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.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.