Taking a look at a potential Red Sox six-man rotation in September

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Jul 28, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

Clay Buchholz

(11) leaves a game against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Clay Buchholz currently serves as the anchor of the rotation, and has assumed a leadership role as the only remaining incumbent. For the first time in his career Buchholz is stepping to the rubber as the rotation’s veteran presence. Unfortunately, Clay Buchholz is still struggling to replicate the career-best numbers he posted in 2013 (1.02 WHIP, 1.72 ERA, 4.3 WAR).

Buchholz has maintained a firm stance that he is not coping with an injury, leaving both team and fans struggling to understand his precipitous performance decline. A legitimate Cy Young contender in 2013 had he qualified, Buchholz has this year been competing for the position of worst ERA in all of baseball. There are now legitimate questions as to whether the team can or should count on Clay Buchholz in 2015. Will he pull a Josh Beckett and follow up a stinker of a season with a strong bounce back, or have Buchholz’s durability concerns finally overcome his talent?

It could truly go either way. Given the depth of Major League-ready starting pitchers under the Red Sox control, it makes sense for this writer to go into 2015 with Buchholz in the rotation… albeit on a short leash. There are more than a few minor league pitchers knocking on the doors of Fenway; Clay Buchholz will be an interesting player to follow in 2015 because if he falters, he will almost certainly be shipped out to make room for the next man up, just like Peavy and Doubront were.