Clay Buchholz “very good” in recent bullpen session


May 25, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Clay Buchholz has had a horrendous start to his 2014 season. Following an excellent 2013 season which, among injuries, saw him grow into form as one of the best pitchers in the American League, Buchholz has struggled mechanically and mentally to start the season. After an implosion against the Atlanta Braves which saw Buchholz walk eight batters in just three innings, he was subjected to the classic “phantom DL” trip, as he was placed on the disabled list with a hyperextended knee.

Evidently, that phantom DL trip has served its purpose for Buchholz. Yesterday, Buchholz threw his first bullpen session since going to the disabled list and according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, looked “very good.”

"“Very good. It was 35 pitches. He threw all his pitches. He’s continuing to repeat the delivery adjustments that we’ve outlined. He came away from today encouraged by the way he threw the baseball.”"

While Farrell’s words regarding Buchholz are encouraging for both the 29-year old right-hander, we aren’t out of the woods yet. Buchholz has been terrible so far in 2014, posting a 7.02 ERA and while that ERA is significantly higher than Buchholz’s peripherals, his 4.82 FIP isn’t good either. Walks hadn’t been a huge problem aside from that one game, as excluding that game, he has only walked 3.06 per nine innings. However, Buchholz has been extremely hittable all season long as his mechanics have been inconsistent and ineffective; he has allowed a .339 opponents’ batting average. No question, this bullpen outing is encouraging, but we can’t really know what to expect from Buchholz until he is in the Red Sox’ rotation once more.