batters in 26 innings, a 14.88 per-nine-inning ratio.Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.