The Red Sox had a pretty successful trip out West, taking two of three from both the San Francisco Giants and L.A. Dodgers. The Sox now hold a game and a half lead in the division after the Tampa Bay Rays got knocked around by the Kansas City Royals.

Can Boston continue this run of success down the stretch? A lot of that will depend on the health of starter Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz hasn’t started since June 8th, but finally took the mound for Class A Lowell on Sunday. Buchholz lasted only two-thirds of an inning, throwing 38 pitches during that time. Should the team and fans be concerned with this shaky start?

The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham says not to worry.

“I think be it a hitter or a pitcher, how a guy does in his minor league rehab assignment usually isn’t an indicator of what he’s going to do down the road,” Abraham told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning. “So as long as a guy feels fine and his injury doesn’t get aggravated or return it really doesn’t make much of a difference. How Buchholz does in his next start will be, I think, much more of a sign where he is in terms of being ready to come back to the Red Sox.”

Abraham points out that the minor league seasons are almost over and that Buchholz won’t have many more chances to make rehab starts. How effective can he be with only two or three rehab outings?

“They need him to be good once they get into the playoff or the last couple of weeks of the season, because that’s when he can make the biggest difference. If he can even be 85-percent of the guy he was at the beginning of the season that’s a huge pickup to get in the middle of September.”


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