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Clay Buchholz to the bullpen isn’t a good idea

May 28, 2016

When something is broken from ten years of use, sometimes the best decision is to just throw it in the trash.

But when it comes to Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox are holding on just because of what he did for them in the past. Off to a slow start this season, Buchholz will be taking a spot as a long reliever in the Red Sox bullpen. Through his first ten starts, he’s 2-5 with a 6.35 ERA. And his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is 5.91. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s the worst among all MLB starting pitchers this season. And that’s all you really need to know.

There seems to be a few big issues with Buchholz going to the bullpen. For starters, he is a starting pitcher.

Yeah, Buchholz went to a year of junior college and was dominant — as a starter. One can assume he was also a starter in high school. He has relieved four games in his 12-year pro career and two in his big league career. But none since 2008 and never on a consistent basis.

Buchholz is clearly struggling right now. And in his starts, it seemed like one bad inning was what would crush his hopes of winning. A lot of times, relievers only pitch one inning. Of course, Buchholz will be a long reliever.

But putting him in a role where he won’t be throwing as many innings does not seem like it will help him. He owns an 8.55 ERA in the first two innings of his starts this season.

Buchholz is used to pitching on a set schedule but a long reliever pitches whenever they are called upon. It might be tough for him to adjust.

On top of that, someone, probably Marco Hernandez, is going to lose their roster spot so the Red Sox can carry Buchholz in relief. Eddie Rodriguez will take his job in the rotation.

Being an injury prone guy, it would have made sense to send him to the Disabled List.


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