Buchholz to the bullpen
From a no-hitter to the bullpen? That is the situation that has unfolded for Clay Buchholz. He will be used out of the bullpen in a structured role. It is all in line with the organization keeping a ceiling on his innings for the season. Don’t rule out Buchholz getting another start this season, particularly when and if the Red Sox clinch the division.
It seems clear the the organizational threshold for Buchholz this season is somewhere around 160 innings. He’s at 140 1/3 right now.
Papelbon in 2005 was on the exact same program. He wound up with 152 2/3 including playoffs. Obviously the Red Sox had left a little wiggle room for the ALCS and World Series that never came, which probably would have put Paps up around 160.
This seems like a good plan for Buchholz going forward. This will give them the perfect testing ground to see how he can do in this role and see if it really is a viable option for October.
This scenario is one in which many of us have sort of been expecting all along, and now it seems to be coming to fruition. We just didn’t expect the no-hitter right before!
At any rate, Buchholz’s adaptation to the bullpen figures to be about the most interesting story to follow between now and the end of the regular season.
For those who like to keep track of such things: Jacoby Ellsbury has two homers at Fenway in the last three days. J.D. Drew has two homers at Fenway all year, and none since April.
Another update: Ellsbury just tripled in the sixth inning and now needs a double for the cycle. The last Red Sox player to hit for the cycle was one John Valentin on June 6, 1996.