|Buchholz season over because of fatigue|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 28 September 2007 12:03|
The 23-year-old right-hander pitched a no-hitter against Baltimore on Sept. 1 in his second major league start, then was sent to the bullpen and made a relief appearance on Sept. 6. He had just one outing after that, starting and losing at Toronto on Sept. 19.
``Obviously this was not our first choice or our second. It was our last option,'' Boston general manager Theo Epstein said Friday. ``With the discussions with our medical staff, it was something we have to do.''
Epstein said the club had learned to be cautious following an injury to closer Jonathan Papelbon last year.
``We're very careful and structured,'' manager Terry Francona said before Friday's game against Minnesota. ``I don't think any of us are very comfortable sending him out there. There's been some fatigue. With fatigue comes a lack of strength. I know it's a little disappointing with what we've seen.''
Buchholz pitched 125 1-3 innings in the minor leagues thus year, going 7-2 with a 1.77 ERA for Double-A Portland and 1-3 with a 3.96 ERA at Triple-A Pawtucket. He is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 22 2-3 innings for Boston.
``Unfortunately, he can't pitch safely right now'' Epstein said. ``He's at the point similar to where Papelbon got last year.''
Papelbon didn't pitch after feeling discomfort in his right shoulder against Toronto on Sept. 1 last season. The Red Sox brought him to spring training as a starter, thinking pitching every fifth day would lessen stress on his shoulder. He returned to the closer role late in spring training, and the team has been careful not to overwork him.
``I think going through Pap we have a good understanding.'' Epstein said.
``Pap was simply overused (last year),'' Francona said. ``When you get overused, there's fatigue and a chance for injury. That was my mistake.''
Buchholz threw 115 pitches in his no-hitter, 21 more than he threw in any Triple-A game this year.
``Innings-wise, he was OK,'' Francona said, but ``we don't put a pitcher out there if we have some concerns. We actually did not have him throwing the last five or six days.''