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Farrell says Sox won’t alter bullpen usage to have alternative for Clay Buchholz in Game 4

10.24.13 at 5:30 pm ET
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The Red Sox fully expect that Clay Buchholz will start Game 4 of the World Series for them. Based on how he felt while throwing on flat ground, the team decided that slotting him in to start Game 4 and get an extra day of rest was the right course of action, rather than having him pitch in Game 3 on what would be six days of rest.

While the team has alternatives in its bullpen who could start in his place if there is some hiccup in the next two days — chiefly, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront — manager John Farrell said that his bullpen usage of those pitchers would not be dictated in Games 2 and 3 by the need to have an alternative to Buchholz.

“We know that we’ve got multiple guys down there who can go multiple innings, Dempster being one, Doubront another,” said Farrell. “If we have to piece it together, we’ll adjust accordingly. To say that we’re going to have a guy standing there to warm up along side of Clay, that won’t happen.”

The manager said that protecting for a potential Buchholz injury would “not [take place] at the expense of tonight. Not just tonight, but Saturday as well.”

In the first two rounds of the playoffs, an injured player can be replaced on the roster in the middle of a series, but in doing so, a team would lose him for the subsequent round as well, a penalty that is meant to prevent roster manipulation. In the World Series, however, there is no next round, and so while an injured player can be replaced in the World Series, Major League Baseball would have to approve such a substitution if the Sox say that Buchholz needs to be replaced.

“Typically when a player is injured, it’s because they’ve been hurt inside that series. If it’s not something, at this point, if it’s not something that’s currently taking place, there’s got to be some documentation along the way that there’s something going on here,” said Farrell. “Then, it’s even subjective to that point saying, how deep do they examine the case? Would they allow a change? We don’t know that.

“Once the [World Series] roster is submitted,” added Farrell, “everyone is under the assumption everyone is healthy, everyone is full go, then there has to be an event inside that series that would indicate otherwise.”

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