Clay Buchholz has always been an interesting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He has all the talent in the world and has been an All-Star, but it seems like injuries always continue to get in the way. It is those setbacks that appear to hold him back from being a true ace.
Buchholz got off to an electrifying start this season and if he didn’t get injured, there is no doubt that he would be mentioned in Cy Young award conversations. He had a 12-1 record and a 1.74 ERA. There were times this season that he was absolutely dominating. The thing with Buchholz that fans always worry about is what sort of injury is going to come along. That is exactly what happened this season, and it is very frustrating to watch.
Baseball history is littered with players who seemed as though they couldn’t bring their game to the next level for one reason or another. The Red Sox have to ask what the issue is with Buchholz. Is it some sort of conditioning issue? Or is it just really bad luck?
In a way, the Red Sox are lucky that he missed as much time as he did. Heading into the postseason, it is certain that the Red Sox have pitchers who have thrown a lot of innings and certainly are probably getting tired. Buchholz missed so much time that he is basically in mid-season form.
It would be great to see him have a year where he is totally healthy and pitching for the entire season. The two times that he was selected to the All-Star team, he wasn’t able to pitch because he was injured. Buchholz has the stuff to be an ace, but he needs to be able to stay on the mound.
He probably has better stuff than Jon Lester, but Lester is a horse and is very durable. That is a reason he is considered an ace — he manages to stay on the mound. If Buchholz can find a way to stay healthy, there might not be two better pitchers at the top of the rotation in the AL.
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