Clay Buchholz might have to be skipped again

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Clay Buchholz did not take his turn in the Red Sox starting rotation Monday against the Phillies due to discomfort in his right AC joint, which is below the collarbone. He was expected to return on Friday to face the Yankees, but that has now been ruled out.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the right-hander felt lingering soreness in his collarbone while throwing a bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park so Jon Lester has been named Friday’s starter and reliever Franklin Morales has been pushed into Lester’s spot on Thursday. Felix Doubront will pitch Saturday and the hope is that Buchholz will be ready to rock for Sunday night’s series finale in New York. But that’s up in the air right now.

Buchholz is going to test his arm Thursday in another bullpen session before a decision is made. The 27-year-old is 7-0 with a sparkling 1.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 73/27 K/BB ratio through 72 2/3 innings this season.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.