Clay Buchholz has emerged in the first half of the 2013 MLB season as one of the most dominant pitchers. Making his second career all-star appearance, Buchholz knows that he is having a career year. He has struggled to stay healthy, though, so he is not the AL Cy Young front-runner. With pitchers like Seattle Mariners SP Felix Hernandez, Detroit Tigers SP Max Scherzer, and Oakland Athletics SP Bartolo Colon dominating as well, Buchholz has a long way to go before being the front-runner to win the prestigious award. Buchholz, when healthy, arguably is the best pitcher in the American League, but is he the best in the MLB?
Buchholz is currently on the 15-day disabled list with bursitis. The star pitcher hasn’t pitched in a game since June 8, which can cause him to be rusty once he returns. Before Buchholz’ nagging injuries, he had one of the best starts in the MLB. With a current perfect 9-0 record, along with a career-low 1.71 era, it looked as if he would be heading to the all-star game as the starter. But, Buchholz has only managed to pitch in 12 games this season, which is less than Scherzer’ win total of 13. But, injuries are a part of baseball.
The National League also has a handful of pitchers that can be considered as the best pitcher in the MLB. St. Louis Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright, Arizona Diamondbacks SP Patrick Corbin, and Washington Nationals SP Jordan Zimmermann are just to name a few. Unlike Buchholz, they have managed to stay healthy throughout the first half of the season.
Buchholz is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in New York, the day of the all-star game. If all goes well, he will then make one rehab start in the minors later in the week. Once that is completed, barring yet another setback, Buchholz will make his return back on a major league mound. With the Boston Red Sox sporting the best record in the MLB, Buchholz’ return hasn’t been rushed. They have taken serious caution, because, if rushed back, he could sustain a serious injury and not show his dominance when its needed most, the post-season.
The Red Sox know they have a star on their hands, but will Buchholz be able to produce star-like numbers when he returns? Will he win the AL Cy Young Award? Will he become, arguably, the best pitcher in the MLB? The Red Sox sure hope so.