Sports

RED SOX NOTEBOOK

Clay Buchholz is optimistic he will return soon

Boston, MA - 07/04/15 - (9th inning) Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) pitched the Red Sox to a complete game 6-1 win over the Houston Astros in Game 2 of a three game series at Fenway Park. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Julian Benbow, Topic: 05Red Sox-Astros, LOID: 8.1.1821041706.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, out since suffering a strained flexor muscle July 10, says he hopes to begin throwing this weekend.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Clay Buchholz has a history of lengthy stays on the disabled list, his injuries lingering for months. But he is optimistic that will change this time.

Buchholz said Friday that he hopes to start throwing sometime this weekend. He also has scheduled an appointment with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to get a second opinion and what he hopes will be a road map for his return.

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“It’s a lot better,” said Buchholz, who left his start against the Yankees on July 10 with pain in his elbow that proved to be a strained flexor muscle. “I wouldn’t come out of a game unless something was really bothering me and it was at the time. But the rest has helped.”

Manager John Farrell said the Sox initially expected Buchholz to be shut down for 7-10 days. Friday marked seven days of inactivity.

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Buchholz saw Andrews in 2013 when he was out with a shoulder injury. Andrews gave him a throwing schedule that resulted in Buchholz returning in September that season and pitching in the playoffs.

“Hopefully it’s the same kind of thing — he sets me up with a plan I can follow so I can get back and pitch,” he said. “I want to get back on the mound. I don’t think I have anything more than a muscle strain but it’ll be good to have him check it out.”

Buchholz (7-7, 3.26 ERA) has been the team’s best starter this season.

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“I know I need to get back and do what I can to help,” he said. “Trust me, I’m the last guy who wanted to be on the DL the way things were going.”

Star takes a seat

Brock Holt was the only Red Sox player in the All-Star Game but he was not in the lineup Friday night.

Dustin Pedroia was activated off the disabled list and started at second base. With the Angels starting lefthander C.J. Wilson, Farrell wanted righthanded swinging Shane Victorino in the lineup.

“Brock is going to return to the position that has made him so valuable, that’s to move around the field,” Farrell said. “He’s got a well-deserved off-day after playing every day and then a couple of days when he didn’t have the rest everybody else had. He’s going to move around the diamond again.”

Johnson on Tuesday

The Red Sox called up righthander Brian Johnson last Saturday, did not use him in relief for two days and now will wait until Tuesday to give him a start against the Astros.

Johnson last pitched July 6 for Triple A Pawtucket, meaning he will go 15 days between starts.

Johnson has thrown 85 innings this season. He reached 143 last season and would seem in little danger of exceeding any limits given the lengthy break.

The Red Sox have not named a starter for Monday night’s game against the Angels.

“To be determined,” Farrell said.

Barring some surprise, righthander Steven Wright appears to be the choice. Wright is scheduled to pitch for Pawtucket that day. Wright faced the Angels on May 23 and allowed two runs on four hits over 6 innings.

Wright went to high school in Moreno Valley, Calif., about an hour east of Angel Stadium.

Joe Kelly was considered but he started for Pawtucket on Friday.

Porcello’s task

Rick Porcello has the highest ERA in the American League and it’s not even close. His 5.90 is nearly half a run higher than that of CC Sabathia.

“I can’t even look at the numbers at this point. It doesn’t matter. I just need to pitch,” said Porcello, who starts against the Angels on Saturday.

Porcello last pitched July 8, allowing two runs over six innings against Miami. He faced the Angels on May 22 at Fenway Park and allowed seven runs over 4 innings. He has a 7.07 ERA in 12 career games against Los Angeles.

“I feel better about where I am,” Porcello said. “The last start was something I can build on. I made some pitches when I needed to make them.”

Said Farrell: “We’re certainly going to need his consistency. That’s a given. Despite the youth in our rotation, we’re going to need consistency out of the entire group.”

Draft deals done

Friday marked the deadline for players selected in the amateur draft to sign. The Red Sox ended up landing 27 of their 39 picks.

The Sox beat the deadline with Stanford righthander Marc Brakeman (16th round) as he agreed to a $225,000 bonus (per MLB.com) on Thursday. An injury limited Brakeman to 52 innings but he was the No. 2 starter when healthy and pitched well down the stretch.

Brakeman pitched well in the Cape Cod League last season, posting a 2.18 ERA and striking out 47 in 33 innings for Hyannis.

The only holdout in the first 25 rounds round was Georgia high school shortstop James Nelson (18th round). He is expected to enroll at Georgia State.

Angels make moves

The Angels named rookie lefthander Andrew Heaney as their starter for Monday. He is 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA in four starts. Los Angeles also recalled infielder Grant Green from Triple A Salt Lake City and optioned righthanded reliever Vinnie Pestano . . . Backup catcher Sandy Leon has started 28 games for the Sox, 14 when Buchholz was on the mound. With Buchholz on the DL, Leon will not necessarily work with any one pitcher. Ryan Hanigan is not likely to catch more than three days in a row, Farrell said. The Red Sox want Hanigan to work with Porcello. Hanigan also will catch Johnson on Tuesday . . . The Sox have a decision coming on Daniel Nava. His 20-day rehab assignment with Pawtucket will expire Wednesday. At that point the Sox will have to activate Nava or make some other move. Nava has played eight games for Pawtucket, going 9 for 28 with two extra-base hits and eight RBIs . . . Friday marked the first of seven consecutive games that Pawtucket announcer Josh Maurer replaced Don Orsillo in the NESN booth. Orsillo is on vacation.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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