Clay Buchholz not expecting to return before All-Star break

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Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz acknowledged to MLB.com’s Ian Browne on Wednesday that he is unlikely to return from the disabled list before the All-Star break and may even be out until late July.

Buchholz has been sidelined since June 16 with a lower back strain and felt renewed soreness Tuesday while attempting to throw a bullpen session.

The 26-year-old told reporters that he is not allowing himself to be frustrated by the setback and is looking forward to having health on his side down the stretch.

“I’d rather come back after the All-Star break and be healthy,” said Buchholz. “I want to make sure I’m ready for August and September. “If something happens and I go out and pitch and feel 80 percent, then this happens again and I have to go back on the DL, that’s not what I, or I don’t think the team wants. That’s where we’re at right now.”

Buchholz has registered a quality 3.48 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across 14 starts this season, with 60 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings. He signed a four-year, $29.945 million contract extension with Boston in early April.

Giants tab Madison Bumgarner to start Opening Day

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants, to the shock of absolutely no one, have tabbed Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day, March 29 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He’ll pitch opposite Clayton Kershaw.

This will be the fifth consecutive season in which Bumgarner has started on Opening Day for the Giants. His five total Opening Day starts is still way behind the club record held by Juan Marichal, who started 10 Opening Days, including six consecutively from 1964-69.

Bumgarner, 28, missed nearly two months in the first half last season due to a dirt bike accident. He still managed to have a great season, compiling a 3.32 ERA with a 101/20 K/BB ratio in 111 innings.