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Returning from an injury-riddled 2011, no one was quite sure how Clay Buchholz would perform in 2012.
Things started off ugly, but he has been consistently improving. In turn, Buchholz has proven himself ready to be a cornerstone member of the rotation.
Sure his stats aren't amazing—11-7, 4.22 ERA—but he also posted a first-half ERA of 5.53. Since the All-Star break, he's been on fire, pitching to the tune of a 3.11 ERA and 2.46 K/BB.
He'll should also finish the season with a drop in his BB/9 for the fourth year in a row.
Buchholz still isn't ace material, but 2012 has proven that he's a core player in the Sox rotation moving forward.