Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz may not find himself in a Sox uniform for very much longer.
Boston Red Sox pitcher, Clay Buchholz has suffered from many ups and downs throughout his career. A strong competitor at times, Buchholz has put Sox fans through it all, the good times and the bad. However, the disparity between the good and bad is something the organization can no longer tolerate.
Buchholz may be nearing the end of his Sox career, signed through the end of this year with a team option for the 2017 season. The first start this year was extremely rough, as Buchholz lasted just four innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and three walks. With his track record, this first start is a sign of concern.
Buchholz came into 2016 with a career 3.88 ERA. The brightest spots of his time in a Sox uniform consist of the sixth place finish he had in the 2013 AL Cy Young award voting, as well as his no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in his second career start. Also, in the 2013 regular season he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA, playing an integral part in leading the Sox to the playoffs in a year in which they won the World Series.
In the 2013 postseason, he earned well-deserved respect throughout Boston by fighting through a dead arm in a World Series start, shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals in his four innings. Red Sox Nation should give Buchholz credit for these great accomplishments. However, the lows have been very hard to swallow for a guy that has flashed such greatness.
Buchholz has become well known for spending time on the disabled list in his career. In his nine-year career, Buchholz has been on the disabled list nine times, never reaching the 200-inning mark. His 2012 and 2014 seasons were terrible, finishing with a 4.56 ERA in 2012 and a 5.34 ERA in 2014. With these numbers and his inconsistency, one must question why he has been such a fixture in the major league clubhouse.
He’s got great stuff when everything is clicking, evident by the no-hitter. Buchholz just has not proven to be a consistent pitcher. He seems to lose focus when presented with tough situations on the mound. Truly great pitchers have a tendency to bear down when the going gets tough. The only time Buchholz has done this was in that World Series start back in 2013.
The positives in his career have kept him around throughout the years but as he nears the end of his Red Sox contract, the organization should no longer put up with his lackluster starts. Which Buchholz will show up this season? After one start, those 2012 and 2014 numbers are starting to freshen up in my mind. One start does not define a pitcher, but Buchholz must turn it around and do so quickly to gain any sort of trust.