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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Time For Red Sox to Move Clay Buchholz?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Clay Buchholz #11 of t...
 Clay Buchholz has struggled for the Red Sox this season. Is it time he's moved to a different role?  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Last night Clay Buchholz started his ninth game of the season for the Red Sox. It's now the end of May and the 27 year old righty has yet to find his composure out on the mound. Is it time to move him to the bullpen?

Of the nine starts that Clay Buchholz has made, he's allowed at least 5 ER in seven of them, he's allowed 3 HR in a start and 5 HR in a start. He's allowed 3 or more walks in 6 starts. Are you catching my drift? He's been horrible.

The righty's K/BB is exactly 1.00 with 27 of each. He's allowed 67 hits in 49 1/3 IP for a 1.91 WHIP. His 2012 season is mirroring John Lackey's horrid 2011 season.

If the Red Sox expect to make a run for the AL East, can they keep a pitcher struggling to this extent in the rotation much longer?

A week ago it was expected the Red Sox would have a bit of a logjam in the rotation with Dice-K thought to be close and Aaron Cook working back from the disabled list. Things have changed with the news that Matsuzaka will start his rehab assignment over, so what options do the Red Sox have?

One would be the name I just mentioned, Aaron Cook. He did allow 6 ER in 2 2/3 IP in his only start for the Red Sox but it wasn't until after he was spiked at home plate that he lost control of the game.

The latest news on Cook suggests he could be ready for a rehab assignment soon. Once he is deemed ready, his role with the Sox will be determined, but at this point should he be given a chance to put up better numbers than Buchholz has?

Another option, not a likely one, but still an option, is to give Andrew Miller another shot in the rotation. Since returning from the disabled list, Miller hasn't allowed a run through 8 IP, so I'm not sure that Bobby V would be fond of moving him from his current role in the bullpen.

There's also the option of giving a pitcher from Triple-A a shot at the starting job. The Sox don't have premier talent at that level, but could it be much worse than it's been?

A guy like Clayton Mortenson, who we saw briefly earlier this season, would seem like a good choice to log some quality innings with the big club.

Maybe a better option would be 30 year old Justin Germano. The righty is 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 48 1/3 IP at Pawtucket.

There may not be an easy fix that stands out for the Red Sox at the moment but there are things they can try. At some point Bobby V will realize that some production is better than what he's getting from Clay Buchholz.

Maybe the righty comes back and throws a gem in his next start. If so, I would admit that I was wrong, but as of right now things aren't working for him in the rotation. It's almost time to try something different. As I've said several times lately, the time to make changes is coming if the Sox expect to make a run at the playoffs.

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