Red Sox: Catching up with old friends – Clay Buchholz
By Connor Perry
Catching up with old friends takes a look at past Boston Red Sox players, and where they are now. This week we have right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz.
Though the offseason has been a very long, boring, and uneventful one for the Boston Red Sox despite being in talks with J.D. Martinez for what seems to be multiple seasons now, pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb 14th, which gives baseball fans a pep in their step once again.
There are still a lot of available free agents on the market, including a once budding star in the Red Sox System: Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz burst onto the scene in 2007, after being drafted by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2005 draft (42nd overall). Coming into 2007, Buchholz was ranked as the Red Sox third best prospect, only to rise to being the top prospect in their farm system by the end of that year. And Buchholz was definitely able to live up to the hype early on.
In Buchholz’ rookie season, he was able to do what only 22 rookies ahead of him have done by throwing a no-hitter. What was even more impressive about this feat is that he accomplished this in only his second career start with the Red Sox, only the second pitcher in MLB history to accomplish such a feat and to only be bested by Bobo Holloman, who is the only pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter in his first career appearance on the bump.
After a great start to his MLB career, many believed Buchholz to be the future ace of the staff. Buchholz definitely showed flashes of brilliance and had many holding out hope he would develop into the pitcher we all wanted him to become.
His 2010 All-Star year was probably the best example of that, posting a 2.33 ERA with a 17-7 record, and finishing sixth in Cy Young voting. The dominance of his lethal changeup and curveball teased Red Sox fans, showing glimpses of the pitcher we all desperately needed.
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Injuries have put a damper on Buccholz’ career. He was a frequent member of the DL, and some believe that the inability to stay on the mound is what hurt his future the most.
In 2013, Buchholz was having one of his most dominant seasons to date, but then missed 82 games with a neck strain after posting a 12-1 record, 1.74 ERA, and a 1.03 WHIP. Buchholz was also impressive in that year’s World Series run, winning all three of his decisions in the ALDS, ALCS, and WS. Once again leaving Red Sox fans frustrated, teasing us with who we know he could have been, but never became.
Buchholz was never as dominant as he was at the beginning of the 2013 season for the Red Sox. After the 2016 season, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. In his two starts for the Phillies this past season, Buccholz pitched 7.1 innings, giving up 10 earned runs, giving him a 12.27 ERA and a 2.59 WHIP before forfeiting the rest of the season with a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm.
Next: Four free agents that Red Sox should avoid
Today, Buchholz, 33, is without a team and is currently a free agent. Could a potential Red Sox reunion with Buchholz be in store? Having already endured the headache that is Clay Buchholz, I will say no thank you, but thank you for the good times, Clay.