Knee issue could affect Buchholz's next start

Knee issue could affect Buchholz's next start

ATLANTA -- Clay Buchholz might miss his next scheduled start on Saturday against the Rays not just because of his recent struggles, but also because he tweaked his left knee running the bases in Monday's start against the Braves.

Buchholz met with manager John Farrell, pitching coach Juan Nieves and general manager Ben Cherington before Tuesday's game.

"We met with him a little while ago. We're undetermined with his spot coming up in another four days," Farrell said. "We've got to get through tomorrow's bullpen. After he ran the bases yesterday, there was a pitch where his landing leg gave out. We've got to make sure that he gets through his bullpen tomorrow. We've got to make sure that knee, where he felt was a little hyperextended doesn't persist or show any further soreness. That's where we are right now."

Take away the knee ailment and there still could be some motivation to have Buchholz miss a start or two.

The righty (2-4, 7.02 ERA) has been hit hard in three of his last four starts.

"When A.J. [Pierzynski] went to the mound, he called us out but Clay waved us off, felt like it was not a big issue," Farrell said. "That doesn't lead into the eight walks or anything like that, but we've got to make sure he feels OK once he gets through his bullpen tomorrow to keep going. We're not going to put him at any further risk injury-wise."

The hot, sticky weather also didn't help Buchholz on Monday.

"He lost seven pounds yesterday, which for Clay is almost unheard of. First time he's dealing with the heat and humidity this year," Farrell said. "We're in May, it's not really all that hot [most of the time]. It's different than the weather we've been involved in. That's not going to be used as an excuse, just a condition that everyone's played in."

Buchholz's struggles have been one of the most surprising developments of the season for the Red Sox.

"We haven't made a definitive decision on his next turn through the rotation," Farrell said. "We're not blind to what everyone sees. And yes, there is concern because we're talking about a guy who was potentially on his way to a Cy Young year last year and now he's only showing flashes of it, either inside a given game or for a given start. We continue to search for some consistency of execution of pitches which might lead to added confidence. He's not there yet."

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.