Last Tuesday Clay Buchholz got the nod to start against Tampa Bay. He tossed a good outing and picked up his 5th win of the season going 6.1 IP, giving up 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 9 Ks. However, despite a great performance, his role for the foreseeable future will be as an 8th inning set up man.
Since the All-Star break, out of the bullpen and rotation, Clay has been proving to show a turnaround. Since July from both from the pen and starting, he has a 2.89 ERA with opponents batting only .212 against him and an OBP of .278.
In his last 7.1 innings, he has a 1.23 ERA, 5 H, 9 Ks, and a WHIP of 1.10. He has shown to have settled down and evidently gained some of his confidence back.
In a bullpen that has been struggling during the second half, especially in the 8th inning role, this could be a move that helps the Red Sox figure out their bullpen management. Despite Clay being an unorthodox setup man with upwards of 5 different pitches, it seems as if his best fit will be in high leverage situations.
According to Roto Champs ROS projections, Clay is projected at 36 IP, 4.07 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.31.
Apparently, not everyone is a huge believer that Clay has changed from the first half. However, whether not he is a new pitcher, only time will tell. And what better time to prove everyone wrong than now.