Monday, December 3, 2012

2013 Bill James Projections - Clay Buchholz

2011 projection: 13-9, 29 starts, 193 IP, 3.54 ERA, 74 BB, 168 SO
2011: 6-3, 14 starts, 82.2 IP, 3.48 ERA, 31 BB, 60 SO
2012 projection: 13-8, 30 starts, 191 IP, 3.53 ERA, 73 BB, 162 SO
2012: 11-8, 29 starts, 189.1 IP, 4.56 ERA, 64 BB, 129 SO
2013 projection: 12-11, 30 starts, 205 IP, 3.56 ERA,  72 BB, 163 SO

Possibly the most striking thing about Clay Buchholz's 2012 performance is that he managed to hold on to a positive winning percentage and win eleven games while his ERA leaped up more than a full run from 2011.  Buchholz made a huge jump in innings between the injury-riddled 2011 campaign and last season, tossing a career high 189.1 innings in 2012.

Bill James projects that Buch will continue to make strides in the 2013 season, with a new career high in innings (205), and a bounceback in his ERA to a much more acceptable 3.56.  It's easy to think of Buchholz as the skinny kid that came up for a cup of coffee in 2007 and won three games in three starts that fall - partly because he still looks just the same.

But 2007 was five years ago, and Clay Buchholz will be 28 next season (29 in August), a player entering his baseball prime. He's not a kid anymore, and if we're ever going to look to him to step up and be a leader on the staff, this has to be the time. I think John Farrell's presence will be good for the pitching staff: though he's the manager and not the pitching coach, he has a lot of respect from the Red Sox staff. I don't think there will be too many pitchers skipping out on their workouts or sneaking from the dugout during games to drink beer on Farrell's watch.

Hopefully Clay can eek out a few more wins than James has him projected for, but even if he can't, a pitcher with 205 innings is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

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