May 24, 2007


Sox prospect outperforms Clemens (Rob Bradford, May 24, 2007, Boston Herald)

It was the Red Sox’ little secret.

While more than 100 media members and Waterfront Park’s largest crowd ever converged on the home of the Trenton Thunder to digest all things Roger Clemens, a few onlookers focused their attention elsewhere.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, his assistant, Allard Baird, and a smattering of scouts focused on the pitcher much of baseball is truly drooling over. And it wasn’t the one scheduled to make more than $18 million over the next four months.

Clay Buchholz used baseball’s latest big stage to show why losing the Roger Clemens sweepstakes might not sting for Sox fans too much longer.

“I would have more confidence in this kid (Buchholz) starting a major league game tomorrow than the other guy (Clemens),” said one American League scout in attendance for Clemens’ second minor league tune-up for the New York Yankees, a start for the Double-A Thunder in their 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Portland Sea Dogs. “We need one game to win the division and you’re giving me a choice between starting (Buchholz) or Clemens, I’m taking (Buchholz) off of what I saw tonight.”

Buchholz and the other guy (Rob Bradford, 5/24/07)
It was one thing to hit 95 mph, but to drop the hammer of a curve he has developed was impressive. A huge positive was that he throws all four pitches (fastball, curve, slider, change) for strikes. As one scout said, “You can see why he strikes guys out so much.”

An interesting aspect of last night’s start for Buchholz was that he actually got pushed back a day so that he could pitch on the big stage. While it was Michael Bowden’s turn, the organization wanted to allow Buchholz a chance to experience the pomp and circumstance that went with the Roger Clemens media circus. It was the second step down this path, with Buchholz’s outing in the final game of spring training serving as the first step. It was effective (thanks Mike) as Buchholz admitted to being a bit nervous at the beginning. It showed not only in four straight singles, but also because of his delivery, which was unusually quick with those first few runners on base.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 24, 2007 6:54 PM

Buchholz looked mediocre. No life on the fastball.

Clemens was making his 2nd start since last September. It's spring training for him.

Clippard not Hughes.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 24, 2007 7:24 PM

Clippard, like Clemens, was topping out at 88 mph. Buchholz doesn't throw as hard as Hughes or Beckett, but as hard as a Dice-K, which is ample.

Posted by: oj at May 24, 2007 8:46 PM

It's not the speed, it's the movement.

The kid's got a plus curve, and a good slider, but that fastball looked flat, flat enough for a terrible Trneton lineup to do some damage.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 24, 2007 9:21 PM


Bowden, 4 hits and 5! bbs in only 4ip vs the same weak Trenton lineup. Ouch.

Maybe Joba stole his lunchmoney or something.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 24, 2007 9:37 PM

Such is the plight of youngsters, which is why it's nice to develop them in the minors. Some teams can't afford to though.

Posted by: oj at May 24, 2007 11:28 PM

Buchholz throws 95, which is harder than Dice-K. And his fastball has plenty of movement. The only thing he's lacking is fastball command. Other than that, he's major-league reader. If he can locate his fastball a little better, he'll be the #1 pitching prospect in baseball next winter.

Trenton got lucky against Buchholz, with four seeing-eye singles in the first when he was a little too hyped up. He shut them down after that.

Posted by: pj at May 25, 2007 7:55 AM