RHP CLAY BUCHHOLZ (2019: 59 IP, 6.56 ERA, 5.95 K/9, 0.1 fWAR)
Since leaving Boston at the end of the 2016 season, Clay Buchholz’s career has been an interesting one to watch. His time in Philadelphia ended after just seven innings when he was forced to undergo forearm surgery. Then, in 2018, Buchholz put himself back on the map with a strong 16-start season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, in which he put up 1.7 fWAR with a 2.01 ERA.
Last year, however, injuries derailed his season once again, landing on the 60-day Injured List with a Grade 2 shoulder strain. Buchholz wound up pitching just 59 innings for Toronto and was knocked around for most of them. Still, given his 2018 campaign, there seems to be something left in the tank for him. It’s just all about staying healthy.
Honestly, the only reason Buchholz landed on this list is because Jerry Dipoto has had prior documented interest in him. Back in the winter of 2015, when Dipoto first became the general manager of the Mariners, Buchholz was one of two starting pitchers he had the option of trading for in talks with the Boston Red Sox. Dipoto wound up going the other direction, opting for Wade Miley over Buchholz and the rest is history.
I’m still not sold that this ‘mystery pitcher’ is anything more than depth move, so Buchholz is the type of pitcher I expect, as well as Smyly. Someone who may be able to unexpectedly give you some quality innings off of a minor league deal. Someone you don’t have to commit to with Logan Gilbert and Justin Dunn eagerly anticipating their opportunity to crack the big league rotation.