BOSTON -- While Red Sox are closely gauging the starting pitching market (Cliff Lee, Jake Peavy, Bud Norris, etc.) in advance of Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, manager John Farrell thinks his team can stay in contention even without an impact addition.
The key for the Red Sox, in Farrell's mind, is to hold down the fort for a few more weeks until right-hander Clay Buchholz (9-0, 1.72 ERA) returns to action.
Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8 thanks to a right bursa sac strain. He had a productive day playing catch Monday, and could soon gauge his throwing strength by crow-hopping and throwing at maximum intensity from about 100 feet.
"I'm very optimistic he'll pitch for us," Farrell said. "At a date we don't know yet, but he would be back in our rotation at some point. We recognize that August will be our month of biggest challenge in terms of overall depth because soon after that, we're still hopeful and optimistic that Clay returns, and that would be as good of an addition as we could make at any deadline."
Brandon Workman, who started Tuesday night against the Mariners, filled in well for his first two Major League starts.
The organizational pecking order is pretty clear to Farrell if one of the other starters should go down or need a rest in the near future.
"We're talking about a pool of three, and that would include [Stephen] Wright, [Rubby] De La Rosa and [Allen] Webster. Depending on the day of the need, obviously rest is going to come into play for whoever might be available," said Farrell.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.