Clay Buchholz isn’t right, and the Boston Red Sox are doing all they can to figure out why. They believe they might have found the answer.
The solution, manager John Farrell believes, lies in Buchholz’s mechanics and delivery. Farrell said Thursday that he and pitching coach Juan Nieves studied the right-hander after another rough outing Wednesday, and they’re hoping they can right the ship by his next start Monday.
“Well, we spent quite a bit of time here (Wednesday) night doing just that,” Farrell said, according to MLB.com. “There are some things we need to work on from a delivery standpoint. Physically there are no complaints. There are no restrictions. And yet we’ve got to get him in a position in his delivery more consistently.”
Buchholz has had a tough year so far, and his struggles continued Wednesday night when he allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. The start marked the fourth time already this season that Buchholz failed to get out of the fifth inning. He’s now 2-4 with a 6.32 ERA and 1.85 WHIP.
“He’s not repeating his delivery right now,” Farrell continued. “So when he’s making mistakes, he’s been up in the strike zone or he’s been in the middle of the plate. And (Wednesday) night, more than we’ve seen this season, he pitched behind in the count a lot. And again, that’s from repeating a delivery, or lack of repeating his delivery as much as needed.”
Farrell said he and Nieves discussed everything with Buchholz, and Farrell knows it’s on Buchholz to turn things around now.
“He knows he’s better,” Farrell said. “He’s disappointed in what’s taken place so far. There have been glimpses, or there have been individual games where it’s been more Clay-like. He knows he’s got to improve.”
The Red Sox would love to have back the early 2013 Buchholz. Through the same number of starts last season, the 29-year-old was 6-0 with a 1.78 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings of work.
At this rate, though, they’d probably just settle for somewhere in between.