Sunday, June 19, 2011
Clay Buchholz on DL with back strain
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- In the midst of a pregame ceremony honoring the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, the Red Sox announced Sunday that pitcher Clay Buchholz had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with what the team is calling a lower back strain.
The Red Sox added left-hander Andrew Miller to the roster, and he is scheduled to pitch Monday night against the San Diego Padres.
Miller signed as a minor league free agent during the offseason. He is scheduled to start Monday against San Diego. He was 3-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 13 games -- 12 starts -- with Pawtucket.
Buchholz pitched just five innings Thursday in his last start, against Tampa Bay, before coming out of the game. He said at the time he hoped to avoid a stint on the DL. But that night, manager Terry Francona said he does not want Buchholz dealing with back issues for the balance of the season.
"That's the road we're trying to take with it,'' Buchholz said after Sunday's 12-3 win against the Brewers. "Hopefully knock it out now and not have to worry about it in September or October."
Buchholz allowed just two hits and a run in five innings Thursday night, and had thrown only 81 pitches when he was lifted by Francona for Alfredo Aceves. His discomfort was not apparent while he was on the mound, but he said it cropped up early, especially during waits in the dugout in the first two innings while Tampa Bay starter David Price struggled. He decided he didn't want to put extra stress on the back if he could avoid it.
"The way we're playing right now,'' he said, "nobody wants to go on the DL. That was my first thought. Try to get through five innings with it, then give it to the bullpen.''
Buchholz said at the time that the discomfort felt like a pulled muscle. He first experienced back discomfort on May 29 in Detroit; he was given two extra days rest before his next start, but the condition persisted. Asked Sunday if he felt that he'd come back too quickly, he said no.
"I think it's just the way it is," he said. "It's been lingering a while and now I'm going to attack it in terms of getting in the training room and trying to do everything I can to be back on the field."
When asked if he was hurting on the mound his last few starts, Buchholz said, "The only time that I actually felt anything throwing was those last couple of innings in Tampa. I felt like I was altering my delivery to sort of favor that side."
Buchholz is 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA. He is coming off a career-best 17-7 record in 2010.
During a 15-minute pregame ceremony, members of the Bruins, who captured the Cup with a Game 7 win over Vancouver on Wednesday, rode in on four Duck Boats -- as they did in a parade through the street of Boston on Saturday.
As they entered, Bruins players, dressed in their black jerseys, threw soft baseballs and pucks to the fans in Fenway Park.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Information from contributor Darren Hartwell and The Associated Press was used in this report.