Clay Buchholz is one of many Red Sox pitchers to develop through the Boston farm system from the beginning of their career. Clay began his major league career in 2005 with the Single-A Lowell Spinners. Buchholz has always been a gem for the Sox until last season when something just seemed terribly wrong as he posted his worst season ERA of 6.75 in 15 starts.
Clay has spent the 2009 season in Triple-A Pawtucket going 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA and .188 opponents batting average in 16 starts. Buchholz is being called up tonight to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Clay Buchholz has been at the big league level before and is remembered for throwing a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in his second career major league start. This season, Clay has thrown for Triple-A Pawtucket and my favorite scouts,SoxProspects gives us the rundown on Buccholz:
Buchholz has a low-to-mid 90s four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball with decent movement, a slider, a hard 12-to-6 curveball, and a change-up. In 2006, Buchholz actually let loose towards the end of the season, when his fastball was sitting around 96 mph. However, over the course of the season his fastball typically sits around 91-94 and tops out at about 97 mph. His plus change-up is generally a straight change that sits around 78-82 mph; he also throws a circle change. His curveball, the best in the organization, sits between 76-81 mph with a knee-buckling bite. On any given night, Buchholz's curve or change can be unhittable, and he tends to rely on whichever one is on as his out pitch throughout the game. His slider, while average to above average, is a bit behind his other secondary pitches and sits in the low to mid 80s. Mixes in all of his pitches phenomenally. Good demeanor on the mound. Pitches well under pressure, pitching coaches have said he has ice water running through his veins. Nice pick-off move. He has struggled with consistency early in his big-league career, but otherwise has ace makeup. Might need to add and maintain some weight to endure a full major league season. In 2008, Buchholz had some major struggles with command and confidence, leading to lackluster results.
With Clay Buchholz being called up to the majors, this sets the Red Sox up to go into a six-man rotation while moving some starts back.
July 17 - Clay Buchholz
July 18 - Brad Penny
July 19 - Jon Lester
July20 - John Smoltz
July 21 - Josh beckett
July 22 - Tim Wakefield
This could mean one of two things. Boston could finally be moving to the six-man rotation that we all thought was going to happen earlier in the season with Dice-K and the addition of Smoltz to the roster, or Clay Buchholz is going to be put on display to shop him around in order to find that extra hitter before the trade deadline that some feel the Red Sox are in need of. Either way, it's going to be exciting to see this young, eager kid come back up to the majors, trying to prove that he deserves a spot in the starting rotation.
Thanks to phillenium1979 for the picture of Clay Buchholz warming up in the bullpen.