BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox have a bit of a dilemma on their hands — or do they?
Clay Buchholz tossed a gem against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night (albeit, against one of the worst lineups in baseball), allowing just one run on five hits while striking out a season-high nine batters in 6.1 innings of work in Boston’s 2-1 victory. He has allowed just two earned runs over 12.1 innings in his last two starts, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be in the rotation for much longer.
Following Tuesday’s win, manager John Farrell said the righty will likely be back in the bullpen with the return of Stephen Wright, which is expected to come Friday night against the Kansas City Royals following the knuckleballer’s successful bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon.
Signs are also pointing towards Eduardo Rodriguez returning from a hamstring injury after he tossed a three-inning simulated game in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. All of that leaves Buchholz on the outside looking in, despite his recent run in the rotation. A team once desperate for starting pitching now has too many hurlers vying for a spot in the rotation, which isn’t necessarily a bad problem to have.
But as 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones said on Tuesday night, don’t be fooled by Buchholz.
“If you want to say that Buchholz has given them a lift and gotten them through this difficult period… I’ll grant you that,” said Jones. “But I would not go overboard with Clay Buchholz, and I would not go overboard with the type of performance he’s given the Red Sox this year.”
While Jones gives him credit for his last two starts, he isn’t sold on Buchholz as a whole. He was terrible in the rotation to start the season, and Jones isn’t impressed with his bullpen numbers (2-1, 3.20 ERA with a 1.71 WHIP in 19.2 innings) given most of that came in low leverage situations.
“I still want Price, Porcello, Pomeranz, Rodriguez and Wright, in some order. That’s what I want as a starting rotation. I’m not falling for Clay Buchholz. I am not that gullible to fall for BUchholz after a couple of nice starts — one of them against the crap-ass Tampa Bay Rays. I am not falling for that.
“He can save guys from having to throw too much; when the Red Sox are losing by five runs he can come in and give them mop-up duty. That’s what I think he can do,” said Jones. “I am not relying on Clay Buchholz for anything. I have learned my lesson.”