Clay Buchholz: Head games

Clay BuchholzOkay, let’s cut to the chase shall we? Clay Buchholz has been absolutely horrendous this season, no arguing that. Last season, Clay came out of the gates strong and it seemed nothing could slow him down. Then a mid season injury struck, he came back and still pitched solid down the stretch for the Sox. Playoff time was a bit of a different story for Buchholz. You could tell in his few postseason starts that Clay wasn’t the same, he labored to get through a solid 5 innings for the most part. That was okay though, we knew that maybe he was still a little banged up, but at least he was keeping the team in position to win. It seemed easy to think that he just needed the offseason to recover and he’d be back at the top of his form that we’ve expected since that no hitter in 2007.

Now the story that is coming out after his recent shelling down in Atlanta is that the right hander lost 7 pounds during his outing?? I’m sorry Farrell, but I don’t think I can believe that utter nonsense. On top of that, it seems that poor Clay has hyperextended his knee and has landed back on the DL. Seriously? The problem with Clay isn’t just his body, it’s the fact that he’s the softest guy on the staff. He needs to be coddled like a baby after he sucks. There has always been a reason for a poor effort by Clay, never that he just didn’t have it. So it comes as no shock to me that Clay has another poor outing and of course lands back on the DL.

Sorry Clay, at the top of your game you’re a great pitcher, but when will that be? Your seasons are so up and down from year to year, you always have an excuse. We HATE excuses in Boston. You’ll probably go on to have a decent career, but I don’t think it’s a path the Red Sox should take.

After this season Boston should look to part ways for good with Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox put up with antics from guys like Manny Ramirez for one reason, he was an elite player. Clay is a good pitcher when he’s on, but why should we have to put up with him and his buddies sleeping over at Fenway Park because he can’t walk/drive a mile to his house? That would have been fine, but Clay got absolutely hammered on the mound on Patriot’s Day. This leaves us no option to wonder what actually went on at Fenway that night? The Red Sox need consistency on the mound and they just aren’t going to get it right now with Clay Buchholz.

It seems that the Red Sox will always need to worry what’s going on inside Clay’s head.

Boston’s Infield Love Triangle

Now that Stephen Drew is back in Boston it seems like that age old question has arose again. Who is the odd man out on the left side of the Red Sox infield? Will Middlebrooks is taking another stint on the DL, so the choice is pretty obvious for now. When he returns different theories will undoubtedly start to fly.

Xander has all the tools to become a superstar for the Red Sox, however his fielding hasn’t been top notch at short and his bat has been streaky, especially with runners in scoring position. Many also prefer to see him mature a bit more before he fully takes over the shortstop role.

Will has shown flashes of extreme potential at various points in his career. Will busted onto the scene his rookie season in 2012, one of the few bright spots in a disastrous season in Boston. However, injuries have slowed him down while his batting average has severely dropped since his 2012 campaign for the Sox.

Stephen, while inconsistent at times with his bat, always seems to make up for it with his glove. John Farrell took a lot of criticism from the media during the 2013 playoffs about Drew’s hitting, nonetheless stayed with him for his excellent defense. Without a doubt, Drew will provide Boston with great defense and a solid bat at short.

So between the 3 talents here, 2 young guns and 1 veteran, who is the odd man out? When Will Middlebrooks returns from the DL it looks as if he will have to be the man to take a seat. Drew will most likely be seen in the lineup for primarily right handed pitchers, being left handed his batting average against lefties is severely lower. So Will, will most likely grab a majority of his bats against left handed pitching. Xander will always pose a threat at the plate. His play at shortstop has been concerning which is why we will see him move to third base vs. right handed pitching. The Red Sox are in it for the long haul with Boegarts, despite his defensive struggles at short.

The Drew signing, it seems, is only a short term fix. The Sox obviously don’t see Drew in the team’s future with Xander up and coming and also choosing to not resign him for the longest time. Will Middlebrooks could find himself on the way out of Boston if he can’t improve his consistency and stay healthy. The injury for him right now has definitely made him the odd man out in this crazy triangle. The addition has given the Red Sox something they didn’t have before, options.