Clay Buchholz scratched from Tuesday start, could be placed on disabled list

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The Red Sox were hoping that Clay Buchholz would be ready to make his next scheduled start during Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Rays, but Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports that he has been scratched due to continued discomfort in his neck.

Buchholz left his start last Saturday due to neck tightness. While Red Sox manager John Farrell said that he “felt a little bit better” while throwing today, he’s not ready to test things with a bullpen session. Felix Doubront is now scheduled to pitch one of the two games on Tuesday, but the Red Sox may end up placing Buchholz on the disabled list in order to make room for the other starter.

“Yeah, we are (considering a trip to the DL) and Clay’s well aware of that and we had a chance to talk about where our threshold might be to make a decision,” Farrell said. “Still, bottom line being we’re not going to put him out there until we go through the normal build-up and make sure he’s in a safe place physically.’’

Buchholz leads the majors with a 1.71 ERA and is tied with Detroit’s Max Scherzer for the American League lead with nine wins. The 28-year-old right-hander missed a start late last month due to soreness in his AC joint, but it’s not believed to be related to his current injury.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.