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RedSoxtober
07-02-2008, 07:50 AM
The Red Sox won't tip their hand until it's time to make a roster move, but there's a good reason Clay Buchholz was pulled from Pawtucket's game Monday night after pitching five scoreless innings while throwing just 50 pitches.

Buchholz appears primed to return to the Sox rotation, possibly as soon as Saturday afternoon against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Buchholz is 4-1 with a 1.63 ERA in eight starts since the Sox sent him to Pawtucket to work on his fastball. In his last four starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.40 ERA, allowing just one earned run in 22 2/3 innings.

Justin Masterson is scheduled to start Saturday and the rookie righthander is worthy of staying in the rotation, going 4-2 with a 3.75 ERA in eight starts while demonstrating considerable poise to go with his above-average stuff. But Masterson also has walked nine batters over 12 innings in his last two starts, and manager Terry Francona talked openly after Monday night's 5-4 loss about how few innings the 23-year-old has thrown professionally.

That would seem to open the door for Buchholz's return.

"The idea was to work on fastball command," Francona said of Buchholz's stint in Pawtucket. "Consistency, and we slightly adjusted his arm angle to create two-seam movement.

"We didn't want to run him down there for just one or two starts. We made him throw his fastball. I don't know if it was a hard count, but we told him, 'Make yourself do this.' "

Source: Boston Globe

Personally I'm not totally on board with this. It's not that I necessarily like Clay less than Masterson, only that it makes more sense to me to leave him in PAW to get an extra start over the all star break. If he comes up he runs the risk of making a start then skipping a start over the break and messing up the rhythm he's worked hard to recapture.

With a shorter term focus, the answer seems fairly obvious. The Sox need to right the ship... quickly. Masterson and the Yankees seem like too combustible a combination for the Sox to toy with. Masterson has 16K/19BB in 24.2IP, 5.47era, 1.62whip, and .381oba against lefties (21/7 in 23.1ip, 1.93, 0.86, .239 respectively against righties) which would be very problematic against the lefty-heavy NYY lineup.

papipapsmanny
07-02-2008, 08:14 AM
clay needs to be in the mlb he is absoutely useless in AAA masterson can still work out some final kinks, so he has some use in AAA

lil'papi
07-02-2008, 09:13 AM
I'd say why not , rhythm he has , obviously , when you look at the numbers. His confidence was lacking too. NYY shouldn't dictate who they use more the situation of both guys.

Masterson should IMO go to AAA and work out of the pen. Then after the break bring him up as a long guy. That and situational against right handed bats.

I know they envisoned him as that long term.

He needs to work with Eck on a pitch to lefties.

Tragedy
07-02-2008, 10:12 AM
Well, I'm with Soxtober on this one, I think.

I'd much rather just leave him in AAA through the ASG, and bring him up immediately after. But, this is why I'm just a useless poster on PSD, and the Red Sox brass are getting paid a ton of dough to make these big decisions.

I'm really hoping that Clay can get back on track when he's brought back up, though. I think we all had high expectations for him coming into the season (Probably too high, too), and it clearly hasn't gone the way we thought it would.

A lot of confidence would go towards the fanbase if Clay can come up and do a solid job.

RedSoxtober
07-02-2008, 12:10 PM
I'd say why not , rhythm he has , obviously , when you look at the numbers. His confidence was lacking too. NYY shouldn't dictate who they use more the situation of both guys.
IMO it's a series of things. You bring him up now and he gets two starts then gets delayed due to the ASG (it'd fall the day after the game). The Sox, no doubt, will use the break to shuffle the rotation but whomever fills the slot will go #5 which means he misses that start entirely. I'm worried that will break the rhythm he's worked so hard to find. If he pitches in PAW then he gets to pitch on his regular turn over the break and comes up without missing a beat on the fifth game after the break.

Masterson has pitched remarkably well... certainly produced well earlier than I expected and I had very high expectations of him (if you recall, he was the one I railed about losing when the Santana deal was discussed). It's hard to rate him against Clay at the moment but he needs work, particularly against LHB.

So should the opponent matter? In this case I say yes because the two kids are probably equally prepared to face the Yankees but Clay is more likely to have success because Masterson's biggest weakness is also the Yankees biggest plus.


Masterson should IMO go to AAA and work out of the pen. Then after the break bring him up as a long guy. That and situational against right handed bats.

I know they envisoned him as that long term.

He needs to work with Eck on a pitch to lefties.

Envisioned him as a long man or out of the pen? I'd definitely heard of him as a setup/closer type because of the heavy sink and GB tendencies.

quiksilver2491
07-02-2008, 05:02 PM
Envisioned him as a long man or out of the pen? I'd definitely heard of him as a setup/closer type because of the heavy sink and GB tendencies.

I agree. We deffinitely have problems with the pen and Masterson has shown he can get pitch at the MLB level. I think using him as a set up guy and moving Buchholz back into the rotation makes sense but I just don't understand the timing of this either. Whatever though its not a biggie.

JacobyIsMyHomie
07-02-2008, 07:19 PM
Why don't we keep Masterson in the bullpen, bring Buchholz up and leave Mike Timlin in AAA?

Celts22
07-02-2008, 08:37 PM
Why don't we keep Masterson in the bullpen, bring Buchholz up and leave Mike Timlin in AAA?

I think rehab assignments can only last 20 days or something and Timlin started his a week or so ago...

RedSoxtober
07-03-2008, 08:16 AM
Looks like the Globe is now hedging their bets on this:


Justin Masterson threw a side session and is listed as the Sox' probable starting pitcher Saturday against the Yankees. Clay Buchholz (4-0, 0.40 ERA in his last four starts for Pawtucket) loomed as a possibility, but so far, the Sox have not indicated any intention of promoting him this weekend. Buchholz has faced the Yankees twice this season. After holding them to four hits and a run in six innings at Fenway Park April 11, he was knocked around for seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings five days later in the Bronx

lil'papi
07-03-2008, 09:37 AM
IMO it's a series of things. You bring him up now and he gets two starts then gets delayed due to the ASG (it'd fall the day after the game). The Sox, no doubt, will use the break to shuffle the rotation but whomever fills the slot will go #5 which means he misses that start entirely. I'm worried that will break the rhythm he's worked so hard to find. If he pitches in PAW then he gets to pitch on his regular turn over the break and comes up without missing a beat on the fifth game after the break.

Masterson has pitched remarkably well... certainly produced well earlier than I expected and I had very high expectations of him (if you recall, he was the one I railed about losing when the Santana deal was discussed). It's hard to rate him against Clay at the moment but he needs work, particularly against LHB.

So should the opponent matter? In this case I say yes because the two kids are probably equally prepared to face the Yankees but Clay is more likely to have success because Masterson's biggest weakness is also the Yankees biggest plus.



Envisioned him as a long man or out of the pen? I'd definitely heard of him as a setup/closer type because of the heavy sink and GB tendencies.


He is now stretched out. We have no idea if he can setup or close. He is even keeled he might flourish.

I have no idea how they envisioned him last year. I know the pen...but how , no idea. This year, the here and now , why go so short after he is stretched out? If he comes in settles us down let the other guys in the pen pitch less.

Maybe they will do better.

......... the other night they said long man? ( Remy-Eck) both. Bob Stanley did both long man , short man and started. Same type of pitcher.

I'm fine either way , which ever works best for the pitcher, not the team they throw against. If they are pitching well that shouldn't matter. I'm quite sure they want guys to stick so its not a one start and done.

This isn't the playoffs or a one game series. They bring Clay up it's to stay. After the break should be interesting Colon comes back, Buchholz is ready, Masterson doesn't deserve to lose his spot.

Who knows.....one thing is for sure we need starters to go deep into games. Masterson is limited in innings, so is Clay I'm sure. Not good for the pen. Unless we have a good solid long guy. ;) (mast)

RedSoxtober
07-03-2008, 09:55 AM
I'm fine either way , which ever works best for the pitcher, not the team they throw against. If they are pitching well that shouldn't matter. I'm quite sure they want guys to stick so its not a one start and done.

This isn't the playoffs or a one game series. They bring Clay up it's to stay. After the break should be interesting Colon comes back, Buchholz is ready, Masterson doesn't deserve to lose his spot.

I agree -- if Clay comes up then it's to stay. I'm only arguing about when. Is he ready? Absolutely. Is Masterson ready? Yes, he's more than ready to be a #5 which is all they need. Could Masterson use more work? Yes, he has more refinement. His achilles heel has been hanging the offspeed stuff and lefties. This is where the opponent fits into the equation for me. Two pitchers are fairly equally prepared, one could use a little work in a particular area, and that area happens to be the strength of his next opponent. All things being roughly equal, and with a return to AAA being likely, I can see why the Sox would make the move now.


Who knows.....one thing is for sure we need starters to go deep into games. Masterson is limited in innings, so is Clay I'm sure. Not good for the pen. Unless we have a good solid long guy. ;) (mast)

I don't think there are any innings restrictions to worry about with Buchholz. I'd figured at the start of the season that they could keep him on their normal progression if they limited him to 4 or 5 April starts of 5IP and then let him average 6IP the rest of the way. As it is, he averaged only 5IP over eight April/May starts, went two weeks between his last BOS start and his first PAW start, and was allowed beyond 5IP only twice in AAA. All that rolls up to 80IP on a season that's more than halfway through; he's well short of 185-190 that they'd let him throw.

The thing I don't like about Masterson in the LR role is that you don't know when you'll need it. Well, maybe Dice-K is making that easier... At any rate, I wouldn't want to waste him in the BP for now. Making a few relief apps in PAW over the next two weeks makes sense, though. The Sox could see if he can handle it, make an impact, and limit innings.

PapelbonLester
07-03-2008, 03:38 PM
Clay is dominating triple a and has the right to pitch saterday. But i dont see why we just dont move wakefield to the pen. we could use him EVERY day. come in toss a couple knucklers and then let papelbon come in and blow them away. i would love to see that but more likely that masterson will get his first test at Pawtucket cause he did skip AAA.

lil'papi
07-04-2008, 09:29 AM
Clay is dominating triple a and has the right to pitch saterday. But i dont see why we just dont move wakefield to the pen. we could use him EVERY day. come in toss a couple knucklers and then let papelbon come in and blow them away. i would love to see that but more likely that masterson will get his first test at Pawtucket cause he did skip AAA.

Because arguably Wake has been one of our best starters. We could bring up Zink and pen him. If they thought it might work.
Papelbon when he is fresh doesn't need to be setup to do well.

Tragedy
07-04-2008, 11:06 AM
Clay is dominating triple a and has the right to pitch saterday. But i dont see why we just dont move wakefield to the pen. we could use him EVERY day. come in toss a couple knucklers and then let papelbon come in and blow them away. i would love to see that but more likely that masterson will get his first test at Pawtucket cause he did skip AAA.
People need to put to rest the "Lets put Wake in the pen" stuff, ESPECIALLY when he's pitching as lights out as he is.

Wakefield is great because you know what you're going to get out of him. In 30 starts, you'll probably get 15 very solid outings, 10 crappers, and 5 average ones. How can anyone not like that, especially when you consider that he's costing us $4 million?

xcrunner05
07-04-2008, 11:45 AM
From Rotoworld:
Knuckleballer Charlie Zink pitched a two-hit shutout Thursday for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Forget Justin Masterson and Clay Buchholz. What we really want to see if is two knuckleballers can succeed in the same rotation. Zink is 9-2 with a 2.42 ERA, 80 H and 72/34 K/BB in 111 2/3 innings this season. His presence as starting pitching depth is one more reason that the Red Sox should strongly consider trying Masterson as a reliever for the rest of the year.

how about zink at some point?

Wake's Fastball
07-04-2008, 12:35 PM
From Rotoworld:
Knuckleballer Charlie Zink pitched a two-hit shutout Thursday for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Forget Justin Masterson and Clay Buchholz. What we really want to see if is two knuckleballers can succeed in the same rotation. Zink is 9-2 with a 2.42 ERA, 80 H and 72/34 K/BB in 111 2/3 innings this season. His presence as starting pitching depth is one more reason that the Red Sox should strongly consider trying Masterson as a reliever for the rest of the year.

how about zink at some point?

Would absolutely love to see it, and frankly I think deserves a shot over anyone else in the minors at this point, but getting him onto a full 40-man roster might be a bit of a hassle.

Tragedy
07-04-2008, 03:40 PM
Yeah, I really want to see Zink get a chance in the majors. Maybe he'll be nothing, maybe he'll be something. Why sit around and continue letting him prove himself in AAA? He's proven as much as you can.

stanleythemanly
07-04-2008, 09:47 PM
As long as he's with The Penthouse Bimbo he ain't worth a damn.
His head ain't screwed on for Baseball.
He's the one I'd DEAL unquestionably and I'd make every attempt for a straight-up for Gabbard - as long as Gabbard's arm ain't Pedro'd.
How long has Gabbard been gone?
And he's still got mo wins in a Red Sox Uniform than Horst Buchholz.
This to me is a no-brainer.:clap:

Tragedy
07-04-2008, 10:59 PM
As long as he's with The Penthouse Bimbo he ain't worth a damn.
His head ain't screwed on for Baseball.
He's the one I'd DEAL unquestionably and I'd make every attempt for a straight-up for Gabbard - as long as Gabbard's arm ain't Pedro'd.
How long has Gabbard been gone?
And he's still got mo wins in a Red Sox Uniform than Horst Buchholz.
This to me is a no-brainer.:clap:
Only one thing comes to mind after reading that post:

:laugh: