No ligament damage for Clay Buchholz; Brian Johnson called up

Rob Bradford
July 11, 2015 - 12:11 pm

It has been determined that Clay Buchholz has no ligament damage in his right elbow, but the Red Sox starter is still headed to the 15-day disabled list. Buchholz was diagnosed with a right flexor strain, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, and is expected to return at some point this season. "The information we have is that the MRI confirmed there is a strain to the flexor muscle," Farrell said. "It did indicated the ligament was clean and there was no changes to that. We'€™ll get a better idea through the weekend here how long the initial shutdown period would be so that'€™s the extent of the information right now." Farrell added, "What it says is typically when you'€™ve got a ligament damage there'€™s been some deterioration or lack of strength or decreased strength that ends up putting more stress on the ligament and that'€™s when the ligament ends up getting damaged. To me it sounds like this has been caught early on where the changes have only been shown in that flexor muscle not the ligament so Clay'€™s health was first and foremost in this. Talking with him last night after the MRI, he was certainly relieved but still we'€™ve got to take the necessary steps to let this calm down and rebuild this." As for a timetable for Buchholz' return, Farrell said that has yet to be determined. "I think it'€™s going to depend on upon the extent of the initial injury and how long that shutdown period might take," the manager noted. "I do know that however long that is it'€™s going to mirror the length of time to getting back on the mound so if there'€™s a seven-day shutdown you'€™re looking at an intial seven days to build back up." Taking Buchholz' place on the 25-man roster is Brian Johnson, who will pitch out of the bullpen until after the All-Star break. The 24 year old lefty totaled an 8-6 record and 2.73 ERA with Triple-A Pawtucket, having last pitched Monday in a start he gave up two runs over five innings. The outing against Syracuse was his first since having to exit an appearance due to illness. "One thing he showed right in spring training was a willingness to attack the strike zone with three pitches," Farrell said of Johnson. "He'€™s got a couple breaking balls he can get some swing and miss to. The experience at the higher level have allowed him to face older hitters, more experienced hitters that might sit on certain pitches but I think it'€™s his overall competitivness in addition to the repertoire mentioned that make him equipped." Johnson said he woke up his parents at 12:30 a.m. Saturday after finding out the news he would be called up. "Since I was five years old, this is your goal, to get here," he said. "Watching Eduardo [Rodriguez] go up there and have such success every outing is awesome and it gives you confidence."