The Boston Red Sox have been beset by a string of injuries to starters this season. A handful of players are now nearing a return.
Pitcher Clay Buchholz threw a bullpen session on Friday. Manager Bobby Valentine wants to re-insert Buchholz into the lineup after the All-Star break.
Outfielder Carl Crawford continues his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Crawford said about his elbow, "It's not 100 percent healthy but I'm able to hit. The elbow, there are still some issues. I've been making some throws down in the minor leagues, good enough to hit the cutoff man. I don't know if I'll be hosing anybody out at home or anything like that. But I think it's strong enough to hit the cutoff man if I can to the ball quick enough to stop the guys from advancing." (via Boston.com)
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will be playing for Double-A Portland on Friday night.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tested his strained left hamstring at Fenway Park on Friday. He also took batting practice for the first time since injuring his hamstring on Sunday. Middlebrooks said about his recovery, "I'm getting there. I'm not taking groundballs today but maybe tomorrow. The running went pretty well. I'm not there yet. Could I play? If I needed to." (via Boston.com)
In other injury news, second baseman Dustin Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday for a hyperextended thumb. He may miss a few weeks of action. Reliever Rich Hill was also placed on the 60-day disabled list.