Buchholz throws in 'pen; July return likely

Buchholz throws in 'pen; July return likely

Buchholz throws in 'pen; July return likely
BOSTON -- The news wasn't all bad for the Red Sox on the injury front before Friday's game against the Yankees. While Dustin Pedroia was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list, there was an encouraging report on right-hander Clay Buchholz, who should be back in the rotation within the first five to 10 days after next week's All-Star break.

Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on June 19 before being sidelined with a stomach illness that was diagnosed was Esophagatis, which required a short stint in the hospital.

"He threw a 'pen today; he'll throw another [soon]," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Buchholz. "He's feeling great. After the break, he'll either slot into the first rotation or early in the second rotation, depending on whether we and he feel he should get on the mound and pitch to some hitters before then or not."

In other words, assuming Buchholz makes one Minor League rehab start, he'll probably join the Red Sox during the rotation's second turn after the All-Star break.

"I talked to [pitching coach] Bob [McClure] and [assistant pitching coach] Randy [Nieman] about it," said Valentine. "They felt like a few innings wouldn't hurt anything. I agree. We'll see what Clay thinks. He's throwing well, though."

The main thing is that Buchholz seems to be healthy again after his scare.

"His bullpens have been very good," said Valentine. "His weight is all back. His strength is back."