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Clay Buchholz ‘absolutely’ ready to return to Red Sox rotation

09.05.13 at 11:40 pm ET
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ROCHESTER, NY –Is Clay Buchholz ready to return to the Red Sox rotation, after missing almost three months?

“Absolutely,” the right-hander proclaimed after throwing 3 2/3 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday night. He surrendered a pair of runs on four hits and two walks, but struck out five batters in the outing, commanding all four of his pitches in the process.

It remains unclear exactly when Buchholz will make his next start, but he will join the Red Sox on Saturday in New York. In his second start with the PawSox, Buchholz had much better command of his arsenal and felt that he could have continued pitching. Fatigue is not a factor, and there is no discomfort or pain.

“I know that if I go out there and I’m not me then I’m not helping the team win,” Buchholz said of the pain and inflammation that’s kept him off the field for nearly three months. “I feel like I’m past that now, and these last two outings have sort of proven that.”

Despite the chilly upper-50s weather in Rochester, Buchholz maintained low-90s velocity, and had strong feel for his curveball and change-up. Buchholz was a little disappointed with his two-seam fastball, particularly with how he threw it to his glove side, but brushed the issue off as a normal, everyday pitching struggle and isn’t concerned about it going forward.

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