ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —Clay Buchholz says his stiff neck feels better, but he still has no idea when he will pitch.
Buchholz was likely scheduled for Friday in Baltimore, but will take the next few days to determine whether he can get back on the mound quickly.
“It feels better right now than I did before my last start,” Buchholz said. “I’d rather take care of it now. Mixing and matching a little bit with our staff. I still haven’t talked to the medical guys about moving forward. I think the three days here in Tampa will give us a better read.”
Buchholz said his approach has been to let things heal and not go out unless you’re 100 percent or close to it.
“I want to be out there and help the team win,” he said. “I feel in sync right now. Me going out there at 80 percent isn’t gonna help anybody because there’s gonna be an apprehension of me throwing a pitch. It’s not gonna help anybody.”
Buchholz said that some of his line of thinking is related to suffering through a tough back injury two seasons ago.
“That was borderline career threatening,” he said. “I definitely learned something from that. I know that not everybody is going to be able to play baseball forever. I’d rather be healthy and not have anything hampering going forward. So that’s my mindset.”
Buchholz, who has had a couple of weeks of stiffness and soreness in his collarbone/neck area, believes they’re all related, but feels better since the medical staff has ruled out ligament damage in his shoulder. Buchholz said there are no new tests scheduled.
“They did all strength testing yesterday,” Buchholz said. “The strength is as good as its been since we started playing games. It has nothing to do with ligaments in the shoulder. That was their baseline choice decision to check that out first.
That was the best result we could have gotten out of it. I’m just gonna wait until there’s nothing there before I go out.”