Buchholz has been suffering from a neck strain since June 8, the last time he pitched vs the Angels, and it is still not known if it is in any way related to the AC joint problem he suffered shortly before making that start.
The Red Sox had been reluctant to place Buchholz on the DL because he’s been by far their best starter this season and were hoping to slot him back in after a short but extended rest. They pushed his post June 8 start back several times.
It’s the right thing to do. Buchholz has been so valuable and consistent to the team’s fortunes this year that they need to do this to finally (we hope) get him healthy the rest of the year.
Because with Jon Lester struggling with his command, Buchholz is the clear number one starter now and if the Sox entertain any hope of winning the AL East, Buchholz must be healthy and the stopper.
Plus, Alfredo Aceves came through with yet another good spot start today so if he has to stick around a bit longer to fill in the Red Sox can live with the production he’s given them. Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa are also options to spot start.
The silver lining in all of this is that the DL stint is back dated to June 9 so if Buchholz improves over the next few days he could theoretically start next Tuesday at Fenway vs Colorado.
But for now, there’s no reason to risk the long term health of an ace pitcher. Will the Red Sox miss him in the rotation? Of course. But clearly, with a pitcher with Buchholz’ injury history this is the absolute right move for the team to make. Unfortunately it didn’t happen sooner.