"I'm always aware of guys with soreness and stiffness, especially during Spring Training," added White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, referring specifically to Buehrle in this instance.
Buehrle will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in place of the two innings he was scheduled to throw Monday and then get right into Cactus League games. Buehrle comes back Friday against Arizona at Tucson Electric Park.
According to the White Sox ace, the short time it takes for him to get ready for the season already was being factored into how he approached Spring Training before arriving in Tucson. That plan, coupled with the mild soreness, moved Buehrle's start back four days.
"[Pitching coach Don Cooper] told me this offseason he was going to take it slower," Buehrle said. "It takes two games and I'm ready. So, they were going to take it slower with me and get right into games."
Guillen pointed out how Buehrle has logged a large number of innings since 2001, a total of 1,577 2/3, to be exact, ranking him second behind Livan Hernandez in all of baseball during that period. There also was the second-half rise of Buehrle's ERA in 2007, jumping from 3.03 before the All-Star break to 4.43 after the Midsummer Classic.
That particular leap marked the third straight season in which Buehrle struggled in the second half, or at last didn't pitch as well as he did in the first half. So, Guillen and Cooper set up a plan where the Spring Training innings would drop in order to help keep Buehrle fresher later in the season.
"Obviously, when you pitch that many years and you have that many innings without any problems, any injuries, before Spring Training we think about monitoring him real well," said Guillen of Buehrle, adding how the southpaw said he felt tired after pitching two days ago. "Don't pile him with that many innings here so he can stay stronger."
"We're going to get him short and just make sure he's ready, not over-ready," Cooper added. "He piles up the innings during the season, and we want to make sure he doesn't pile them up down here. Skipping him two innings in an intrasquad game is not going to put a crimp in his schedule."
Gavin Floyd, Ehren Wasserman, Andrew Sisco, Scott Linebrink and newcomer Tomo Ohka are set to throw in Monday's three-inning contest.