Clay Buchholz is ready to rejoin the Boston Red Sox rotation after missing three months with a strained neck.
Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has a broken right foot, leaving the AL East leaders without a key offensive catalyst as they try to wrap up the division title.
Buchholz said he threw about 30 pitches in a routine bullpen session Sunday at Yankee Stadium, his final hurdle before starting Tuesday night at Tampa Bay. Boston manager John Farrell said the team was not quite ready to announce which starter would be sent to the bullpen to make room for Buchholz, but Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster were considered the likely candidates.
“I think the transition to the bullpen is probably less the factor in this,” Farrell said. “The priority is, who’s the most effective starter right now?”
Buchholz opened 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts this season and was selected to the All-Star team. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since beating the Los Angeles Angels on June 8.
Farrell says the team believes Ellsbury will be back this year, and hopes it will be during the regular season. But there is no specific timetable for his return, and the speedy leadoff hitter will keep wearing a protective boot on his injured foot for five days.
Ellsbury had an MRI on Saturday and returned to Boston for further examination. Then he went to Colorado to get a second opinion from foot specialist Dr. Thomas Clanton at the Steadman Clinic. Farrell says tests confirmed the diagnosis of a compression fracture, which means it’s non-displaced.
More tests for Harvey
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey will have his sore right elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews to help determine if the 24-year-old ace needs reconstruction surgery.
Mets manager Terry Collins said before Sunday’s game he thought Harvey would have an examination this week, but no date has been set. Harvey was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 27 with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.
He tweeted last month that he planned on being back from his injury in April, but if reconstruction surgery is required Harvey would likely miss all of next season.
Blister sidelines Clemens
Houston pitcher Paul Clemens was scratched from his scheduled start against the Oakland Athletics because of a blister on his right hand. He was scheduled to make his third start of the season for Houston.