Sep 15, 2011, 10:03 PM EDT
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz is ready to take another big step in the right direction.
According to beat writer Ian Browne of MLB.com, the right-hander tossed 30 pitches in front of a mound on Thursday and could be cleared to throw his first “full-fledged” bullpen session as early as Saturday.
Buchholz has been sidelined since the middle of June with a stress fracture in his L2 vertebrae.
He’s hoping to return as a long reliever for the final couple days of the regular season, and possibly the playoffs. But he’ll have to make it through the bullpen session unscathed before plans of that sort can be made.
The 27-year-old right-hander had a 3.48 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 starts before the back injury.
- HBT Daily: In which I waffle on my World Series pick 5
- Must-click link: surviving spring training on $0 a day 54
- Your Official HardballTalk World Series Preview 23
- World Series Reset: Game 1 — finally! — is tonight 24
- HBT Daily: How the Royals and Giants were built 4
- Two radio stations in San Francisco are refusing to play Lorde’s “Royals” during the World Series 40
- Royals tab James Shields, Yordano Ventura to start first two games of World Series 1
- Brian Roberts is retiring 13
- So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got? (119)
- Pedro Martinez has some opinions about who the new “face of baseball” is (107)
- “The Kansas City Royals Are the Future of Baseball” — someone actually said that. (93)
- Erroneous Narrative Alert: no, the Giants are not a “gritty,” anti-stats organization (92)
- Andrew Friedman leaving the Rays to take over as Dodgers President of Baseball Operations (83)