Buchholz's next rehab set for Thursday

BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz’s next rehab assignment will come Thursday with Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Monday.

Buchholz, who served up two home runs and three earned runs over 4 2/3 innings at Pawtucket on Saturday, threw 62 pitches in his first outing. Farrell said the plan is for Buchholz, who has been on the disabled list since May 28 with a hyperextended knee, to work back up to around 90 pitches.

“An increased number of pitches,” Farrell replied when asked what he wanted to see out of Buchholz’s next appearance. “I think Clay went out and was able to accomplish, for the most part, some of the delivery adjustments he’d been working on. Overall, strikes were improved. We recognize what took place inside the line score, but overall, there was some more defined overall shape to the pitches.”

* With Buchholz still having work to do, Farrell didn’t rule out Felix Doubront’s return for this weekend’s kickoff to the West Coast trip in Oakland. With Brandon Workman’s six-game suspension status yet to be resolved, there’s a chance Doubront could slide into Workman’s spot temporarily.

However, Farrell also didn’t foresee Workman capitulating on his suspension appeal “this far in” as the club awaits Major League Baseball’s decision, which should come early this week.

“That’s another thing I feel is out of my hands,” Workman said on Sunday. “We did the appeal, we stated our case and after that it’s in somebody else’s hands to make that decision, so I try not to focus on it too much.”

* Farrell commented on the passing of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died Monday at the age of 54. While on the Cleveland Indians’ coaching staff, Farrell crossed paths with Gwynn during spring training in Arizona.

“He made hitting an art with the way he did over a long and successful career,” Farrell said.

Gwynn battled cancer and believed his use of smokeless tobacco was a contributing factor.

“I can’t give you an exact number on how many guys choose to use chewing tobacco,” Farrell said. “All are assuming a certain level of risk. I think when something like this happens today -- and whether or not it’s directly related to smokeless tobacco -- it makes everybody in the game, I think, take pause.”