Clay Buchholz is (kinda) unlucky…
August 11th, 2008 by czar

39% of baserunners who reach against him are scoring.
He has a BABIP of .368.

Both of which are wholly unsustainable figures. They will regress at some point; the BABIP for sure, and the strand rate should go up accordingly (though an argument can be made that his BR score rate is a bit truer because of the HR/9 rate). For what it’s worth, his FIP is 4.14, which (considering FIP’s low bias) isn’t fantastic, but the large discrepancy between that and his true ERA shows that he’s due for a bounce back of sorts.

Maybe it’s just me, but Buchholz circa 2008 reminds me of Beckett circa 2006. Spotty control of excellent secondary pitches which leads to predictable fastballs (both in and out of the zone). He has improved velocity on the fastball (up over a mph from last year/start of this year according to pitchF/X) which should help get some swings and misses out of the zone, however, until he is able to get the change and curveball (and to a lesser extent the slider) down and over for strikes, he is going to be prone to the home run ball and, subsequently, the big inning.

The problem is with Wakefield down and out, there is no real option in the minors. Colon needs to be stretched out over a few more starts and even then, I still prefer Buchholz to him in the long run. Right now, it would probably be prudent for the Sox FO to let Buchholz continue to take a lump or two with the big club with the hopes that he can start to show improvement over the next few weeks which will put him in good shape for the stretch run as well as 2009.

Posted in Observations

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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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