Clay Buccholz

Clay Buccholz last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Even for the Blue Jays, a ball club in the midst of a rebuild, they still need a decent enough group of pitchers who can hold their own in the powerhouse AL East.  Thankfully, in an effort to bolster their pitching staff, Toronto made a few moves this week.  Including the signing of Clay Buchholz.

At his best, Buchholz was one of the better starting pitchers in the American League.  His problem however has been a lack of consistency that can be mostly attributed to how often he’s been injured over the years.  The good news for Blue Jay fans is Buchholz absolutely loves pitching at Rogers Centre.  Having made 16 starts in Toronto, going 11-3 with a 2.63 ERA.  It doesn’t hurt either that Buchholz has a 1.87 ERA (in 12 starts) at Tropicana Field, a ball park which Toronto has had little success playing at.

Getting back to Buchholz’ injury concerns.  He’s never started 30 games in a season and hasn’t started more than 21 since 2014.  Although he pitched to the tune of a solid 7-2 record with a 2.01 ERA in 2018, his season ended prematurely in mid-September with a flexor strain in his forearm.  Considering how often he’s been injured throughout his career, one has to wonder if perhaps the Blue Jays might be better served with him joining their very thin bullpen.

If Buchholz is to start for the Blue Jays, what cannot happen is for Ryan Borucki to lose his spot in the rotation.  Borucki did more than enough last season to earn his place in the rotation.  If any starting pitcher is to make way for Buchholz, it needs to be Clayton Richard and his 5.33 ERA from last year while pitching with the Padres.

By releasing Troy Tulowitzki and trading Russell Martin, Toronto cleared the way for younger players like Danny Jansen and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.  These two moves were a concerted effort in the Blue Jays rebuild, which is why it makes little sense that they would even consider holding Borucki back now.  The idea of Borucki beginning the season in Triple-A is a joke.  If Toronto does decide to go with Richard over Borucki, someone in that organization needs to get their head checked.

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