Sunday, March 6, 2016

Clay Buchholz is inconsistent: 2016 will be his year

Kathy Willens / Associated Press

Clay Buchholz started Sunday's Spring Training game, along with quite a few other Red Sox probable Opening Day starters. Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo all started as well.

The Sox ended up winning the ballgame despite a ninth inning push by the Orioles. Travis Shaw stood out when he subbed in for Ortiz. Shaw went three for three with a run and two RBI's.

Buchholz was the most interesting part of the game to me, though. I thought he pitched pretty well and just didn't get a lot of help from the defense. Bogaerts bobbled a would-be double play, and the sun and wind were an obvious reason the Sox' outfielders had trouble in the outfielder.

Buchholz started on Opening Day last season, but he'll be the number two starter this season behind the obvious choice in David Price.

As we all know, Buchholz is a streaky pitcher that can't stay on the field. He's had his moments of dominance, like in 2013, when he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA. He's also had his bad spurts, like his 2014 season when he went 8-11 with a 5.34 ERA.

Buchholz also has never thrown 200 innings in a season, and that's my biggest worry about him. The closest he came was in 2012 when he threw 189.1 innings.

Hopefully he can stay on the field this season. I think with less pressure to be an ace, he can have a great season.