Buchholz likely headed to DL

Updated: July 5, 2010, 4:14 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz will not make a start in Boston's upcoming series at Tampa and likely will end up on the disabled list in the coming days.

Buchholz strained his left hamstring June 26 in San Francisco. Manager Terry Francona and the team's medical staff said Sunday it probably makes sense to rest Buchholz until after the All-Star break, which begins July 12.

Buchholz was originally scheduled to start either Monday or Tuesday in Tampa, but that's been put on hold because he's not 100 percent. Buchholz threw on flat ground again on Sunday and will have a "real active" day when the team arrives in Tampa.

As a result, Daisuke Matsuzaka will start on Monday and Tim Wakefield will get the nod on Wednesday against the Rays. According to a team source, Felix Doubront, who made his big league debut in a spot start June 18, allowing three earned runs in five-plus innings in a 10-6 win over the Dodgers, will be promoted from Triple-A for Tuesday's start.

The depleted Red Sox already have eight members of their big-league roster on the disabled list: Dustin Pedroia (foot), Victor Martinez (thumb), Manny Delcarmen (forearm), Jason Varitek (foot), Josh Beckett (back), Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs), Jeremy Hermida (ribs) and Mike Lowell (hip).

Buchholz has not yet thrown a bullpen session since injuring his hamstring, but he has been playing catch on flat ground. The injury doesn't really impact him when throwing, but his ability to cover first base and run has been hampered.

"Since we've waited this long, if we DL him we can bring him back right after the break," Francona said. "That's not etched in stone, but it seems like it makes common sense."

Buchholz, who was named to his first All-Star team on Sunday, is 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA.

"Going from a jog to a sprint, it was a little tight," said Buchholz. "We stepped back a little bit. I'm still throwing flat-grounds every day, and that feels fine. I'm just giving it a little more time to rehab and get it to work so it's not going to be a problem going into my next start. That's the best thing we can do, not go into it 75 percent, but go into it 100 percent."

"Everything has been in a controlled environment so far with him and there's some concern if he gets in a game and needs to cover first or needs to do something that's unexpected, if he worsens that hamstring we're all going to be kicking ourselves," Francona said.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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