14 February 2011
Make your predictions for other Red Sox players - just click on a name below!
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP John Lackey, SP Josh Beckett, SP
Clay Buchholz, SP
Buchholz finally reached his potential in 2010 with a 17-7 record and a 2.33 ERA - good for 2nd in the AL behind Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez. During the season, many attributed Clay's success to an increase in induced groundballs, but while his 50.3 GB% was down 3 points from 2009, it's not significant enough to result in 2.00 drop in his ERA.
What stuck out to me was an increase of his slider and the fact that he was throwing it 4 MPH faster than he has in the past. Buchhy's K totals dropped, but batters were swinging at pitches outside of the zone more (29.7%, up 7%) and making contact outside of the zone more (69.2, up 15%). That's how you get weak ground balls and pop flies...
The trick to 2011 will be keeping batters on their toes. Bucchy won't be sneaking up on anyone this season, so he'll need to continue to mix up his pitches. One problem could be the loss of Victor Martinez. V-Mart and Buchholz worked well together last season, but he'll need to develop new chemistry with Jason Varitek or Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2011... it seems superstitious, but I can see this being a problem.
Bottom Line: In years past, Buchholz crumbled when things went wrong, but last season, he battled through adversity well and it seemed that he had grown more mentally tough. Hopefully that continues in 2011, despite the change in battery mate... but I expect a drop off in the stats.
Rob's Prediction: 30 GS, 185 IP, 14 W, 8 L, 3.33 ERA, 140 K
Make your 2011 Predictions below...
Share this post with your friends on Facebook and challenge them to make a prediction!
|< Prev||Next >|