Say what you want about Clay Buchholz. But right now, he is probably their best choice as a number five starter.
The Roenis Elias effect was not effective on Friday as he was lit up by his old team. He looked to be a decent option because he had thrown well in Pawtucket and the Seattle Mariners, his former team, didn’t hit lefties as well as righties. Well, he didn’t have a good day — partly because Fenway is a right-handed hitter’s haven.
Right now, Buchholz is set to make the start Tuesday which pushes Eddie Rodriguez back to Wednesday. And to clear the record, Eddie struggles in day games and when he pitches against the Baltimore Orioles. He is Cy friggin Young otherwise.
Buchholz has done exactly what the Red Sox asked this season. He was not happy when they moved him to the bullpen, but he owns a 2.89 ERA in five relief outings. Yes, he owns a 6.35 ERA in ten starts thus far. But there isn’t really anyone the Sox could say is an upgrade over him.
There has to be a certain element of trust too. This is probably Buchholz’ last year in a Red Sox uniform if he does not get it together. But in the time, he has been an All-Star, a World Series champ, good, bad and injured — a lot. John Farrell clearly has a lot of trust and faith in Buchholz. And think about it: Sandy Leon is on the big league club right now. Buchholz threw really well to Leon last season. Maybe that helps him out now. Leon is playing well behind the plate and he has some hits in a small sampling.
Sandy Leon earned it pic.twitter.com/1JknBiRfDK
— Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports) June 11, 2016
Logically, he is already on the active roster. And the Red Sox have an eight-man bullpen. They don’t need that. A five-man rotation, seven-man bullpen, nine man lineup and four-man bench seems to be ideal. Buchholz going to the rotation doesn’t upset the balance.
Calling anyone up from Pawtucket would mean dumping an MLB contributor and messing up the roster’s balance. Plus there’s not really a better option in Triple-A. Sure, William Cuevas and Aaron Wilkerson are throwing well. But it would require a roster move to give them a chance. The Sox aren’t really in position to make any more moves.
Buchholz is here. He has experience. He throws well to Leon. Why not?