Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Quick hits: Buchholz throws light session
By Mark Polishuk, Special to ESPNBoston.com
TORONTO -- Clay Buchholz's return from the disabled list isn't imminent, but the right-hander is continuing to take steps in his recovery from the neck and shoulder injuries that have interrupted his season.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Buchholz threw a "lighter" side session on Tuesday and is scheduled to ramp things up on Wednesday.
"With yesterday being the off-day, he couldn't get on the field with the game going on here [in Toronto], so tomorrow a more aggressive bullpen is planned that would hopefully include some up-and-down inside of that," Farrell said. "Today was more of just the normal throwing program that's outlined."
Buchholz had a sterling 1.71 ERA through his first 12 starts of the 2013 season, though he was bothered by soreness in his neck and collarbone area over the last couple of those starts. What seemed like a minor injury at the time has become a major issue that has kept Buchholz sidelined since June 8. Given how many setbacks Buchholz has already had, Farrell wanted to make sure his young ace was completely fit before taking the next step of throwing a simulated game.
"Everything continues to point to him building that foundation," Farrell said. "We don't have a sim game planned yet, but I think tomorrow will be that real first aggressive test in a bullpen setting."
* Matt Thornton, another injured Red Sox hurler, is also taking small steps in his own recovery process. Thornton went on the DL with a right oblique strain last week, and Farrell said the veteran southpaw threw both long-toss sessions and off the flat ground on Tuesday with no further strain on the oblique.
"He's advancing pretty good, given our first initial thought when he walked off the mound," Farrell said, though he noted that the nature of the injury would require Thornton to make some minor league rehab outings before returning to the Boston bullpen.
* David Ross is continuing a minor league assignment of his own, as Farrell said the plan is for Ross to catch five or six innings with Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday night. Ross suffered a concussion in early May and hasn't played for Boston since June 14. The catcher has already played three games for Double-A Portland and now is taking the next step up the organizational ladder.
Farrell said Ross will "hopefully get three at-bats [tonight], likely DH tomorrow, and then as he gets back behind the plate we'll increase the number of innings caught to the point of catching on back-to-back days."
* Ryan Kalish underwent cervical fusion surgery on Tuesday, a process that (if all goes well) will finally put an end to the outfielder's injury problems and will get him ready for spring training.
This is the second neck surgery (and fourth surgical procedure overall) that Kalish has undergone within the last two years. He hasn't played at all this season and was limited to 36 major league games (and 33 minor league games) in 2012 and only 24 minor league games in 2011.
Farrell described Kalish's current surgery as "probably the most invasive and drastic" of the three options that were originally presented to the 25-year-old following his initial neck exam.
"It's one of some severity, and hopefully through the rehab he gets back to [being] the player he was when he first came up," Farrell said. "He was an exciting young player, a guy that was good on both sides of the ball and handled himself as a real pro. We're hopeful he gets back to that level."