For several days, Red Sox manager John Farrell has used the word “puzzling” to describe the situation with Clay Buchholz.
It has been more than six weeks since Buchholz last pitched. What started out as a sore neck expected to keep the righthander out only a few days turned into a stint on the disabled list with no end in sight.
Buchholz was given time to rest, then started a throwing program. Then just when he seemed ready for a minor league game, Buchholz was shut down again.
Last week, tired of schedules he couldn’t keep, Buchholz said he would let the team know when he was ready to pitch. Team doctors cleared Buchholz on Friday, but that didn’t change the situation.
Now the Red Sox are hoping distinguished sports orthopedist James Andrews will be able to determine what is going on with the All-Star righthander.
Buchholz is scheduled to meet with Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla., on Monday. That should better define when — or perhaps if — Buchholz pitches again this season.
“We’ll see where that takes us,” Farrell said on Sunday before the Sox faced the Yankees.
Because Andrews is so well regarded by professional athletes, his approval could spur Buchholz into a throwing program that would culminate with his returning to the rotation. At least that’s what the Sox would like to see happen.
The Red Sox have 62 games remaining. At most, given the long layoff, Buchholz could make eight or nine more starts.
“More than anything, to get some verification and clarification through Dr. Andrews to put his mind at ease is probably as important as anything that he’s dealing with from a physical standpoint,” Farrell said.
“I think this is just a chance to get in front of him, for Andrews to examine him physically rather than just viewing MRI images. Until that exam takes place, that’s where things are.”
When team doctors examined Buchholz on Friday, his arm strength and range of motion were normal.
“That’s where the puzzling aspect of this really comes in,” Farrell said. “It’s just in that repetitive movement he’ll feel some restriction at some point through the throwing, the range of motion.”
Surgery for Bailey
Andrew Bailey’s season is officially over. The righthanded reliever will have shoulder surgery in New York on Wednesday. David Altchek, the Mets’ team physician, will handle the procedure.
Bailey has a torn labrum and a torn capsule, at the very least. The surgery will keep him out at least 12 months.
Bailey was injured in Oakland July 12 while throwing a pitch, and went on the disabled list after the All-Star break. Bailey said Friday that he would consider trying to come back after a course of rest and rehabilitation. But the odds of that succeeding were minimal.
Because Bailey is eligible for arbitration (for the last time), the Red Sox will have to decide whether to offer him a contract after the season.
Figuring it out
Jose Iglesias went 1 for 5 in the Red Sox’ 8-7 11-inning victory Sunday, extending his slump to 10 for 50. The good part? He knows exactly why.
“I don’t get too many fastballs on the plate anymore,” the rookie infielder said. “Lots of sliders and cutters or changeups. The pitchers are being careful with me now on every pitch. It’s not just offspeed, it’s a little bit of everything. They want to make sure it’s in the right place.”
Iglesias went into July hitting .409 with a .985 OPS. Now pitchers are prepared for him.
On Saturday, as an example, Yankees righthander Hiroki Kuroda threw Iglesias 20 pitches over three at-bats. Only three were four-seam fastballs.
“He used to throw me a lot of fastballs. I’m getting splits where I used to get fastballs because they know I can drive the ball now. They’ve made the adjustment to me,” Iglesias said.
Iglesias was pleased that he saw so many pitches and hit the ball hard his third time up.
“I need to stay with my plan every single day and have good at-bats. Some days I won’t get hits. But if I stick with what I know will work, I’ll be fine,” he said.
That confidence comes from talks with Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. “Being around this team has been helpful in that. There are a lot of patient guys and I watch them and learn from them,” Iglesias said.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera had dinner at Abe and Louie’s, the venerable steakhouse on Boylston Street, on Saturday night. When he got up to the leave, his fellow patrons started to applaud. “I was surprised,” said Rivera, who received an ovation from the crowd at Fenway when he came in to pitch earlier in the day. “I was humbled. But as I’ve said, people here have always been good to me.” . . . The Yankees said in a statement that Alex Rodriguez has a Grade 1 strain of his left quadriceps and won’t be able to return to the team this week in Texas, as had been planned. Instead, Rodriguez will return to Tampa ‘‘for rest and treatment.’’ . . . Shane Victorino was back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with a sore left hamstring, an issue that has dogged him for weeks. He went 2 for 5, hitting a two-run single in the fourth. “He’s 100 percent of what he is,” Farrell said. “I think he’s gained some comfort level knowing that he’s not putting himself at further risk.” . . . Jack Parker, who retired in March as Boston University’s hockey coach after 40 years, threw out the first pitch.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.