Clay Buchholz's Value

By Steve Nitz

Clay Buchholz deserves to be in Boston’s rotation. He’s a better option than Brad Penny and his 5.02 ERA and a better option than a washed-up John Smoltz.

Some people might think I’m speaking too highly of a guy has started 21 games in the big leagues and had a 6.75 ERA with the Red Sox last season. But Buchholz has tremendous talent, possessing three plus pitches. He’s threw a no-hitter in 2007 and has been great at Class AAA Pawtucket (7-2, 2.36 ERA, 89 K’s in 99 IP). He’s ready to pitch in Boston, but the Red Sox don’t have room for him with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, Smoltz, and Penny in the rotation.

Boston called him up from Pawtucket to start Friday, where he threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, striking out three. But he was sent back down Saturday when Boston activated Jed Lowrie.

So what should fantasy players do with Buchholz? He can certainly be an asset, especially in AL-only leagues, but when will he get a chance again? There is always a chance Boston could trade Penny, or either him or Smoltz could get moved to the bullpen should they keep struggling. But Daisuke Matsuzaka could return to Boston within the next month as well, taking another rotation spot. There is also the chance that the Red Sox could deal Buchholz for a veteran such as Victor Martinez or Roy Halladay, although that is unlikely.

I think that AL-only players should hang on to Buchholz or pick him up, as he could be really good down the stretch and there isn’t going to be anything better on the waiver wire. Mixed leaguers might want to wait until he gets another start.

If the Red Sox wanted to put their best five starters out there, Buchholz would be in the rotation for good.