BOSTON (CBS) – With no Jon Lester and John Lackey under contract for 2015, the Red Sox may have to rely on Clay Buchholz to give them more in 2015.
If that’s the case, the Sox may be in trouble according to Andy Gresh and Mike Flynn. After giving up seven earned runs in five innings Sunday night against the Yankees, the right-hander now sports the worst ERA among starters with a minimum of 100 innings pitched.
Gresh and Flynn discussed everything Buchholz on 98.5 The Sports Hub Gresh & Zolak show and questioned whether can be relied upon going forward.
“The issue I have with him is that if you want to elevate yourself to be a leader of a staff, to I guess be the lead dog and the ace, there’s a couple things that bother me. First off physically: he’s just not there,” said Flynn. “With Lester, that guy was an ace. The guy pitched 200 innings; he got his starts, and he was there every fifth day. Buchholz is never going to do that. Second part of it is being mentally tough. I mean OK, nobody’s perfect. And you’re going to have bad games, but you grind it out.”
Gresh agreed with Flynn that Buchholz lacks the mental fortitude of an ace.
“Has there ever been a time where Clay Buchholz has challenged himself and gotten mad at himself and say ‘Hey, I’ve got to be better. This has to stop. I have to demand more out of myself,’ as we’ve heard with different pitchers over points in their career?”
While Buchholz supporters will point to his 12-1 record last season, Gresh says 2013 was a fluke.
“I just don’t know what people are waiting for with this guy,” said Gresh. “[His record last season] was a flash. That is the anomaly for Clay Buchholz, not the rule.”
If the righty can somehow turn around his performance, the Sox will have at least one solid veteran in their rotation next season. But count Gresh among those who are concerned that Buchholz has a 6.33 ERA in his age-29 season.
“He doesn’t have to be great. But that’s the problem. You’re not even getting decent out of him consistently, and quite honestly it’s maddening and at this point in his career. It’s inexcusable.”
Listen below for the full discussion on Buchholz: