Clay Buchholz just got a second opinion on his elbow that resulted in an injection which will cause him to miss up to 6 more weeks. Buchholz has said his goal is to pitch again in 2015, according to MassLive.com. Clay also said that he wasn’t bothered by the “injury-prone” label that fans and media alike have slapped on him, saying he knows that he “is a good baseball player when I’m out there, so that’s how I look at it,” per MassLive.
Clay might not be bothered by the assumption that he’s injury prone, but fans have seen this movie play out before in 2013. Clay looked on track for a Cy Young award back then, got injured, and never really looked like the same guy for the rest of the 2013 season and into 2014. As far as I can remember, the last couple of months—before his injury this season—were the first time since early 2013 that Clay has looked as sharp as he did then. Before this current injury, Clay Buchholz had a 3.26 ERA and 107 strikeouts to only 23 walks in 113.1 innings, and was Boston’s best starter by a country mile.
Will he come back and continue that? I sure hope so, but that doesn’t mean much. Like I’ve said, I’ve seen this movie before, and so has the rest of Red Sox Nation. The only difference between 2013 and 2015 is that the Red Sox were winning in 2013, so it was easier to let it slide a little back then. Not so much the case this year. If Clay Buchholz comes back and under-performs like he did then, it will be more noticeable because he has easily been Boston’s best pitcher. Besides, if this is indeed the same story as in 2013, then Clay will be stuck with that injury-prone label—if he isn’t already—whether he acknowledges it or not. He can say he’ll ignore it, and it doesn’t bother him, but it will still be there. Some fans will be left wondering whether it would have been a good idea to try and a trade for Clay while his value was still high.