It’s never a good sign when one of your players is making a visit down to Florida to meet with Dr. James Andrews, but Clay Buchholz’s visit shouldn’t be a concern, says The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.
“In this case what’s interesting about it is Andrews has already looked at the MRI results from Buchholz and essentially confirmed what the Red Sox think, that it’s not some kind of serious injury,” Abraham told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday morning. “And that there’s probably a pretty good idea that he should be pitching at this point.”
So why send Buchholz down if Dr. Andrews didn’t see anything concerning on the pitcher’s MRI?
“What the Red Sox are hoping is that by sending Buchholz physically to Florida to sit there and talk to Andrews that he’ll be reassured that the pain he’s feeling in his shoulder is not something that’s going to lead to something more severe or something that could threaten his career and that it’s OK for him to get up on the mound and pitch,” Abraham said.
Does this move by the Sox prove their frustration with the pitcher’s decision to not get on the mound and pitch?
“Yeah, and that’s the term that Farrell has used a number of times, is frustration,” Abraham said. “Lately he’s been talking about how puzzling the whole thing has been because there’s not anything structurally wrong with Buchholz’s shoulder, but at the same time I think Farrell is trying to be sensitive to the idea that Buchholz isn’t comfortable going out on the mound.”
The best-case scenario is that Dr. Andrews says that the pitcher is OK and puts Buchholz’s mind at ease. How long until he’s ready to pitch for the Sox?
“It’ll take at least two weeks because he hasn’t pitched since June 8, and we’re heading into August at this point,” Abraham said. “He needs at least one minor league start that’s of at least four or five innings and to get to that point he’s going to have to throw in the bullpen off a mound a couple times and probably pitch some kind of simulated game.”
Abraham also discussed the fast-approaching MLB trade deadline. Matt Garza continues to be a name connected with the Red Sox, but Abraham believes that if Buchholz returns the Sox could be more interested in relief help.