Clay Buchholz continues to treat fans to free rides on his roller-coaster of emotion
Jennifer Warner Contributing Writer
(Photo courtesy of AP/Elise Amendola)
Anyone who has read anything that I have submitted on here (or anyone who follows me on Twitter) knows that I am not a Clay Buchholz fan. As a matter of fact, at the beginning of the season, as the Red Sox Life resident Psychologist, I was asked to write a psychological profile on him, of which you can read here. It wasn't flattering. The truth is, any die-hard Red Sox fan knows that a love affair with Clay Buchholz is nothing more than a roller-coaster of emotion, and his outings as of late have been proof of that. So, I am going to take this time in my article today to put my foot down, end this abusive love affair that some fans still have with him, and try to persuade you to realize that you deserve better. It's time to get off this roller-coaster.
Since 2012, Buchholz has treated fans to an up and down relationship. Ok, let's be honest here, its been mostly down for the past few seasons, including much of this one. But that's the thing with Clay. Just when you think he has dropped you to the lowest point in the ride, all of a sudden you find yourself going back uphill.
Buchholz has a tendency to pitch like a Cy Young candidate (OK, maybe I exaggerated a little but there), like in 2013 when he went 9-0 in 12 starts with a 1.71 ERA, but then an "injury" pops up at the crest of the hill, and down he goes, taking us all with him. Need more proof? He began this 2016 season with a 2-5 record and a hefty 6.35 ERA. Need even more proof? In 2012, he managed a 7.19 ERA in his first 10 starts but then pulled out a 4-0 record with a 2.40 ERA in June of that year. How about a little more for good measure? In April 2015, he went 1-3 with a 5.76 ERA, but managed a 2.55 ERA over his next 13 starts.
I know what you are thinking, "Jen, he just needs to find his rhythm!" No. You are in denial. Stop it. The bottom line is, Clay Buchholz is only reliable when it comes to expecting the roller-coaster ride. He is not consistently bad nor consistently good. But the question remains, will Dave Dombrowski decide to keep Buchholz, who has a $13.5 million team option and a $500,000 buyout option for 2017?
It is no secret that the bullpen is the weakest part of the Red Sox right now but it is looking like the Sox are willing and open to entering the 2017 season with a rotation that involves David Price, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Drew Pomeranz, and let's be honest, Pomeranz has looked pretty decent lately. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Sox move Buchholz back to the pen once Steven Wright returns either.
But the question remains, no matter where they move Buchholz if they choose to keep him in 2017, would you trust him? I for one will not. I have been on this ride for too long and an ready to see him go. The choice is yours though, Red Sox Nation. I won't judge you if you choose to keep riding. I'll continue to ply you with Dramamine, if you need it, because that's the kind of gal I am.