Clay Buchholz In Recovery Mode

The last time Clay Buchholz pitched was June 19, when he allowed five runs in six innings to the Marlins. Prior to that, he'd run off four strong starts in a row, so it seemed like an unwelcome step back. Then it was followed by a more unwelcome step back, as Buchholz came down with esophagitis. That isn't just inflammation of the esophagus -- it's something much much grosser. How's Buchholz coming along? We turn to Peter Abraham:

Information has been scant. He was last said to have returned to working out. Buchholz last pitched on June 19, so he is going to miss at least a month and will need at least one rehab game or two. Best guess is late July or early August.

Right now, the Red Sox are just two games out of a wild-card slot, although they're behind the Angels, Orioles, Indians, and Rays. Lately they've been giving starts to Aaron Cook, and Aaron Cook has struck out two of the 93 batters he's faced. Two strikeouts, in four starts. Both of them in the same start. I'm not saying a healthy Buchholz is absolutely critical for the Red Sox's hopes, because it's not like Buchholz has been a pillar of consistency, but the Red Sox probably wouldn't mind the depth.

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