BOSTON—According to a report from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz with see orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Pensacola, Fla. for a second opinion on shoulder discomfort that has been bothering him for quite a while.
Per Red Sox manager John Farrell, the hope is that the exam will give the 28-year-old righty some “peace of mind” in addition to some assurance that it is okay for him to pitch again.
Andrews has been in contact with the team and according to Farrell, has already viewed MRI images of Buchholz’s shoulder.
“Just a chance to get in front of him, for Andrews to examine him physically rather than just dealing with MRI images,’’ Farrell said. “Until that exam takes place, that’s where things are.’’
The Nederland, Texas native has not pitched since June 8 and has thrown just 11 2/3 innings since May 22. The hope heading into the Red Sox road trip in Oakland was that only some reconditioning remained and then Buchholz would be ready to go.
However, he complained of soreness during a bullpen session on Sunday in Oakland according to the report and in turn, his throwing program was stopped. Red Sox orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis examined Buchholz on Friday and Farrell spoke to the media about the exam.
“In that exam Friday, test results for strength have all been consistent with what they’ve been,’’ Farrell said, “so that’s where I guess the puzzling aspect of this comes in. The strength is there, the range of motion is there, it’s just in that repetitive movement he’ll feel some restriction at some point to his throwing range of motion.’’
Farrell also gave some insight as to how his pitcher has been dealing with the frustrations of injury, and per Farrell, Buchholz is understandably frustrated with the setbacks as a result.
“I think given all that Clay has dealt with, the start-and-stop throwing process, the rehab process associated with the shoulder, neck, all that, as we’ve said many times, he’s extremely frustrated with it,’’ Farrell said. “It seemed like he’d turned the corner with it on the trip to Seattle and the throwing he was doing, but it hasn’t. To get some verification, clarification from Dr. Andrews to put his mind at ease is probably as important as anything he’s dealing with from a physical standpoint.’’
He is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA this season and has notched 81 strikeouts to only 29 walks. One of the highlights of his season so far was taking a no-hit bid into the 8th inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 14 until a leadoff broken-bat single by leftfielder Kelly Johnson ended the bid. He finished the game with two hits, four walks, and 11 strikeouts.
Whenever Buchholz comes back, it will boost Boston’s pitching staff immensely. The wear and tear experienced by the rest of the staff is starting to show, and the problem needs to be fixed before it becomes too big an issue.