Sources: Red Sox 'fully expect' Clay Buchholz to be ready for next start despite physical issues

Rob Bradford
October 22, 2013 - 8:40 pm

According to multiple team sources, the Red Sox "fully expect" Clay Buchholz to be ready to make his next scheduled start, which would presumably be in Game 3 of the World Series against the Cardinals in St. Louis. While a source suggested there are some physical issues Buchholz is dealing with, there is presently nothing that the Red Sox anticipate will force an alteration to the team's postseason rotation. Manager John Farrell, in outlining the rotation for the World Series, said that John Lackey will start Game 2 with Buchholz and Jake Peavy expected to pitch Games 3 and 4, with the order yet to be announced. "Everything is OK [with Buchholz], we fully expect he and Jake to be pitching on the weekend in St. Louis," Farrell said by way of explanation for the decision to have Lackey start Game 2 of the World Series after Buchholz started Games 2 and 6 of the ALCS. "[The decision was made based on] the way [Lackey] came out of his game over in Detroit, and not allowing too many days of rest to get away from that previous start of his. ... That's the primary reason to get John back in there in Game 2." Some red flags went up toward the end of the Red Sox' workout at Fenway Park Tuesday when Felix Doubront executed a simulated game with general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell looking on. The lefty then proceeded to throw a side session under the watchful eyes of pitching coach Juan Nieves. The Red Sox are required to submit their 25-man roster by 10 a.m. Wednesday. As of Wednesday afternoon, Farrell said he didn't foresee any changes from the roster that the Sox employed in the ALCS and ALDS -- though it's worth noting that in case of an injury, the Sox could remove a player from the roster and replace him with another player from his position grouping (meaning if Buchholz was injured during the World Series, the Sox could replace him on the roster with another pitcher). Buchholz, who missed more than three months due to right shoulder inflammation, has pitched in three postseason games, allowing 10 runs over 16 2/3 innings while striking out 15 and walking five. He has held opponents to a .205 batting average in the first four innings throughout the playoffs, but a .435 average in innings five and six. In his last appearance, Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Buchholz was charged with two runs on four hits over five innings, throwing 85 pitches. During the outing, he managed just three pitches of 93 mph or better, tossing just one fastball in his final inning.