Red Sox manager Terry Francona has announced that knuckleballer Tim Wakefield has been scratched from his next scheduled start (Tuesday, in Tampa) because his back is once again acting up.
Wakefield, who just returned to action after being on the disabled list for seven weeks due to the same back pain, had a strong start last Wednesday night in a win over the Chicago White Sox, however, the affliction has returned.
Francona said. “Remember back in Texas when this first started with Wake and his lower back or his lower buttocks—wherever it was—kind of locked him up, that’s happened again. Initially, he was a little tender after his start, which I think we all thought he would be, and he we wanted to wait a day and see if he got better, then today he came in and he was really sore.”
Francona said Clay Buchholz will pitch tonight. If tonight’s game is played as scheduled, then the Sox will have to decide on a pitcher for tomorrow’s game. If the rain should cancel tonight’s game, then Buchholz will pitch tomorrow. Either way, Jon Lester will pitch on Tuesday.
Paul Byrd, who last pitched on Tuesday, is a prime candidate to start tomorrow if tonight’s game is played.
As for Wakefield, Francona said the club is worried. “There’s concern because he’s miserable. The best thing they can do right now is try to get him to relax so the spasms can somewhat maybe die down which would help and then Monday we can get him over to see the appropriate people.”