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Red Sox' Clay Buchholz Won't Be Back Before All-Star Break

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, who's been on the disabled list since June 15 with a strained back, won't be returning to the rotation until after the all-star break, despite being eligible to come back on Saturday, reports ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. 

Buchholz, who missed a start earlier in the year while battling the back problem, then was pushed back from another one, finally landed on the DL in mid-June when the Red Sox opted to err on the side of caution with their number-three starter. 

It's been a trend with Red Sox pitching - Daisuke Matsuzaka is out for the year, and Buchholz and John Lackey have both had stints on the DL, as has reliever Bobby Jenks (Josh Beckett missed nearly two weeks with the flu, but wasn't DL-ed). It's left Terry Francona to have to put together a piecemeal rotation, with Andrew Miller and Tim Wakefield becoming regular big-league starters for the first time in a couple of years, and Alfredo Aceves having to make a couple of spot starts, denying the Boston bullpen its longest reliever. 

So while the Red Sox would love to have Buchholz back, they'd rather rest him and be sure he's ready to go for what's looking more and more like it'll be an uphill battle in the second half of the year.