May 25, 2007


Once considered suspect, he’s now something special (Rob Bradford, May 25, 2007, Boston Herald)

“That,” Sox first base coach Luis Alicea said, pointing to the out-of-place 22-year-old, “is the next big-time pitcher.”

Skeptics would say Alicea’s analysis was smothered in bias, considering he had managed Buchholz in each of the hurler’s first two professional seasons. The opinion, however, soon spread throughout City of Palms Park. The wide-eyed, wiry, 6-foot-3 Texan has a tendency of wasting no time in making an impression.

“The kid is going to be something else,” Red Sox starter Curt Schilling [stats] said in an e-mail one day after Buchholz first faced big league hitters in that spring training game against Tampa Bay. “He’s an incredible athlete with a dream body for a young power guy. He’s thin and will fill out, and his fastball has hair, big time. He’s going to be special. . . . When catchers talk up a guy after a bullpen (session), the way they were with him, you know you’re seeing something special.”

That’s the type of reaction the Red Sox had hoped Buchholz would elicit since June 7, 2005 - the day when, through a somewhat convoluted set of circumstances, the former all-everything high school wide receiver, shortstop and occasional pitcher became part of their club.

Sea Dogs’ Bowden a major talent (Michael Silverman, May 25, 2007, Boston Herald)
Clay Buchholz gets all the buzz, but the Red Sox [team stats] do have another pitching prospect every bit as worthy: Michael Bowden.

A 20-year-old right-hander, Bowden was the 47th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He was taken five spots after the Sox selected Buchholz, his current teammate at Double-A Portland.

Bowden started this season at Single-A Lancaster (Calif.) and showed that his 2006 numbers - 3.56 ERA, 131 strikeouts, 36 walks over 118 innings in stops at Single-A Greenville (S.C.) and Wilmington (Del.) - were no fluke. Pitching in the hitter-friendly California League, Bowden went 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in eight starts, striking out 46 and walking just eight. Those results prompted a call-up to Portland this month.

He made his second start there yesterday and got the no-decision in the Sea Dogs’ 3-2 win against Trenton. Although he struggled with his control, walking five in four innings, he did not allow a run and struck out three. In his first start May 18, he recorded the win, allowing one run in five innings.

“He’s a little (two years) younger than Clay, coming out of high school, but he’s a similar pitcher,” said Mike Hazen, the Red Sox’ director of player development. “Michael is one of our hardest workers and best makeup guys. He’s tremendously driven.”

Tyler Clippard, SP, NYA (Tim Dierkes, 5/25/07, Waiver Wired)
Baseball America describes Clippard's outlook as "solid #4." He's lost a little velocity on the heater, and doesn't have that one nasty out pitch. He does throw a decent curve and change, and has a deceptive delivery. He should stick in the Yanks' rotation until Phil Hughes returns, which might be four starts from now. Worth a look in AL-only, at least until the scouting reports get around.

When hitters can sit on your 88 MPH fastball, you're a AAA 4th starter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 25, 2007 9:57 AM

There's nothing more amusing than watching Sawx fans turn their latest AA success into the next Rogah Clemahns.

See Hansen, Craig; Lester, Jon, etal.

Well, even more amusing is watching Cheeseburger Schilling spout his hyperbole.

Wasn't it about this time last year that he was touting one of the worst defensive ss in baseball, the awful A-Gon, as the equal of Ozzie Smith?

And some bloggers who won't be named lapped it up then as now.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 25, 2007 9:08 PM

No one is the equal of Ozzie in his prime.

Lester, who's already had major league success, is doing as well on hs rehab as the Yankees wish Roger were. Especially considering the sinking Yankee clipper....

Posted by: oj at May 25, 2007 9:58 PM

One of you is going to be eating large piles by mid-September. Perhaps sooner.

From where I sit, the Yanks look about as damaged as a $200 million plus team can be, but my knowledge of baseball isn't what it was in 1980. I don't think Jeter is as bad as OJ does, and I still think A-Rod is overrated, although this year might change that view.

Their pitching is what will sink them, and if Clemens muddles like the Big Unit did the past couple of seasons, he will be sitting in the bullpen on Labor Day wondering why he ever came back.

Of course, given the latest statement by Ortiz, we might see signs in Yankee Stadium with a big "34" on a pinstriped background.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 26, 2007 1:38 AM

Lester's peripherals have always stunk, and it started to catch up to him late last season. He puts too many men on base to succeed long-term.

Plus, you gotta question his makeup -- pressure of the show gave the kid friggin cancer last season ;)

Clippard was never counted on to be a starter in the bigs. At best he's middle relief. Of course if we trade him to the NL he's probably in the running for a Cy Young a la Lilly/Aroyo et al.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 26, 2007 10:45 AM

Young lefties are always wild...good ones anyway.

Posted by: oj at May 26, 2007 12:02 PM