Who is the most hated athlete in Boston right now? Many people might say Tuukka Rask, which is understandable, but I think that's just pent up frustration after yet another epic collapse by the Bruins. I'll tell you what your answer should be; Clay Buchholz.
Yes, Buchholz was part of the 2013 squad that brought another ring to Boston, for which we will be forever grateful. However, have the years that surrounded that amazing season been worth it? The short answer is no.
Everyone knows that heading into any season, the only consistent part of Clay Buchholz' game is his inconsistency. When the Sox won the World Series in 2013, Buchholz started the season 9-0 and looked to be in contention for the Cy Young award. However, the all too familiar mid-season injury would plague Clay once again, and his great season turned into a great first half of the season.
I understand it's not Buchholz' fault that he gets injured, I'm only warning Red Sox fans of the impending future when this guy is in your rotation. Throughout the past 9 years in the MLB, Buccholz has averaged 114 innings pitched per season; inconsistent to say the least. While some of those innings have been fantastic performances, the guy has been very unreliable.
200 innings is right around the mark of a good, reliable season. Buccholz has never pitched 200+ innings in his career. For reference, David Price averages 180 innings and a high of 248.1 and Wade Miley averages 166 innings with a high of 202. Joe Kelly and Steven Wright have also never pitched 200+ innings. While Porcello has only done it once in his career, he averages 170 innings a season, never falling below 160.
If the Red Sox want to solve the inconsistency problem, they should sit back down with the Padres and trade for James Shields. Shields averages 211 innings per year and hasn't failed to reach 200+ innings since his rookie year in 2006 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While his numbers won't knock you over, he's a guy that will take the ball every 5 days.
Now back to Buchholz. As I mentioned with Rask, underperforming is absolutely cause for frustration, but not hatred. The reason you should hate Clay Buchholz is the fact that he feels no remorse and does not take responsibility for his mistakes or lack of performance. In 2 starts so far, Buchholz has pitched 9 innings, allowing 11 hits, 3 homeruns and 10 runs scored, with an ERA of 10.00.
If you ask Clay what the problem is with his starts this season, he'll tell you that there is no problem and that he's pitching great. He said that against the Orioles, he only really made one mistake, but walked off the field after only 5 innings giving up 5 runs. One mistake does not cause 5 runs, Clay.
On the Red Sox 3-4 start, Buchholz told reporters that he'd rather get a slow start and finish strong. Apparently starting out strong and finishing strong isn't an option for Clay, but at least he made the right choice. Also, knowing the impeding injury coming soon, Clay will most likely not be part of that strong finish. "So be it" was Buchholz' response to the fact that the Sox haven't gotten the best start to the season. Infuriating.
If you watched the game last night, Mark Trumbo smoked a homerun off Buchholz in the sixth inning, but Buchholz told reporters he threw it right where he wanted to. Upon further review, the pitch could not have been in a more perfect spot for a home run ball if he placed it there. If that's where he wants that pitch to be, it's going to be a long season.
The one and only reason to keep Buchholz in Boston is the exact same reason you should get rid of him. Earning only $13 million this year, Buchholz would be a low risk, high reward deal for any team in need of a bottom of the rotation starter. The problem here is that he is second is our rotation, and until that changes, the Red Sox are in trouble.
By Matt Watts