Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on? - Fantasy Baseball Cafe 2014 Fantasy Baseball Cafe
100% Deposit Bonus for Cafe Members!

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby NikkiSixx » Sun May 12, 2013 12:51 pm

I'm a huge Clay Buchholz fan in terms of fantasy baseball. Why? Because I feel like he is a good pitcher that is always available at a massively discounted price with a good amount of upside. This year its paying huge dividends so far. I'm upset that a couple leagues I just missed out on him when I had him targeted with my next pick in the 18th round or so. I have him in most of my leagues though just like I do every year.


There seems to be a love or hate feeling toward Clay on these forums. You either love Clay because you spent a late round flyer on him (or 1 dollar in an auction) and you are getting one of the top pitchers in baseball through the first 6 weeks. Or you hate him because you just expect mediocre numbers with a mediocre K/9. Oh yeah and those people also think his 2010 was completely lucky, as was his last few starts in 2011 before getting hurt, as was his 2012 season from June on after he figured out his change-up... All luck, just like his first few starts in 2013.... Oh wait... nevermind now he is doctoring the baseball.... And getting lucky.



Either way, you are either on one side of the fence or the other. While it may be wise to sell high on Clay for a top player if you can because it's the logical thing to do, he may not slow down as much as some might think. Since being accused of doctoring the baseball a couple weeks ago he's had 2 starts. Both not jaw dropping, but helpful starts. You may also want to note that his +fastball, +change-up, and +curveball have looked just as good as it usually does. I expect his numbers from June on in 2012 to be his numbers for the rest of the season. Definitely a good fantasy pitcher to own while it isn't nearly as good as his numbers are right now. He isn't Justin Verlander or Clayton Kershaw by any means, and he shouldn't be expected to be. But don't expect Clay Buchholz to go down to pedestrian numbers like most think he is going to because.... Well I'm not really sure why anybody is expecting that. He has always been a good pitcher with a low K rate in the majors.



Before spitball accusations this year:
6 GS, 44.2 innings, 6-0, 1.01 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 47 K's

After spitball accusations this year
2 GS, 14 innings, 0-0, 3.85 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 13 K's


He is definitely worth monitoring. Nobody could expect him to maintain his superhuman numbers from the first 6 starts, but I am very confident that he will NOT fall flat on his face. He isn't a guy that came out of nowhere and he has always had good stuff.


I didn't see any Clay Buchholz threads... I looked. I figured he is a guy that deserves to have one given his hot start and controversial spitball accusations.


My 2013 outlook on Clay Buchholz from now until the end of the season...

25 GS, 150 IP, 11-6, 3.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 130 K's
NikkiSixx
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Response TeamPick 3 Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 2586
(Past Year: 432)
Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: 1st place!

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby wingman3110 » Sun May 12, 2013 1:12 pm

Took him with my last pick in the draft, round 22, so I will ride the pony for as long as I can ;-D
"Just be you. You is enough." - Coach K
wingman3110
Major League Manager
Major League Manager

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 1547
(Past Year: 123)
Joined: 8 Jun 2007
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby OBPlover » Sun May 12, 2013 2:25 pm

I don't think the spitball accusations matter a lick ( pardon the pun).

He was due for some correcting..no pitcher is going to ever finish a season again with a sub 1.00 ERA or probably even sub 2.00 ERA for a full season anymore.Some batted ball luck will and close calls on strikes will always matter.

The key stat about Bucholtz is his Hr% or HR/9 which is otherworldly, 1 Hr in almost 60 innings. Even in these last 2 so called bad starts, he was nickled and dimed (I watched the game against the Jays as a Jays fan). I can't expect that kind of Hr% to last all season but if he does keep those balls in the ballpark, he just may turn into Johnny Cueto. (See Johnny CUeto, for a guy with underwhelming K/BB rates and great HR% rates and very good success).

That's why everyone thought Johnny Cueto would fail last year but he didn't and it's why Bucholtz may just be for real. I anticipate he will win at least 15 games and have a sub 3.00 ERA by season's end.
OBPlover
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 628
(Past Year: 135)
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby Ender » Sun May 12, 2013 2:27 pm

I believe he was cheating to get those good stats and that he is probably about the pitcher he has shown in his career. High 3 ERA, bad WHIP and like 7 K/9. So to me he is a pitch or ditch type of guy once his hot streak is over. I do believe he will keep a favorable ERA vs xFIP though, he has done it for his career and that is the trap people fall into with someone like Lohse or Cueto, just not believing they can sustain that.

I also believe in riding the hot streak so no reason to dump him yet. He is a super easy sell high for me though,none of this looks sustainable at all to me. Since he got called out and had to stop cheating his line is about what I expect.

3.86 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, with less than a K/9.

Having said that is final line is going to look great with that tacked on the rest of the way so he'll be on my avoid list next season as well.
Ender
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

CafeholicFantasy Expert
Posts: 7733
Joined: 30 Apr 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby OBPlover » Sun May 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Ender wrote:I believe he was cheating to get those good stats and that he is probably about the pitcher he has shown in his career. High 3 ERA, bad WHIP and like 7 K/9. So to me he is a pitch or ditch type of guy once his hot streak is over. I do believe he will keep a favorable ERA vs xFIP though, he has done it for his career and that is the trap people fall into with someone like Lohse or Cueto, just not believing they can sustain that.

I also believe in riding the hot streak so no reason to dump him yet. He is a super easy sell high for me though,none of this looks sustainable at all to me. Since he got called out and had to stop cheating his line is about what I expect.

3.86 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, with less than a K/9.

Having said that is final line is going to look great with that tacked on the rest of the way so he'll be on my avoid list next season as well.


"called out" laugh...every one accusing him has already apologized. Not a shred of evidence that he cheated in any way to get that hot start. Just coincidence he struggled a little bit in his next start. And his struggle he still got 9 K's vs 2 walks which wasn't too bad.
OBPlover
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 628
(Past Year: 135)
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby BJSFAN123 » Sun May 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Apparently he was possibly using this sunscreen spray on stuff

"Two veteran pitchers and one source close to the Red Sox told Yahoo! Sports that about 90 percent of major league pitchers use some form of spray-on sunscreen – almost always BullFrog brand – that when combined with powdered rosin gives them a far superior grip on the ball."

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/it-s-alway ... 53962.html

He was just being way too obvious.
BJSFAN123
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar

Posts: 2352
Joined: 6 May 2007
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby cordscords » Sun May 12, 2013 4:45 pm

The K/9 is definitely going to come back to earth. His velocity hasn't changed from last year, his SwStr% is around career norms, and he's throwing fewer pitches in the zone.

However, Jack Moore over at FanGraphs writes:

So what’s new? Via last night’s Blue Jays broadcast, Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said Buchholz’s biggest difference is improved fastball command. And indeed, the numbers (via BrooksBaseball.net) bear this out: Buchholz has thrown his four-seam fastball for a called strike 27.5 percent of the time this year after just 22.8 percent in 2012. Conversely, the pitch has seen a similar drop in in-play rate. Considering Buchholz has allowed a .537 slugging on contact on the pitch for his career — the worst by over 100 points for any pitch he still throws — the fewer four-seam fastballs put in play the better.

By keeping the fastballs on the corners, something he did proficiently Wednesday night, he’ll turn what used to be balls in play into called strikes or foul balls. He has thrown the fastball for a strike but not in play 51.8 percent of the time this year, six points higher than last season. And, with 160 four-seam fastballs thrown already this season, this difference is already statistically significant (in a 90 percent confidence interval, to be specific).

His HR/FB won’t stay grounded at 3.7 percent, but keeping fastballs out of play will keep it from escalating too quickly. It’s especially key because he needs to be able to throw the fastball to get into favorable counts — it’s his best-controlled pitch at about 68 percent strikes the last two seasons, slightly better than the two-seamer and much better than his off-speed options.

And thanks to those fastball strikes, Buchholz has been in plenty of two-strike counts. The next question, then, is which pitch will be the out pitch. His curveball has been shockingly bad at drawing whiffs — under 10 percent since 2007, close to the major league fastball average — and that hasn’t changed this year. But his changeup, at least in 2013, has been an elite swing-and-miss pitch. Of the 74 Buchholz has tossed, hitters have waved at 20, a massive 27 percent.

As mentioned above, Buchholz’s changeup has been heralded in the past; a 70 grade is frontline material. But he was struggling mightily with the pitch last season, so much so that he scrapped it for a splitter Josh Beckett taught him after he threw the pitch for a ball nearly 50 percent of the time in April last season.

That arsenal change didn’t take as the calendar flipped to 2013. Buchholz had little trouble drawing swings and misses when he used the changeup in 2012 — 18.9 percent is still an excellent mark for a changeup — and his control issues have disappeared. Buchholz threw 13 changeups Wednesday night with nine (69 percent) going for strikes, and his 63 percent overall strike rate works fine for a pitch designed to fool hitters. The pitch has been devastating to left-handers and right-handers alike, with whiff rates over 20 percent to both sides. It’s been so good, he’s put the splitter back in the toolbox, leaving it as a side project for bullpen sessions.

Things will come back to earth. Buchholz’s changeup probably won’t finish with a higher whiff rate than Aroldis Chapman‘s slider (currently at 24.4 percent). Teams will tag his fastball for a few home runs. But Buchholz has already thrown enough fastballs to suggest his control and command of the pitch have improved this year, and his changeup has been a highly regarded pitch dating back to his time in Double-A. If he can maintain even a fraction of the improvements he’s shown over his first five starts with these two pitches, the Red Sox can expect Buchholz to finally step into his frontline potential.


In addition there are 2 big things that I can take away from looking at his stats:

#1. Big leap in first pitch strikes. This started last year and really amplified in June. Getting ahead in the count has made a huge difference for Clay.

#2. Big Decline in Swing %. Jack notes Buchholz has done a good job painting corners, but it's also been the movement on his pitches landing anywhere in the strike zone. You know how a batter will admit he was fooled by shaking his head after a swinging strike? I've seen more head shakes, deep breaths, and other assorted dejected body language from hitters on called strikes. Clays pitches are dancing. Pitch looks likes it's outside the plate, and breaks into the strike zone at the last possible moment. This is where the the doctoring accusations become really interesting IMO.

I'd like to see 3-4 more starts before making a firm declaration on his outlook for the rest of the season. If I had to make a decision right now, I'd sell high if possible. When in doubt don't trust a 6 week sample size. I'm a little more pessimistic on the WHIP and K/9 then you are, but the ERA looks good which still makes him a solid starter.
Last edited by cordscords on Sun May 12, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
cordscords
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Mock(ing) Drafter
Posts: 4346
(Past Year: 23)
Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby Ender » Sun May 12, 2013 4:45 pm

Yeah he was very obviously cheating, I don't know how anyone can really defend him. It is just a question of how much it helped and how much was him.
Ender
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

CafeholicFantasy Expert
Posts: 7733
Joined: 30 Apr 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby bayside » Sun May 12, 2013 6:41 pm

Agree with Ender on this one.
Id be shocked if he was a top 20 SP from this point forward.
bayside
Major League Manager
Major League Manager


Posts: 1344
Joined: 14 Jul 2011
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: WHOOOOOS got it better than us?

Re: Clay Buchholz: What side of the fence are you on?

Postby NikkiSixx » Sun May 12, 2013 7:27 pm

Ender wrote:Yeah he was very obviously cheating, I don't know how anyone can really defend him. It is just a question of how much it helped and how much was him.

Not saying he wasn't cheating but where is the proof? I can say Stephen Strasburg is very obviously cheating.... Doesn't make it true with no proof.
NikkiSixx
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Response TeamPick 3 Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 2586
(Past Year: 432)
Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: 1st place!

Next

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: scarnicease and 7 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Today's Games
Friday, Sep. 19
(All times are EST, weather icons show forecast for game time)

LA Dodgers at Chi Cubs
(2:20 pm)
Boston at Baltimore
(7:05 pm)
Toronto at NY Yankees
(7:05 pm)
Milwaukee at Pittsburgh
(7:05 pm)
Washington at Miami
(7:10 pm)
indoors
Chi White Sox at Tampa Bay
(7:10 pm)
indoors
NY Mets at Atlanta
(7:35 pm)
Cleveland at Minnesota
(8:10 pm)
Detroit at Kansas City
(8:10 pm)
Seattle at Houston
(8:10 pm)
Arizona at Colorado
(8:10 pm)
Cincinnati at St. Louis
(8:15 pm)
Philadelphia at Oakland
(9:35 pm)
Texas at LA Angels
(10:05 pm)
San Francisco at San Diego
(10:10 pm)

  • Fantasy Baseball
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact