NEW YORK — Major League Baseball affixes little stars on the back of each player's cap, one for each year he has been in the All-Star Game.
Clay Buchholz will have two stars on his cap Tuesday night, a nice accomplishment for the 28-year-old. He made the All-Star team in 2010 and again this season.
"There are a lot of guys who have long careers and never get here. It's special," Buchholz said Tuesday. "I really appreciate being here. You have to treat it with respect because it doesn't happen very often."
Now the idea is to actually pitch in the game. Buchholz was unable to pitch in 2010 because of a hamstring injury and is out this season because of a sore shoulder.
"It would be awesome to pitch in the game. That's the whole point of making the team, to get a chance to play. It's frustrating in that sense," Buchholz said. "It's cool to be here. You have a good first half of the season and you want to compete against the other guys who did that, too."
Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8. What started out as a sore AC joint in the front of his shoulder turned into a strained trapezius muscle at the base of his neck and then a bursa sac issue.
Buchholz has told the Red Sox that he will not pitch until the issue is cleared up. Given that he will need time to regain his arm strength, he is not likely to return to the rotation until sometime in August.
The situation has started to resemble the back injury Buchholz had in 2011 that went from a minor situation in June and turned into his missing the rest of the season.
But Buchholz said there is "no doubt" he'll pitch again this season.
"That's how I feel," he said. "It's just a matter of getting completely better. I don't want to get out there and have a setback. I've got be sure about it. It's just something that needs time."