6-run start could cost Buchholz rotation spot

May 27th, 2016

BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz's latest shaky start in Thursday night's 8-2 loss to the Rockies might be the last one he makes for a while.

Eduardo Rodriguez is ready to return from the disabled list, and Buchholz (2-5, 6.35 ERA) is the most logical candidate to come out of the rotation.

Red Sox manager John Farrell will soon huddle with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and pitching coach Carl Willis, and a decision could come as soon as Friday.

"Yeah, Dave and I and Carl, we always have conversations about every guy," said Farrell. "This is no different. We know that Eddie is soon to … or ready, probably, to come back to us. There's been no decision made as of right now."

Buchholz was belted for a trio of two-run homers, accounting for all six runs he allowed over five-plus innings.

Is Buchholz worried that he won't get the chance to make his next start?

"That's out of my pay grade. I can't worry about that," Buchholz said. "I'm here to pitch, and if I don't have a spot that's part of it. If you don't like it, pitch better. That's what it comes down to."

In six of his 10 starts this season, Buchholz has given up five earned runs or more. The Red Sox are 3-7 when he pitches. Buchholz has allowed 12 home runs.

"I can't say that it's a mechanical thing," said Farrell. "The location of pitches are what has been the nemesis here. It hasn't been one pitch. It's been multiple types of pitches that have reared its head in those spots."

Buchholz cruised early in this one, retiring the first nine batters he faced.

The entire momentum changed when Carlos Gonzalez belted a two-out, two-run homer against him in the fourth. Trevor Story and Dustin Garneau smashed two-run blasts in the fifth, and the boo birds came out at Fenway.

"Three different types of pitches they hit out of the ballpark," said Farrell. "Fastball, curveball and a changeup tonight. There's conversation after a game in which he's given up a home run with guys on base has come up. To say that there's one particular delivery flaw or anything like that, that is combed over through video, through game review. It comes down to execution."

Farrell and Buchholz both said that the pitcher is completely healthy. In fact, Buchholz said he feels the strongest he has felt in years, which is why his slump has been all the more frustrating.

"I'm not demoralized, the team's still winning," Buchholz said. "I'm basically the only one that's struggling. I guess it's better off that way then to have three out of five guys struggling, too. The other guys are doing a really good job of picking up the slack that I'm leaving behind, and you figure it's got to change sooner or later to feel as good as I've felt in two and a half, three years. I've got to find a way to get through it."