Buster Olney

Buster Olney on MFB: Clay Buchholz 'set off some red flags with some evaluators' Sunday night

Ryan Hannable
April 16, 2015 - 9:39 am

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB Thursday to discuss the Red Sox and their 6-3 start to the year, specifically their starting rotation. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page. The second time through the rotation hasn't gone well for Red Sox starters. The worst of those four starts was Clay Buchholz Sunday night in New York. Buchholz went 3 1/3 innings, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on nine hits, while walking two and striking out three. The Red Sox lost the game 14-4 to the Yankees. "When we look at the Red Sox we wonder if you have front of the rotation type guys and [Joe] Kelly last Saturday was that good," Olney said. "On the other hand, [Buchholz] on Sunday really set off some red flags with some evaluators in the building Sunday at Yankee Stadium and then people with other teams. They thought he quit. They thought his reaction during the course of the game, essentially not backing up bases on repeated plays, it was a lot like a kid who flipped over a board game when he was losing as a kid. I think it bothered folks with other teams. "It will be interesting to see how he reacts, and I thought what John Farrell said after the game that that can't happen, that is about as close as you're going to see from John Farrell about direct criticism in regards to a player." The Red Sox offense is off to a tremendous start to the season, averaging 6.22 runs through the first nine games. Olney has been very impressed. "Maybe the best lineup we've seen in recent years, maybe even better than that 2013 lineup because of the quality of the hitters," he said. "The fact you have guys in the lineup who can do damage against good pitching. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and the thing that jumps out at me is how they sort of work off each other. They learn from each other." Olney noted while being in New York and speaking with Sandoval, he told him he likes having a left-handed hitter in front of him in David Ortiz because he can see pitches better and knows what to expect when he steps into the box. The Red Sox have a surplus of outfielders in Allen Craig, Daniel Nava and also have Jackie Bradley and Rusney Castillo in Triple-A. With all the heat general manager Ben Cherington took in the offseason for holding on to all those players, Olney said with other teams now desperate for depth, Cherington should get some praise. "Without a doubt we have to give some props to Ben Cherington for not rushing to trying to solve all the Red Sox logjam problems in the winter time," Olney said. "I know there were a lot of questions about that as they were adding guys. Well, who is the odd man out? When are they going to trade [Shane] Victorino? When are they going to trade Allen Craig? I think at the time when teams are just scrambling for solutions with depth ... the Red Sox have safety nets all over the place and I think that is going to help them."