Since Atchison's return from the 60-day disabled list Sept. 12, he's pitched well in 2 1/3 innings over two games, allowing no runs and one hit to go with a strikeout.
"He looks exactly the same," said manager Bobby Valentine. "As he's warming up, it's almost the same number of pitches, they're moving the same, it looks like the hitters are reacting to them the same."
Atchison had been one of Boston's better relievers before heading to the DL with an ulnar collateral ligament injury in his right elbow, compiling a 1.76 ERA in 46 innings with 34 strikeouts.
Perhaps more refreshingly for both Valentine and Atchison, it appears that a potential Tommy John surgery after the season might actually not be necessary.
"It looks like he can still do it," Valentine said. "Obviously somebody else will have to make that total determination. ... He's not acting through it, he's regular. There's no grimacing on his face."