Curt Schilling: Clay Buchholz Lacks ‘Commitment’ To Be Ace For Red Sox


April 2, 2015

If there’s an ace in the Boston Red Sox’s starting rotation, it’s not Clay Buchholz. At least, not according to Curt Schilling.

Schilling knows a thing or two about anchoring a pitching staff. He was the No. 1 in Philadelphia, a co-ace in Arizona and the man for the Red Sox over the course of his career, but he doesn’t think Buchholz has it in him to be a true ace.

Speaking on a conference call with other members of ESPN’s MLB crew Wednesday, Schilling went all-in against the idea of Buchholz being “the guy” in the Boston rotation.

“Well, I don?t think he wants to be (an ace),” Schilling said on the conference call, per ESPN PR.  “I think there?s a level of commitment mentally and physically you have to have, and there?s a ?? you have to have a little bit of a dark side, I think, in the sense that losing has to hurt so bad that you do whatever you can do to make sure it never happens again.  I’ve never felt like that was ?? Clay is just kind of, hey, I?m going to pitch today.”

Schilling couldn’t deny the physical attributes Buchholz possesses, and he thinks Buchholz’s inability to produce consistent results might be a mental issue as much as any sort of physical flaw.

“He?s unbelievably talented, obviously, physically, but there?s another level to the game, and I think that the reason he?s been inconsistent, Cy Young potential in numbers one year to what-the-hell-happened next year is upstairs,” Schilling continued. “I think it?s all above his shoulders.”

Buchholz is going to get his latest chance to prove himself starting Monday. He’s been tabbed the Red Sox’s Opening Day starter — he’s the rotation’s elder statesmen and, well, someone has to pitch — and he’s looking to rebound after a wildly inconsistent 2014 season. He went 8-11 with a 5.34 ERA in 28 starts, logging only 170 1/3 innings. He’s still looking for his first 200-inning season (his career-high is 189 1/3) and his first 30-start campaign.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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