When he came back from the Red Sox’ nine-game road trip, starter Clay Buchholz got some sleep, woke up, and felt some pain in his right collarbone.
After discovering it was irritation in his AC joint, Buchholz decided it was best to rest it, with the season still in its early stages.
Not long after the Sox’ 6-5 win over the Indians Sunday at Fenway Park, manager John Farrell announced that Buchholz would be scratched from his scheduled start Monday night against the Phillies and that Alfredo Aceves would pitch in his place.
Buchholz threw a bullpen session Saturday and said he’ll play catch Monday, but he said he didn’t want to risk turning minor discomfort into a more serious issue.
“It doesn’t make me alter my delivery at all,” Buchholz said. “It’s just something that’s there. The doctors have all said that I can go out and throw, I’m not going to go out and hurt anything.”
Farrell said the issue is unrelated to any other part of Buchholz’s shoulder and that the decision to hold him out was precautionary. No MRI was needed, Farrell said, adding that he doesn’t expect Buchholz to miss his turn in the rotation completely.
“There’s no real concern or harm to the throwing shoulder,” Farrell said. “But it’s irritating enough that he doesn’t feel 100 percent. Really precautionary, more than anything; we’ve backed him out of it.”
Buchholz threw 113 pitches over seven one-run innings against the White Sox Wednesday, the last day of the road swing.
“I slept on it wrong,” he said. “It’s just a joint, there’s no tendon or anything, no ligaments are messed up. It’s just in-between the joints got a little irritated and that’s what’s causing the awkward feeling.
Buchholz (7-0) leads the American League in with a 1.73 ERA. In what would have been his first career start against the Phillies, he would have been looking to improve on his 4-0 record in interleague play.
“I want to be out there every day,” he said. “That’s the tough part. If I were to go out there, I would’ve been 80-85 percent at risk having this be something that’s going to linger. I just want to cut it right now and hopefully a couple more days — maybe two, three more days — I’ll be back where I was at.”
Hanging in there
As one pitch turned into 27 in Felix Doubront’s first inning, it quickly became clear that he was going to have to work to get through every at-bat. Through the first two innings his pitch count was at 54 and his day looked like it would be a short one, but he settled down, striking out eight over six innings, retiring 14 of the last 16 he faced, and keeping the Sox within striking distance.
“I battled,” he said. “I knew we’ve got a great team and I limited the damage and left the game like that.”
Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned. The other two were solo home runs by Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher. It was his third straight start allowing two earned runs or fewer.
“Overall I feel good,” he said. “That happens. A couple mistakes, those two homers and an 0-and-2 mistake to Carlos Santana, [two-run single in the first], tried to prevent some runs. Other than that, keep working, keeping working in the other innings trying to get an out and everything went well. It doesn’t matter what happens, it matters that you’re working, and executing and trying to do better.”
Before his last start against the White Sox, Doubront worked in the bullpen with pitching coach Juan Nieves “just to get his lower half on line as far as creating more arm speed and better finish to his stuff in the strike zone,” Farrell said.
“He just built upon what started in Tampa. The best part is the way he speaks when we ask questions and the confidence he shows is an insight on how he feels about himself and the adjustments that have been made. He and Juan are onto something here and hopefully that continues to build.”
Having thrown a rehab start in Portland Thursday, Franklin Morales will be activated Tuesday against Philadelphia. A corresponding move will be made after, Farrell said. The plan is to have the lefthander come out of the bullpen . . . Farrell said it was too early to tell how close Will Middlebrooks (back spasms) will be to full strength once his stint on the 15-day disabled list is up. “He’s feeling less stiff,” the manager said. “But [when] we get a bat in his hand and he does some baseball activities we’ll have a better read.” . . . Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s seventh-inning walk extended his career-high on-base streak to 15 games. He’s hitting .300 (15 for 50) with seven walks over that stretch. It is the longest consecutive on-base streak by a Sox with every game at catcher since Jason Varitek’s 18-gamer in 2009 . . . David Ortiz hadn’t stolen multiple bases in a season in six years, but after stealing third in the ninth, he’s swiped two in the past week . . . Before Saturday, the Indians hadn’t lost when leading after seven (they’re now 21-2). It was the Sox’ second win this season when trailing after eight innings (2-15).
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.