<
>

Buchholz feels good after simulated game

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There's no rush. Clay Buchholz said he's not going to force anything in his recovery from a tweaked hamstring suffered on the first day of camp.

"They told me four days ago if it was midseason and I needed to pitch, then I could pitch," he said after throwing 37 pitches Saturday in a simulated game on Field 2 before the Red Sox met the Tampa Bay Rays in their Grapefruit League opener.

"We're basically treating this as we have two extra weeks in spring training and there's no rush to get back. I'm still going to have six, maybe seven outings in spring training. I don't think there's anything that's going to be holding me back."

Buchholz said he "felt really good" in his sim game -- his arm and his hamstring. The only disappointment was his delivery from the stretch -- something he hasn't had a chance to work on.

"There were definitely some kinks in the delivery," he said.

He said he probably will throw in the bullpen at an undetermined date and then get on a five-day routine and rejoin the starting pitchers.

Asked if he expects a big season, he said: "I feel great. I don't like putting expectations on numbers, because that's ultimately what pitching is -- a numbers game. I feel strong enough to go forward and get to that innings mark."