Many members of the Boston Red Sox have said that they are turning the page and putting 2013 in the rear view mirror. That’s always a smart way of thinking, because how often do you see a team that won the World Series one year completely fall apart the next?
The Red Sox are trying to get over the championship hangover and hit the ground running in 2014. That won’t be easy considering they lost three important players — Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. However, a healthy Clay Buchholz can make up for those losses easily.
Buchholz has all the talent in the world; it is definitely not even a question that he probably has the best stuff of any pitcher in the rotation. His arm has never been an issue, it is the rest of him that is, as health has railroaded Buchholz year after year. Last year seemed like he was about to have a breakthrough season and could have easily been the American League starting pitcher for the MLB All-Star game. However, a neck strain caused him to miss about three months.
It seems as though Buchholz has always needed to feel that he had to be at his best in order to pitch effectively. However, during the World Series when he made a start during Game 4, he only allowed one run in four innings. Buchholz appeared to learn that he didn’t have to be at his best physically to pitch well. The confidence that he gained from that start could make a huge difference going forward.
Now that Buchholz has shown that he has the raw stuff to be one of the best pitchers in the league, all he needed was for himself to believe that. He has looked very sharp and healthy during Spring Training, so unless something goes extremely wrong, you should be looking at a Cy Young Award winner, or at least very seriously in the running.
Just stay healthy, Clay. Please.
Even if Bucholz doesn’t win the Cy Young he will put up great numbers this season so be sure to get your Red Sox tickets so you can witness his greatness in person.