Clay Buchholz Durability – A Key to Red Sox 2014 Success
There is no denying the talents of Clay Buchholz – as evidenced by his 12-1, 1.74 ERA performance last season.
The big issue with Buchholz is durability – witness his 16 starts in 2013.
Getting close to 30 starts or 200 innings from Buchholz in 2014 are key for the Red Sox to in their quest to return to the playoffs – and for Buchholz to establish himself as an elite pitcher.
Says Buchholz, “That’s the name of the game for a starting pitcher. You can’t be among the elite guys in the league unless you do that. It’s a results-based industry. Everybody knows that.”
Perhaps a turning point for Buchholz was Game 4 of the 2013 World Series when he realized he didn’t need to feel perfect or have his best stuff to win.
According to Buchholz, “I was going to do it, regardless of how I felt. You never know when you’re going to get an opportunity to be in that position again. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night, knowing I didn’t go out there and at least try. It actually ended up being a lot better than I was expecting, especially with the way it felt the day before and the day before that.”
Looking to the upcoming season, Boston needs Buchholz to deliver quality – and innings.
Manager John Farrell is hoping for the best from Buchholz saying, “We’re very hopeful he lasts the entire season, and right now he’s in with every other pitcher in terms of his throwing days, his progression to batting practice today, and everything he dealt with from a physical standpoint last year he addressed in the offseason. His shoulder strength is very good, so we’re looking forward to another productive year from Clay.”
Pedro and the Staff
Speaking of pitching, one great asset the Red Sox have (still) is Pedro Martinez.
Martinez is working with Boston’s pitchers this Spring Training.
Says Martinez, “It’s just that I think I have so much to offer. It’s stuff that I’m not going to put into use anymore, so I might as well pass it along, and I’m trying to do that. I’m trying to get more involved in baseball, more with young players and veteran players — whoever needs me.”
One player that has gained the attention of Martinez is pitcher Drake Britton.
According to Martinez, “When I saw him struggling in Double-A (in 2013), I chose myself to go and see him and let him know that everything he had before was still there. It was just a matter of putting his mind, his heart, his desire, where it had to be. He took it graciously.”
What do you think – can Britton crack the Red Sox bullpen for Opening Day?