Friday, July 22, 2016

"The Decade Of Clay" Is Likely to Be Ending Very Soon

(Getty Images)
He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft—pick number 42 overall. And now, sadly, Clay Buchholz has been relegated to "mop-up" duty in blow-out games against crappy opponents (like last night's ninth inning appearance with Boston up 13-2). And it seems that even Clay himself is resigned to the likelihood that he will be dealt soon, saying, "I feel like the guys they’re rolling out there, I don’t have a spot. I’m the odd man out." And his manager isn't afraid to throw him under the proverbial bus. Said John Farrell recently, "He's in a tough spot. I'll be candid: I don't want to say it's purgatory, but as far as baseball goes, he's in a difficult spot." How did it come to this? Not so long ago, in 2013, he was a key component of a World Series Championship team. That season he was 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA in an injury-shortened 16-start campaign. But he pitched reasonably well in the playoffs and was a real contributor. In 2010 and 2012, he also showed flashes—winning 17 and 11 games respectively. But that's just it, he teases us and then lets us down. Over the decade Buchholz has pitched in Boston, he's gone 76-60 with an ERA exactly at 4.00. Not horrible, but not matching the elite expectations from his rookie season. He was throwing 95 MPH in last night's "mop-up". Maybe he's auditioning for his eventual exit. It could (and should) have been so much better.