BOSTON (CBS) — By and large, Clay Buchholz has performed quite well since transitioning to the bullpen earlier this year. Now, manager John Farrell is rewarding the veteran right-hander with an increased role.
Farrell told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game that Buchholz will become the Red Sox’ primary option for the eighth inning.
The eighth inning has been a weak spot for the Red Sox, who own a 4.50 ERA in the inning. That ranks the team 10th in the AL. Among teams currently holding an AL playoff spot, only the Rangers have a worse eighth-inning ERA (4.98).
Buchholz’s 3.32 ERA and .195 batting average against as a reliever stand in sharp contrast to his marks of 5.63 and .272, respectively, as a starter. Likewise, he posted a first-half ERA of 5.91 and he thus far has a second-half ERA of 3.10, a stretch that includes six starts and six relief appearances.
Ziegler’s been more successful against righties, allowing a .250 BA and .295 OBP vs. right-handed batters as opposed to a .290 BA and .396 OBP vs. lefties.
Buchholz’s most recent two appearances have both come in the eighth inning. He loaded the bases with nobody out on Monday but escaped having allowed just one run. Two days earlier, he faced just four batters, issuing a two-out walk which proved to be harmless.