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Red Sox pregame notes: Clay Buchholz continues to eye Tuesday start

06.14.13 at 7:53 pm ET
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BALTIMORE ‘€“ Clay Buchholz is still on target to pitch Tuesday.

After throwing from 90 feet at Camden Yards prior to the Red Sox game against the Orioles Friday night, Buchholz ‘€“ who has been sidelined with a strained AC joint in his right shoulder ‘€“ reported continued improvement.

If things keep progressing, Buchholz will throw a bullpen session Sunday with an eye on making one of the starts in the Sox’€™ day-night doubleheader against the Rays at Fenway Park Tuesday.

“Just watching him and talking to him after and he giving his feelings on how it came about, today was a very good step,’€ said Red Sox general manager John Farrell.

Mike Napoli wasn’€™t in the starting lineup, still suffering from the illness that drove him from the game Thursday night.

‘€œI don’t know if it was the humidity last night,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œ We’ve had a virus that has circulated through our clubhouse over the last three weeks or so. It could be part of that. We’re trying to get every test we can get to get to the bottom of it and more important get information to Mike and maybe just overall get a better understanding of what he’s dealing with.’€

– Regarding Rubby De La Rosa, the pitcher who was promoted Friday from Triple-A Pawtucket to assist in the Red Sox’€™ bullpen, Farrell said, ‘€œEvery report has him throwing much like he did in spring training, with the power that he showed. No issues coming off the Tommy John [surgery] situation. We’€™re looking forward to him starting his career here with us.’€

Farrell noted that De La Rosa had consistently been throwing strikes in Pawtucket more than he had in spring training, when he walked five in 6 2/3 innings. With Pawtucket (where he pitched as a starter), De La Rosa struck out 38 and walked 20 in 38 innings, totaling a 3.29 ERA.

Depending on his usage over the next few days, De La Rosa is still a candidate to start one of the two games in the Sox’€™ day-night doubleheader Tuesday. Alfredo Aceves remains the other option.

As for Allen Webster, Farrell suggested the organization would like to see the young starter regain some of the command he possessed during an impressive spring training.

‘€œStill trying to get more consistent strike throwing from him,’€ said Farrell of Webster, who has totaled 15 walks in his last 25 innings, ‘€œand whether that’s best served through staying the course through the development path, we’re in a situation where we need performance. That’s not to say he’s not capable, but there might be guys a little more ready in the short term.

Farrell added regarding Webster, “I wouldn’€™t say there’s a difficulty throwing strikes. He’s just not shown the consistency that he showed in spring training and the first start you mentioned. And we know here, the game can speed up guys. The strike zone can be a little bit more consistent, a little bit more strict. All things considered, that’s why we’re looking at Ace or Rubby in that situation.’€

– When the subject of position players pitching came up, Farrell noted that Jose Iglesias volunteered to pitch Thursday night. The Sox manager said, however, that it would most likely be Jonny Gomes who would get the call if such a scenario arose.

‘€œI think as position players see a guy like [Ryan] Roberts getting warmed up the other night, they’€™re like, ‘€˜Hey, I’€™ll pitch,’€™’€ Farrell said. ‘€œIt becomes more a possibility because of the stretch we’€™ve come through.

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