Clay Buchholz has not ruled out pitching for the Red Sox before the All-Star break. But yet another setback Wednesday has made that only a remote possibility.
Lingering soreness in his right trapezius muscle caused Buchholz to cut short a bullpen session after only 18 pitches. He was then sent to get an MRI to give the team a better understanding of an injury he suffered June 8.
The Red Sox said they did not have the results after their 5-3 victory against the Rockies.
The hope was that Buchholz would pitch in a minor league game early next week and rejoin the rotation during the team’s upcoming West Coast trip. Now it’s uncertain when he will pitch again.
“It was a letdown,” Buchholz said.
Manager John Farrell felt it was a positive that Buchholz has thrown with “some intensity” for two consecutive days. But the fact he could not complete a bullpen session is troubling. A muscle strain should have healed by now.
“When he got on the mound and started to really get into his bullpen, he still feels some restriction in that same area,” Farrell said. “He’s not at the point of a normal bullpen in advance of any rehab start.”
Buchholz made it clear he will not pitch until the muscle feels normal.
“It’s not something that’s a terrible feeling,” he said. “It’s just I want it to be gone. I don’t feel like pitching and going out two starts and having it flare up again.
“I’m going to stand strong before I pitch again or before I get off a mound in a game situation, I’m not going to feel anything. That’s where we’re at right now.”
Buchholz has been told that the issue has nothing to do with his rotator cuff. He also feels fine when he plays catch. The pain comes when he follows through on pitches thrown from the mound.
Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 earned run average and the Sox are 11-1 in the games he has started. Rookie Allen Webster has taken his place in the rotation.
“Fortunate enough that we have a really good team and I’m not having to stress getting back any quicker than I need to be fully recovered because we’re struggling or we need arms,” Buchholz said. “That’s not the case with this club.
“It could be more stressful and more frustrating, but not at this point. That’s where I’m at. Definitely don’t want to be stuck at this point for any longer than I have to be. Just got to find a way to deal with it.”
Buchholz said all of his pitches felt good while he was throwing and he could theoretically go out and pitch with the injury. But the fact that it feels uncomfortable on the mound is a concern.
Buchholz was injured fielding a comebacker in his last start June 8. At the time, he had just gotten over a sore AC joint in his shoulder.
“I don’t feel like it’s right for me to go back out and pitch when I’m 80 percent. I think I’m doing the team an injustice and I’m risking further injury,” he said.
Because he has never had an arm injury before, Buchholz is worried the trapezius would cause him to alter his mechanics to compensate and lead to a more serious injury.
“I sort of feel that’s how all this happened in the first place, me compensating for the AC joint and maybe throwing at a little higher arm slot than I usually do,” he said.
Buchholz offered no prediction about when he would pitch again.
“I want to try to figure it out and get off the mound and do whatever I need to do to get well,” he said.
Future is bright
Triple A shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Double A righthander Anthony Ranaudo were selected for the Futures Game July 14 at Citi Field in New York.
Bogaerts will play for the World Team and Ranaudo for the United States. The game is a showcase for top prospects.
The 20-year-old Bogaerts was promoted to Pawtucket earlier this month and hit four home runs in his first 12 games. Ranaudo, a first-round draft pick out of LSU in 2010, is 7-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 14 starts.
Ranaudo, a New Jersey native, was limited to nine starts in 2012 because of injuries.
Portland third baseman Garin Cecchini is one of five players on an online ballot to be added to the United States roster. Fans can vote at MLB.com.
Ranaudo, lefthander Drake Britton, infielder Michael Almanzar, and catcher Christian Vazquez were selected to the Eastern League All-Star team.
Michael Cuddyer hit two long home runs for the Rockies, extending his hitting streak to 23 games. That tied a team record set by Dante Bichette in 1995. Bichette is now the team’s hitting coach . . . Red Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias was 0 for 4. He had reached base safely in 27 consecutive games with a plate appearance . . . The Sox are 25-15 at Fenway Park with victories in six of their last seven games . . . The Rockies are 2-9 against the American League East this season.
On the move
The Red Sox activated righthander Clayton Mortensen from the disabled lost and optioned righthander Pedro Beato to Pawtucket. Mortensen was out with a groin strain. The Sox have made 17 roster moves involving pitchers since June 11 . . . Farrell said that demoted closer Andrew Bailey will work middle relief for the time being and understands that could be in low-leverage situations . . . The Winter Hill Community Innovation School Chorus had a nice rendition of the national anthem . . . Sox players Felix Doubront, Daniel Nava, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will join team strength and conditioning coach Pat Sandora in leading an on-field workout for 45 children from the Joslin Diabetes Center Thursday afternoon.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.