NEW YORK — The frustrating season of Clay Buchholz still has no clarity as he prepares for a couple of days of All-Star fun.
Buchholz said he will attempt a bullpen session in Boston during a workout on Thursday at Fenway and if he comes out of that OK, he may attempt a simulated game a couple of days later. Still nothing planned for a rehab assignment until he gives himself the OK.
And that’s what it’s come to.
Buchholz told the Red Sox and the medical staff that he wants to tell them when he’s finally void of the stiffness and soreness in his neck area. The team nor the medical staff have put restrictions on him after a series of MRI’s, CT scans and X-Rays revealed inflammation in the neck region.
“The first day I feel I’m pretty much normal, I’ll be out there,” said Buchholz, who was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his first 12 starts. He was named to the All-Star team but will not participate.
Buchholz was supposed to throw a bullpen session while here on Tuesday, but now that’s been changed to Thursday so he can throw in front of pitching coach Juan Nieves and the trainers.
“I’m just gonna play long toss here,” Buchholz said.
“It’s been frustrating for sure,” the righty said. “I’ve said it all along that all the other guys [Red Sox starters] are out there doing their jobs. It would be tougher if things weren’t going as we wanted and guys weren’t throwing the ball well. It would be tougher to sit back and watch but everyone’s pitching well so that’s why I’m gonna make sure I’m 100 percent before I go back out there.”
Buchholz said he’s been feeling the soreness and stiffness in his neck when he follows through on his delivery.
“It’s muscular where that inflammation is,” Buchholz said. “There was nothing there except inflammation and there’s only two places to go one is up your neck or down your arm. [The soreness] is the after-effects of throwing before I should have picked up a ball.”
Buchholz explained that, “It’s not something that kills me to do. I don’t know what it would lead to if I kept throwing, throwing throwing on it. It’s like picking a scab. I don’t want to keep messing with this forever. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take, but regardless of how long it takes, I want it to be done and not going out there for a couple of starts and then have a setback. That’s my mindset.”
Buchholz said that if the team was in a situation where they were desperate for him, he’d pitch.
“If I thought it was a do or die situation in September and we were pushing for the pennant, if it came to that, absolutely I’d be out there. There’s no risk right now, but I don’t feel comfortable doing it,” he said.