Clay Buchholz undergoes right knee surgery


Well, maybe there was a reason for Clay Buchholz‘s disappointing 2014 season after all.

According to a report from Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, Buchholz has undergone successful surgery on his right knee. The surgery was a minor procedure for the purpose of repairing a torn meniscus, an injury with which Buchholz had pitched throughout the 2014 season. While Buchholz did experience some symptoms through the season, according to Cherington, it wasn’t enough to keep him from pitching almost every fifth day for the Red Sox in a year where Buchholz made 28 starts.

However, there’s a very real possibility that that torn meniscus negatively affected his performance this year. Coming off a dominant 2013, Buchholz’s ERA ballooned to 5.34 this season and, while his peripherals weren’t awful (Buchholz had 7.0 K.9, 2.9 BB/9, and a 4.01 FIP), he just looked very hittable throughout the year as he allowed 9.6 hits per nine innings.

Assuming Buchholz makes a full recovery from his surgery, he could very well be in better shape on the mound come 2015. While he won’t be the team’s #1 starter next year, he currently is the longest-tenured and among the most-trusted pitchers on an inexperienced Red Sox pitching staff.

Buchholz has been injury-prone and an enigma throughout his frustrating MLB career and, while this doesn’t diminish the injury-prone label, it at least gives a reason for his poor performance this season. A healthy and stable Buchholz would be a tremendous asset to the 2015 rotation and, particularly in his contract year, this could be his last chance to prove himself as a starting pitcher for the Red Sox. Let’s hope that 2014 was an injury-induced aberration and that he returns to full force in 2015.