Clay Buchholz spent 10 seasons with the Red Sox. Now, he’s thriving with the Diamondbacks.
Both teams have their sights set on the Major League Baseball postseason, but Buchholz acknowledges there are some differences between pitching in Boston and pitching in Arizona.
“It’s still the big leagues, but it’s not as magnified,” Buchholz recently told FanGraphs’ David Laurila. “Everyone here (in Arizona) expects to win, and they should expect to win. This is a good ball club. But as for Boston, it was probably time for a change. That’s why they traded me to the (Philadelphia) Phillies. Obviously, the elbow stuff happened, but yeah, it was time for me to venture off and play somewhere else. Now I’m here, and this has been a good change for me as well. It’s all good.”
The Red Sox traded Buchholz to the Phillies after a disappointing 2016 season in which he bounced between Boston’s rotation and bullpen. He made just two appearances — both starts — for Philadelphia before undergoing right forearm surgery.
At that point, it looked like Buchholz’s best days were behind him, especially when he settled for a minor league contract with the Royals back in March and subsequently opted out of that deal with Kansas City on May 1. But Buchholz since has caught on with the Diamondbacks, and his excellent performance at the major league level of late has earned him a spot in Arizona’s rotation.
“No, this is what I do,” Buchholz told Laurila earlier this summer of whether retirement crossed his mind. “I wasn’t ready to give it up. And while this offseason I told myself I wasn’t going to go through the whole minor league deal again, I swallowed my pride and did that for a little bit. It was for the best, because it helped me get to where I’m at now. It feels good to be able to go out there and throw without anything going on, mentally or physically.”
Buchholz entered Monday with a 6-2 record and a 2.47 ERA in 12 starts with the D-Backs. He tossed a complete game in his most recent outing last week.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images