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Buchholz works toward rehab start


JUPITER, Fla. -- Spring Training is for the starting pitchers, mostly for them anyway. We've all heard that. The position players need three weeks, tops. The wannabes prefer four, and the veterans, those with careers that exceed a dozen years, figure they can make it work with 30 AB's against pitchers with command and 10-20 innings wearing gloves.

The starting pitchers, though, they need more time and hotter weather than the others. The objective is for them is to go North, healthy, stretched out, well conditioned, tuned and -- say it again -- healthy.

Some clubs say throwing 27 innings in Spring Training games is the objective. Some -- the Red Sox are one of them -- say arm strength will come for the prospective starters if each makes seven appearances in spring games.

"That's going to be a normal progression toward that 95-pitch or 100-pitch target we try to get to [for Opening Day]," manager John Farrell said Sunday morning when he spoke of the planned preparation for Clay Buchholz.

And so Buchholz, bothered by a hamstring strain he suffered on the first day of workouts, is to start against the Twins on Saturday. The Sox haven't had to push Buchholz; it just happens to work out that a Saturday start and regular work thereafter will have him prepared for April Fools' Day and the Yankees. Buchholz is to throw a two-inning simulated game Tuesday and side session Thursday.

At the same time Sunday, Farrell said Felix Doubront is to throw live batting practice Monday and Wednesday and pitch against the Rays the following Monday. Doubront's training has been slowed by inflammation in his left shoulder.

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