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Why is Clay Buchholz the Fifth Man in the Rotation?

Clay Buchholz

The Red Sox starting rotation seems to be set for the beginning of the regular season. Jon Lester will take the mound on March 31st, followed by John Lackey, Felix Doubront, Jake Peavy, and Clay Buchholz in the fifth spot. Yes, this is what John Farrell and Juan Nieves decided. I am not sure I agree with placing Buchholz at the bottom of the rotation after Doubront’s last two poor performances in a row. Yesterday, he allowed 8 runs on 10 hits against the Tampa Bay Rays. I think it would be better to have Buchholz take Doubront’s spot.

The only reason to place Clay at the bottom of the rotation is to strengthen it. Based on the schedule opposing teams could face Buchholz, Lester, and Lackey. That would be a very daunting three games for any of the top American League teams, so the decision to have Buchholz at the bottom may not be cause for alarm. It just depends on how the games fall.

Perhaps this management team, known to mix things up, decided to place the weaker starters in the middle of the rotation with strong padding around them. This arrangement could serve to confuse opposing teams. The construct of a rotation should have your best three pitchers at the top. Most teams put their weakest man in the fifth position and Clay is not the weak link.  What are they thinking?

Management must have a plan. I have to believe that the World Champion Red Sox know what they are doing. The plan would be to embed their weak pitchers in the middle of the rotation, or hope that they have looked at the schedule and determined that Lester, Lackey, Doubront, Peavy and Buchholz is the best fit for the teams that lie ahead in April. With this different configuration, the Red Sox will certainly have a mental advantage over their adversaries. Players and coaches across the league will be scratching their heads as to why the Red Sox would organize themselves in this way.

I do not know how all of this is going to shake out in the end. I am confident that changes will be made, if need be, by those in charge.

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