Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 8/12/13
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. The Red Sox were one game ahead of the Rays in the American League East standings when they embarked on their 10-game road trip. After going 3-4 against the Astros and Royals the Sox are now ... three games up? Yes. The once rampaging Rays have lost five straight and seven of nine after being swept by the Dodgers. The Sox are off on Monday before starting a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday. Globe: Red Sox actually having a productive trip We all can give the Rays a big thank you for lead increase in the standings. Their skid is coming at a pretty good time for the Sox, as the Royals gave the Sox a good beat down. I wouldn't go as far as calling this a productive trip, because they have a losing record. Sure, they got lucky in the division, but the chance to really build the lead was squandered. Not to mention poor outings for the starting rotation and Mike Napoli striking out 45 more times yesterday. So, productive? No. On Page 2, What happens to the rotation if/when Buchholz returns? Buchholz has not pitched since June 8, sidelined with what was ultimately diagnosed with inflammation of the bursa sac in his right elbow, a diagnosis confirmed by Dr. James Andrews.  He  has pitched from a mound twice since the All-Star break, Monday in Houston throwing 27 pitches, and Friday in Kansas City, with 40 pitches.  He had a light side session on Sunday with another planned for Tuesday after Monday’s offday. After that, he could have a simulated game or another bullpen session at the end of the week. But, that won’t be known likely until Tuesday at the earliest, after he completes that day’s session. Buchholz, who will turn 29 on Wednesday, will likely need several rehab starts before he could be activated.  The minor league seasons will be wrapping up soon, though. All the Sox minor league teams’ regular seasons end on Sept. 2, except for Low-A Lowell, which ends on Sept. 4. [...] “We’ve kind of reserved [the decision],” Farrell said, “only because not knowing [Buchholz’s] exact return date, and then with the number of off days that we’re going to go through:  Who comes out of the rotation? Who goes to the pen? Do we have the ability with the number of off-days? Do we go to a four-man? Depending on where we’re at, there’s a lot of factors to include.” CSNNE: Farrell mum on rotation once Buchholz returns "IF", that is they key in the discussion. I have a hard time believing that Buchholz will return before September and pitching as effective as he was. Let's just try to figure out how to get the healthy pitchers to pitch effectively and accumulate some wins. Related: Herald: Numbers game on hill | Globe: If Clay Buchholz returns, who would be the odd man out of Red Sox rotation The rest of the links: Herald: Red Sox poised for playoffs | Bad start costs Lackey victory | Sox trip vs. Royals | Mariano Rivera condemns defaced Jackie Robinson statue | Globe: Red Sox counting on rookie relievers | Lackey's early struggles prove costly | CSNNE: Buckley: Ortiz bringing up drug test is strange | Conference Call: Xander Bogaerts update | Wakeup Call: That's three blown saves in a row for Mo
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