Clay Buchholz Will Likely Miss The Rest Of The Season

August 1, 2011 – 1:37 pm by Ryan Phillips

The Boston Red Sox made a last minute move to get Erik Bedard from the Seattle Mariners on Sunday just before baseball’s trade deadline. That trade came after a deal for Oakland’s Rich Harden fell through. The Red Sox clearly needed starting pitching, but today that need became even more glaring.

Clay Buchholz has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back, and is likely out for the rest of the season. Buchholz will see a back specialist in Los Angeles today to confirm the diagnosis. The 26-year-old hasn’t pitched since June 16 and is currently on the 60-day disabled list. He threw a 30-pitch bullpen session last Monday and it didn’t go well.

While it is almost certain Buchholz will miss the rest of the season, there is a slight chance he could return for the postseason. I sincerely doubt that Boston would push its luck with their young hurler though, since back injuries are tricky and can end up causing career-long problems.

Buchholz was having a decent year before landing on the DL. He was 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The absence of Buchholz puts extra pressure on the recently-acquired Bedard and the struggling John Lackey to perform at a higher level. The Sox are in the thick of a heated race with the New York Yankees and can’t afford to have their rotation to struggle.

The Sox could add another starter through a waiver wire trade if anyone worthwhile becomes available, but they can’t count on that happening. As of now they have to hope Lackey and Bedard hold up their end of the rotation.

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