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John Farrell: Clay Buchholz return set for June 25

06.19.13 at 3:15 pm ET
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In his weekly appearance on “Salk & Holley,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday the target date for the return of righty Clay Buchholz is June 25th when the team returns home to face the Rockies.

“We had planned [Tuesday] to have it be the defining moment for his roster status. He threw long toss between games. He did get on the mound for an abbreviated bullpen,” Farrell said of Buchholz, who is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA this season before going on the disabled list earlier this month. “He feels improved over previous throwing sessions, the flat-ground work that he’s done.

“But when we looked at the previous days missed, what we felt comfortable with in terms of the throwing needed to get back to have him be able to go five, six, hopefully seven innings on Saturday, we felt like it was a little too short in total numbers of days, and when you factor in rest period, throwing sessions. So we can retroactive his DL status and make him available on the 24th, which is Monday. We’re off, so that game we open up home against Colorado, he’s eligible to start that. That gives us the ability to do a little bit of a [simulated] game Friday or Saturday over in Detroit. And probably gets him in a better place physically to walk out and start a big-league game.”

Farrell said that when it comes to Buchholz and his health, the Red Sox can’t be too careful, adding that he rejects the idea that the righty might be “fragile.”

“This was the question about Jacoby Ellsbury: Is he fragile? You know, body types are different. And you have to respond to how they are handling the workload based on their position and what’s a strength in their game,” Farrell said. “We always take a position of putting a player in the best position to succeed, and in a pitchers’ case, whenever you’re doing it with anything around the shoulder or neck area, you just can’t jeopardize anything. Clay is dealing with something that’s been nagging him for a little bit of time now. And he’s doing whatever he could. He missed the one start, came back in New York, threw well, pitched well against the Angels. Unfortunately, with an awkward throw on a line drive back through the middle he felt some spasms in the neck again, so we have to respond accordingly.”

Farrell also said that as things stand right now, Andrew Bailey will remain in the role of closer “for the time being.”

“Andrew Bailey is our closer, and yet we fully recognize that we have some work to do with him,” Farrell said of Bailey, who has struggled as of late. “Right now, what has plagued him is that fastball has been up to his arm side, where left-handers have hurt him with the long ball. So getting him down in the strike zone consistently. And I think more than anything is just getting the breaking ball over in either the first pitch or fastball counts. That’s been where some of the issues have come in, because I think a hitter can go in the box looking for something hard up in the zone. That’s his signature pitch, and as he’s kind of drifted away from the rubber and repeating his delivery, he’s lost a little bit of that velocity and that second gear to his fastball that has really been his calling card. So when he’s gone to that fastball where he’s been successful in the past, that hasn’t been there for him. We’ve got to adjust off of what he’s currently throwing with right now. But for the time being. he is definitely our closer.”

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