Just when you thought that things couldn't get any worse for Clay Buchholz, manager John Farrell finally decided that he had seen enough from his worst starter this year and sent him to the bullpen. While this certainly is a demotion for Buchholz, it is an asset to the rest of this team. Not only does Buchholz going to the bullpen open up a spot in the rotation for Eduardo Rodriguez, but it also strengthens the bullpen.
Thats right, Buchholz will make this already good Red Sox bullpen even better. Sure, Buchholz has struggled as a starter this year. He boasts a two and five record as a starter but a one and zero record in the bullpen with an ERA just below six and a quarter, but he will bring experience that he has gained over a ten year career. The two time all star ha struggled whenever he has been in a pressure situation, and the likelihood is that he will not be facing many of those when he comes out of the bullpen. His appearances should be limited to games where the Red Sox have a big lead and the rest of the bullpen has been relied on heavily, games where the Red Sox are being blown out and need someone to eat up innings to save the rest of the bullpen, or appearances when the game goes into extra innings and he is the last resort, like yesterday.
If the coaching staff limits Buchholz to just those appearances, he will do more good for the team than harm. Where Buchholz really struggled this year was once he had runners in scoring position and faced adversity. With him being in the bullpen, he will have a much shorter leash than as a starter and when he faces adversity instead of dealing with it he will be lifted from the game.
While Buchholz's numbers likely won't drop anytime soon, mainly because his ERA is so high and his work load significantly decreasing it will be difficult to drop his ERA. His WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched) currently stands at 1.457 which is high and if he plans on being an average bullpen arm will need to decrease.
Will Buchholz be successful in the bullpen? With this being the last option for the Red Sox, they can't DFA him to Pawtucket, what will happen next if this doesn't work out? Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet me your answers by clicking here.