BALTIMORE Clay Buchholz threw 18 pitches in an Instructional League game today in Florida. He'll rejoin the team tomorrow to get checked out.
Then it comes down to this: if the Red Sox need the win on Wednesday, he'll pitch again in Florida. If they don't need the game, he'll pitch against Baltimore.
Catcher Luis Exposito was called up. With Jason Varitek (bruised right knee) hurting and Jarrod Saltalamacchia having caught 17 innings yesterday, they decided to get another catcher just in case.
Scott Atchison (groin) didn't improve much and is probably out for this series. "It's still bothering me, he said. "I'm hoping it'll get better quick. But I don't know."
Terry Francona expects all his relievers outside of Franklin Morales to be ready today.
Francona didn't say they pulled the plug on Kevin Youkilis. But it sounds like they pretty much have. "He's real sore," Francona said.
J.D. Drew spoke to some reporters and said he was surprised at how well he saw the ball after all that time away. He sounded like a player who was told to get ready for the postseason, saying his immediate goal was to see as many pitches as he could.
The Sox released this statement: "John Lackey is dealing with a deeply personal family issue, and it is one the Red Sox do not feel is appropriate for public debate. The Red Sox request that John and Kristas privacy be respected.
The Red Sox will not have any further comment.