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Clay Buchholz moved back, Tim Wakefield again steps into the fold

06.05.11 at 12:11 pm ET
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In a precautionary move to allow his back more time to let his back settle down, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced Sunday morning that Clay Buchholz will be moved back two days and will next pitch on Friday against the Blue Jays. Tim Wakefield will take Buchholz’s spot in the rotation and will pitch Wednesday against the Yankees.

“Buch’s going to pitch Friday in Toronto,” Francona said. “Wake will pitch Wednesday. Just give Buch a chance to back up a couple of days, let him start his five-day cycle two days late. Think that will do him a little bit of good.”

Buchholz said following Friday’s start that he was concerned that his back was about to act up on him while he was pitching and didn’t want to injure himself. The righthander labored through 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits, six runs – five earned – while walking two and striking out five. He never found his rhythm, throwing 99 pitches and not getting through the fifth, causing pitching coach Curt Young to visit him on the mound several times during the game.

“His back was sore, he had battled that for a little while,” Francona said. “His last outing, I don’t think it actually interfered with his pitching, besides the fact I think he was holding back at times. Even when he warmed up, Curt was like, ‘You know what, it looks likes he reaching.’ Buch owned up to that, saying, ‘You know, it didn’t hurt but I thought it was going to hurt.’ We’ve all been there. So, rather than keep going like that, because it’s hard to pitch successfully that way, give him a couple of extra days and I’ll betcha it’ll really help him.”

Buchholz said he was looking forward to making his next start on Wednesday in New York before Sunday’s announcement.

“I’m sure he did,” Francona said. “It’s fun to do that. It’s a great place to pitch, the atmosphere but I think he understands and he knows it’s in his best interest.”

Francona then sat down Saturday with with the Red Sox starter, pitching coach Curt Young and trainer Mike Reinold to determine the smartest course of action.

“Talked to him a bunch, tried to get a feel for where he was,” Francona added. “Then Curt and I talked to Mike Reinold a little bit and then went back and talked to Buch and I just think it makes sense.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, curt young, mike reinold
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