Clay Buchholz: The Biggest Waste Of Time In Red Sox History

Baseball may still be a business, but the Boston Red Sox have certainly have not treated it as such with Clay Buchholz. Buchholz has been nothing short of a disappointment since 2010, for the exception of a terrific half-season in 2013, and he has really not been reprimanded for it. The problems stretch out to every facet of his game.

Buchholz On The Field

Since winning 17 games in 2010, Buchholz has primarily used his energy on excusesBuchholz instead of trying to get guys out it seems. For the exception of 2013, when he only started 16 games, Buchholz’s lowest ERA for a season since 2010 has been a fairly pedestrian 3.26 and now has a career ERA of 4.00. Also, there’s only been two seasons in his career where he has had a WHIP of under 1.2, about average for a starter. The two seasons his WHIP was under that were 2013 and 2007, when he only had three starts. However, one of those 2007 starts was a no-hitter. Had he had an average night of 5 hits allowed in 7 innings, his WHIP would be right back up to 1.3.

Buchholz Off The Field

The issue with Buchholz has not been entirely on the field though. He has become as famous for his post-game excuses as he has for his eccentric haircuts. In the 2013 World Series, the microphones were all in front of him before his start in Game 4. All Buchholz could talk about was how he was going to have a tough time pitching and basically complaining that the Red Sox would start him in such a big game. To the surprise of no one, Buchholz came out after four innings and was ultimately completely let off the hook with a World Series title.

The real red flag with Buchholz didn’t come about until the trade deadline of 2014. After Jon Lester and John Lackey were dealt, reporters flooded to Clay’s locker. Buchholz basically asked who the ace of the staff would be after that. That was when all hope was lost. Look in the freaking mirror Clay good God!

The veteran Texan has somehow still not matured to the major leagues on and off the field. We still hear about how great his stuff is, yet he still sucks. Must be mental, right? This guy turns 32 later this month, how has he not adjusted to this level? What a joke. Yet, he has not been traded. He has not been DFA’d. He has not gotten a fake injury for a DL stint. In fact, they found a spot for him in the bullpen. It is now past the trade deadline and he’s still here. How much longer must fans deal with this?

John Farrell Needs to Go

I’m still baffled by some of the choices that John Farrell has made recently. In the first game of the series with Chicago last week, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs. Here was a chance to overcome a deficit and win the game. What did Farrell do? Instead of inserting an experienced hitter, he put Ryan LaMarre in to pinch hit. Many fans like me  scratched our heads as we tried to recall who LaMarre is. It disappointed me to see that LaMarre hadn’t even had an at-bat all season. Of course, the Red Sox blew the game. As the White Sox took the game in ten innings, all I could think was that John Farrell needs to go.

John Farrell’s only real highlight in his career is the 2013 World Series victory. John Farrell Needs2014 and 2015 saw the Red Sox finish dead last in the American League East. Half way before finishing in the cellar for the second year straight, it became clear that the Red Sox didn’t have a problem with its players. Their problem was with its manager.

Half way during the 2015 season in August, Farrell was diagnosed with stage 1 lymphoma. Farrell took a leave of absence and thankfully recovered. Bench coach Tory Lovullo took his place. Under Lovullo, the Red Sox scored 37 runs in their first two games and went on to record a .636 winning percentage through September. Farrell’s previous winning percentage of .439 paled in comparison. Owner John Henry should have known then that something was wrong. No one noticed that the bench coach increased the team’s victories by 20%? Also, Farrell continues to insert Clay Buchholz into the rotation. It’s clear that the right-hander is no longer an asset to the team (He’s 3-8 with a 5.90 ERA!). If this doesn’t signal that John Farrell needs to go I don’t know what does.

Right now, the Red Sox are like a bus with a few flat tires controlled by an oblivious driver who thinks that the tires will fix themselves. Not only is it time to change those tires (release Buchholz) but more importantly, it’s time to change drivers. With that said, John Farrell needs to go.

Clay Buchholz Aiming for 2015 Return

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 Clay Buchholzthis 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.