Red Sox name Clay Buchholz as Opening Day starter


In a move that has surprised exactly zero people, Red Sox manager John Farrell has named staff veteran Clay Buchholz as Boston’s Opening Day starter.

The Red Sox rotation has undergone a number of changes in the recent months, with Buchholz the only holdover from 2014’s starting rotation, adding Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson, and Joe Kelly since last July. However, given Buchholz’s tenure with the Red Sox, he makes sense as the club’s “ace” to start the season.

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However, while Buchholz might embody the leadership and veteran presence of an ace, it remains to be seen whether he’ll live up to that title through his pitching. Buchholz is coming off a terrible season, in which he posted a 5.34 ERA as he struggled through the after-effects of a neck injury which sidelined him for the second half of the 2013 season. After an offseason of rest, Buchholz has been quite a bit better this spring, though, as he is the owner of a 3.60 ERA alongside a 10.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 15 innings.

The issues with Buchholz have always been health and consistency and as a new season draws near, our eternal hope for a healthy, consistent Buchholz resurfaces again. All signs point to him being healthy to start the season, which is a bonus at the very least, but 2015 is a do-or-die year for Buchholz’s career.

The Red Sox have club options over Buchholz’s 2016 and 2017 seasons, but if he is unable to perform this season, they’ll likely pass on picking up those options. Still, it’s good to see the team give him a vote of confidence with the Opening Day nod and hopefully Buchholz will step up into the ace role this season.

We’ll get the first signs of this new and hopefully improved Buchholz next Monday as the Red Sox take on the Phillies at 3:05 ET. Farrell also announced his second starter as offseason acquisition Rick Porcello, but did not offer his opinion on the team’s #3. Naming Buchholz the Opening Day starter won’t surprise anybody, but it’s just one more sign that baseball season is almost here and that’s good news in its own right.

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