TORONTO — Clay Buchholz played catch on the field again today and is moving closer to throwing off a mound as he continues a deliberate return from a stress fracture in his back. He estimated he threw at 70 percent effort.
Buchholz is scheduled to throw from 105 feet tomorrow. He would progress from there to 120 feet. Once the long toss builds arm strength, he would return to 60 feet and throw from a windup off flat ground.
From there would be getting on the mound. Buchholz is on a program where he throws for two days and takes a day off, so it's going to take a little while. But he theoretically could get on the mound on the next homestand.
Buchholz has felt fine so far. But the real test for his back will be throwing off the slope of the mound. He will use less effort at first and build up from there.
"That's where, I think, if anything was going to happen to this throwing program, it's gonna be something off the mound," he said. "We'll get that point and see where it goes."
Buchholz would prefer to return as a starter but realizes there may not be time to build up to that. He spoke hopefully about being ready to pitch in some capacity at some point in the postseason.