Updates from Wednesday, June 25
The Red Sox have announced Clay Buchholz's return to the starting rotation against Seattle tonight:
Buchholz also spoke about his return and a change in his mechanics that he believes will improve his performances (via John Tomase of the Boston Herald):
He believes he fixed the problem in his last rehab start, however, when he threw six shutout innings while striking out five in Rochester on Thursday. The key is throwing the ball without fixating on his mechanics.
“There wasn’t any thinking and that’s what has to happen … that’s something I was doing a lot of in just about every start this season this year,” Buchholz said. “It’s tough when you have three or four things going through your mind when you’re throwing the baseball to a good location. It was a struggle, but I feel like I’m ready to go.”
Updates from Monday, June 16
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal broke down the next step in Clay Buchholz's recovery:
Clay Buchholz will start for PawSox on Thursday, targeting 90 pitches.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) June 16, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 15
ESPN's Joe McDonald provides a synopsis of Clay Buchholz discussing his recovery:
Buchholz said he feels good after his rehab start with PawSox but hasn't yet talked with Farrell about next step.— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) June 15, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 9
Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald provides a statement from Clay Buchholz discussing his recovery:
The rebuilding of Clay Buchholz continued with a 48-pitch simulated game in which the embattled right-hander attempted to fix what the Sox believe is a flaw in his delivery that has caused his ERA to balloon to 7.02, worst among major league pitchers with at least 50 innings.
'Everything felt good,' Buchholz said. 'Direction was good, location. It felt better coming out of my hand. Today was most like a game situation I’ve been in since last time I started. This is something that’s going to get me moving forward.'
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal provided the next step in Buchholz's rehab:
Clay Buchholz will pitch five innings in a rehab start for the PawSox on Friday.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) June 9, 2014
Updates from Saturday, June 7
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal has the latest on Buchholz:
Updates from Monday, June 2
Boston Globe reporter Pete Abraham has the latest on Buchholz:
Buchholz was supposed to throw a simulated game today. Pushed back to Saturday.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 2, 2014
Either the Boston Red Sox have found a reason to sit Clay Buchholz for a while, or they've found an explanation for his miserable start to the 2014 MLB season.
The 29-year-old starting pitcher hyperextended his left knee during his most recent start Monday, and according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier, he is on his way to the disabled list:
Sounds like Buchholz is heading to the DL with Alex Wilson rejoining the Sox.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 28, 2014
The Red Sox confirmed the move via Twitter:
The Red Sox today placed RHP Clay Buchholz on the 15-day DL (retroactive to yesterday) due to a hyperextended left knee.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 28, 2014
After looking like a Cy Young candidate when he was healthy last year, it has been the Bizarro Buchholz in 2014. Through 10 starts, he has compiled an awful 7.02 ERA and 1.98 WHIP. The straw that seemingly broke the camel's back came on Monday, as he issued eight free passes and allowed six earned runs in three innings against the Braves.
Following the game, he claimed he was healthy, via the Providence Journal's Tim Britton:
I’m healthy. If I wasn’t healthy, [then skipping a start] might be an option in my mind.
In my mind, I feel I can [make my next start]. I haven’t really done anything since [Monday to test his knee], and I’m pretty exhausted today, too. We’ll see how everything builds up moving forward.
Of course, that wouldn't matter if this is just a smokescreen to get him out of the rotation, as ESPN's Gordon Edes (and many, many others) suggested:
Farrell says Sox have yet to decide whether Buchholz will make next start, Mentioned concern about tweak in his knee. Cover story for DL?— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) May 27, 2014
No matter the reason, the ultimate goal is that Buchholz will use this time to clean up his mechanics and return to his 2013 form.
In the meantime, with Felix Doubront also on the DL, Brandon Workman will continue to start, while Allen Webster or Rubby De La Rosa may soon get a call for the struggling Red Sox.