Tuesday March 23, 2010 | 11:21 PM

When Daisuke Matsuzaka began spring training with a few nagging injuries, it appeared to open the door to Clay Buchholz to join the starting rotation.

Not so fast.

Because the Red Sox do not need a fifth starter right away (maybe until April 19), and since Buchholz is not shining real bright this spring, it does not appear he will be starting soon in the regular season. Buchholz gave up 5 earned runs in 1 2/3 innings on Tuesday night against the Twins, yielding 4 hits, 3 walks and a hit-batter.

Buchholz could be a long reliever when the seaosn begins. And when Matsuzaka is ready to pitch ... who knows what will happen?

Also on Tuesday, the Red Sox sent four players down to the minors - pitchers Michael Bowden, Ramon A. Ramirez (not to be confused with major leeaguer Ramon S. Ramirez) and Jorge Sosa, and first baseman Aaron Bates.

Bowden, 23, made 4 appearances in the spring (8 2/3 innings), allowing 5 earned runs and 10 hits. If Boston needs to call up a starter (beyond the six it has), it will be interesting to see if it's Bowden or Junichi Tazawa.                                                                                     

                                          

The blog will be updated more often now. Baseball officially begins for me this week,  with a Jet Blue flight to Florida on Wednesday, and work in Fort Myers starting Thursday. Stay tuned.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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