It’s no secret that Clay Buchholz is the odd man out in Boston. He pitched mopup duty last night — the ninth inning when his team was up by 11 — and before that he hadn’t pitched since July 2. He’s been kicked out of the rotation twice and isn’t trusted in the bullpen during this, his worst season as a big leaguer. Junichi Tazawa was just activated too, which will reduce what little role he actually has left.
Buchholz knows it too. Here’s what he tells Rob Bradford of WEEI:
“If this is the way the team is going to be as far as the rotation part of it … I feel like the guys they’re rolling out there, I don’t have a spot. I’m the odd man out.”
Does he think he’ll be traded?
“I’m not sure. I don’t know. Not having pitched in a while I felt like something has be going on. I’m just trying to stay as sharp as I can and that’s why I’ve been throwing on the side. I have to stay somewhat stretched out.”
It’s quite a fall for Buchholz who, at one time, was the ace of the staff. Now he looks like a guy a team that is probably going to the playoffs is seeking to unload to make room for relievers with half of his fame and pay check. That’s gotta be a hard pill to swallow.
Buchholz’s best bet: he gets traded to a non-contender who is content to put him in the rotation and let him sink or swim. If he swims, that club may decide to exercise the $13.5 million club option on Buchholz’s deal for 2017. Short of that, he’s going to be a free agent after the season who will face a tough market despite the fact that the free agent market looks really thin this year.