Signs point to Buchholz being pushed back

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There’s a reason Clay Buchholz has yet to make 30 starts or pitch 200 innings in a season. He gets hurt, with some regularity, and both he and the Red Sox have learned that caution is prudent. So manager John Farrell on Monday acknowledged the likelihood that with Buchholz experiencing some tightness in his neck when he pitched Saturday, his next start will be pushed back at least a couple of days.

A torn middle fingernail on Buchholz’s pitching hand cost him 16 games in 2008. In 2010, he strained a hamstring running the bases in San Francisco and missed 18 games. In 2011, he was slow to respond to back discomfort, then learned he had a stress fracture that cost him three months.

Last season he was sidelined by esophagitis, which landed him in intensive care and cost him more than three weeks in mid-summer. Earlier this season, irritation in his AC joint at the top of his shoulder cost him nine games.

Farrell said that while Buchholz felt better Monday, his regular side session between starts, scheduled for Wednesday, would be pushed back a couple of days. That being the case, there seems to be little likelihood of Buchholz making his scheduled start Friday in Baltimore, though Farrell said the club would like to see how he responds in the next couple of days.

Because of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader, the Sox already needed a starter for Wednesday, and Franklin Morales will make that start. If Buchholz isn’t a go this weekend, the Sox will need another starter either Friday or Saturday.

“We’ll take the same approach as the last time,’’ Farrell said. “Once everything is cleared up, he’ll be available.’’