Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 9/10/13
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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. It will be 94 days since Clay Buchholz last pitched in the big leagues. "Longest 94 days of my career? Yeah, probably so," Buchholz said Sunday. "It ranks right up there, with the back stuff. But I'm over it. Now I start pitching again. It's been awhile." Since Buchholz went down, the lowest earned run average by an American League pitcher with at least 12 starts is the 2.48 ERA posted by the New York Yankees' Ivan Nova. That's almost a full percentage point higher than the 1.71 ERA Buchholz had at the time he was shut down with shoulder bursitis on June 8. Since Buchholz last pitched, Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers, Chris Tillman of the Baltimore Orioles and C.J. Wilson of the Los Angeles Angels have won 11 games apiece, and Mark Buehrle of the Toronto Blue Jays has won nine. They are the only American League pitchers with at least as many wins as Buchholz had at the time he went on the DL, and they have all had 16 starts in that time. Buchholz had nine wins in just 12 starts, and did not lose a decision. No pitcher with at least nine decisions has gone unbeaten in the interim. Clearly, Buchholz was having a special season when it was so rudely interrupted, and now the Boston Red Sox are eager to discover what they might expect upon its resumption. Manager John Farrell urges some recognition that after so much time off and essentially having to repeat the process of building up arm strength the way he did in spring training, Buchholz should be given some breathing room. "We really can't expect him to come back and pitch to the form that led him to be a 1.7 ERA and the record that he has," Farrell said Sunday, when he announced Buchholz's return to the rotation Tuesday to face the Tampa Bay Rays. "But starting on Tuesday, if that's the day he will begin with, we're hopeful we get a guy that's close to what he was prior to the injury and certainly will be an additional lift to this rotation." ESPNBoston.com: Clay Buchholz making timely return After 94 long days of being on the shelf, Red Sox pitcher (not ace, yet) Clay Buchholz finally returns to the Red Sox rotation. Tonight is as good a time as any for Buchholz to return, as the Red Sox look to bury the Rays' chances in the division. Plus, he's facing Rays' ace David Price, who incredibly won twice in five days the last time he pitched against the Sox. Buchholz is expected to be held to 75-80 pitches tonight in his first start back and will gradually increase his pitch count as September continues. I fully expect him to lose tonight, but make progress. I'm thinking four to five runs allowed through five innings. That won't be a disappointment in my eyes. I mean, 94 days is a long absence.  The main thing to watch tonight is Buchholz's control. If he allows more than three walks, I think that's a possible red flag.  Rest of the links: Globe: Red Sox have options to replace Jacoby Ellsbury | Globe: Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli share award | Herald: Go ahead, think October | Herald: Gary DiSarcina confident Jackie Bradley Jr. can help Sox | Herald: Brian Butterfield works with Xander Bogaerts a la Derek Jeter | WEEI.com: Red Sox likely to pick up Jon Lester's 2014 option, but no agreement to do so yet | CSNNE.com: Baseball history shapes Gomes' approach to game | ProJo: How good are these Red Sox? So far, sooooooo good |  
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