Buchholz likely no-go in Baltimore

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This is probably driving the fantasy baseball crowd crazy, trying to figure out when Clay Buchholz is going to start next, an exercise in frustration they already went through once this season.

John Farrell, of course, has no reason to care about your fantasy team. His primary concern is Buchholz, and after his undefeated ace said his neck was still stiff after playing catch Wednesday, the Red Sox manager all but ruled Buchholz out of this weekend's series in Baltimore.

Buchholz was to have pitched Friday, which would have been his regular turn. Then the Sox bought more time, saying they hoped Buchholz would start Sunday, after throwing a bullpen Friday night.

Now Farrell is mentioning a start in Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Rays as a possibility, with Jon Lester going on regular rest Sunday against the Orioles.

"He threw the ball OK, but he still felt a little stiffness," Farrell said. "So we've got to factor in what takes place today and tomorrow. The fact that he's still feeling some stiffness, we've got to factor that in."

Farrell said they’ll have to make a decision by Thursday afternoon on Sunday’s starter. Felix Doubront, Ryan Dempster and John Lackey are lined up to pitch the first three games of the Orioles’ series.