ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz could have his next start pushed back at least a couple days.
Buchholz, 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA this season, left his start Saturday in the seventh inning in the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader with what the team called "neck tightness."
Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated that Buchholz may not be ready to throw his normal between starts bullpen session on Wednesday. His next scheduled start is Friday.
"I think over the next couple days we'll get a better read on when his next start will line up," Farrell said before Monday night's game against Tampa Bay. "But most importantly he feels improvement over yesterday."
Buchholz said he didn't plan to throw for the second consecutive day Monday.
"I want to be out there ... I want to help the team," Buchholz said. "Me, going out there at 80 per cent is not going to help anybody because there's going to be an apprehension of me throwing a pitch. I'd rather take care of it now."
Also, the Red Sox reinstated third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the 15-day disabled list. Sidelined by a lower back strain, Middlebrooks was in the starting lineup for Monday's game with the Rays.
With Middlebrooks back, Jose Iglesias, who had been filling in at third, will move into a utility role. Farrell said Iglesias should play at least three times a week on the left side of the infield.
"Will is healthy, he's back and in the lineup," Farrell said. "Jose knows that he's got a bright future here and he's earned his way to remain on this roster rather than go back down to Triple-A."
Iglesias entered Monday with a 13-game hitting streak, hitting .435 (20 for 46) over the stretch.
"Of course you want to play, but bottom line I'm happy to be here," Iglesias said.
To make room on the roster, Boston designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment.
"I think there will be a lot of interest in him," Farrell said. "He's a good player, and he's done a good job while here in Boston."