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Buchholz won't pitch in playoffs due to shoulder fatigue

BOSTON -- Boston rookie Clay Buchholz won't pitch for the
rest of the year and will miss the postseason because of shoulder
fatigue.

The 23-year-old right-hander pitched a no-hitter against
Baltimore on Sept. 1 in his second major league start, then was
sent to the bullpen and made a relief appearance on Sept. 6. He had
just one outing after that, starting and losing at Toronto on Sept.
19.

"It was disheartening at first, but I don't think anybody
expected me to be up here," Buchholz said Friday. "I think I'd be
more down about it if I started the year here and it came up now."

General manager Theo Epstein said the club had learned to be
cautious following an injury to closer Jonathan Papelbon last year.

"Obviously this was not our first choice or our second. It was
our last option," Epstein said Friday.
"With the discussions with our medical staff, it was something we
have to do."

Boston wasn't comfortable with Buchholz's last bullpen session
last weekend.

"We're very careful and structured," manager Terry Francona
said before Friday's game against Minnesota. "I don't think any of
us are very comfortable sending him out there. There's been some
fatigue. With fatigue comes a lack of strength. I know it's a
little disappointing with what we've seen."

Buchholz pitched 125 1/3 innings in the minor leagues thus year,
going 7-2 with a 1.77 ERA for Double-A Portland and 1-3 with a 3.96
ERA at Triple-A Pawtucket. He is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 22 2/3
innings for Boston.

"I'm going to get home, take a few days off and start working
towards next year,'' Buchholz said. "The key is to get to spring
training, get healthy and try to fight for a role in the starting
rotation.''

The club felt it was best for him to end his season immediately.

"Unfortunately, he can't pitch safely right now" Epstein said.
"He's at the point similar to where Papelbon got last year."

Papelbon didn't pitch after feeling discomfort in his right
shoulder against Toronto on Sept. 1 last season. The Red Sox
brought him to spring training as a starter, thinking pitching
every fifth day would lessen stress on his shoulder. He returned to
the closer role late in spring training, and the team has been
careful not to overwork him.

"I think going through Pap we have a good understanding."
Epstein said.

"Pap was simply overused [last year]," Francona said. "When
you get overused, there's fatigue and a chance for injury. That was
my mistake."

Buchholz threw 115 pitches in his no-hitter, 21 more than he
threw in any Triple-A game this year.

"Innings-wise, he was OK," Francona said, but "we don't put a
pitcher out there if we have some concerns. We actually did not
have him throwing the last five or six days."