Clay Buccholz Disabled List Day—an annual tradition in which we see Buccholz show signs of why many could consider him a top of the rotation guy. But then, out of nowhere…BAM! Off to another stint on the disabled list. Let’s take a walk down memory lane shall we?
2008: 15-day DL: Right fingernail tear (blister); Games missed: 16
2010: 15-day DL: Left hamstring strain; Games missed: 18
2011: 60-day DL: Low back stress fracture; Games missed: 93
2012: 15-day DL: Esophagitis (apparently he doesn’t take his Pepcid AC); Games missed: 20
2013: 60-day DL: Right shoulder bursitis (neck strain); Games missed: 82
2014: 15-day DL: Left knee hyper-extension; Games missed: 28
2015: 15-day DL: Strained flexor muscle in his right elbow; Games missed: Remainder of the season
Cy Young Candidate…off to the disabled list.
It was only 3 years ago when in 2013, Potential Cy Young Award leader Buchholz was 9-0 on the season with a league leading 1.71 ERA. Amazing right? But, wait, spoiler alert! He ended up on the DL retroactive to June 9th.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but if you have a pitcher who’s consistently injured on a what seems to be year round basis, why the hell is he still with this team? For starters, his contract. Buchholz had a $13 million dollar club option for 2016 that Dave Dombrowski chose to renew. For a pitcher (when healthy) who has shown the ability to not only win, but pitch effectively, the upside is worth the $13 million dollar contract.
Personally, I love Buchholz. I love him so much that for some odd reason I hold out hope that he will some day become the Ace of the Red Sox. I hold out hope that he will win the coveted Cy Young Award. Hell, I even hold out hope that he’ll throw another no-hitter like he did in 2007. But, then I come back down to reality and realize none of those things are never, ever, ever going to happen.
I’m sure many of those in Red Sox Nation would agree with me that the Clay Buchholz who we thought was going to be a superstar in Boston is long gone and that we are now left to watch a kid who had so much talent literally wilt away a few weeks into the season. Clay’s going to go out onto that mound every 5th day and compete, maybe throw 6,7 even 8 quality innings and get a few wins under his belt. But, Clay is also going to somehow end up with a pulled shoulder, a blister, or another bout of heartburn and end up on the good ol’ DL train. And this time around I don’t foresee that train ever coming back into Fenway Park station after the 2016 season.
So Clay, here’s to you! I hope nothing but the best for you this year, but I also hope this is the last year I have to see you in a Red Sox uniform.