In his latest rough outing, Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and five walks Sunday in a 6-2 loss to the Rangers. Afterward, manager John Farrell was noncommittal about Buchholz making his next start, per Scott Lauber of ESPN.com, though he conceded that the team might not have a better option. As their depth chart shows, Triple-A possibilities include Roenis Elias, Henry Owens and Joe Kelly, though each has fared terribly in the majors this year. Buchholz, who has spent some time in the bullpen this season, has logged a 5.90 ERA, 6.13 K/9, 4.24 BB/9 and 41.2 percent ground-ball rate through 76 1/3 innings. Those numbers are all markedly worse than the 31-year-old’s career totals and especially the terrific production he put up in 2015.
More from Boston and a couple NL East cities:
- The Red Sox are scanning the trade market for help, but there are only five teams that have declared themselves sellers thus far as the Aug. 1 deadline nears, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Sunday. “It’s still a little early,” stated Dombrowski, who added that the Red Sox are “scuffling for positional players at this point.” (Twitter links via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald). Injuries have sapped the Sox of depth in left field, where Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young are all on the disabled list.
- Red-hot Braves starter Julio Teheran has drawn interest from starter-needy Boston, but Atlanta might be better off retaining the 25-year-old than trading him, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution argues. O’Brien points to Teheran’s age, ultra-palatable contract and the lack of quality starters set to hit free agency during the upcoming offseason as reasons for the rebuilding Braves to go forth with the right-hander, who has thrown 23 straight innings without allowing a run and has lowered his ERA to a stingy 2.46 through 106 frames. Teheran has also recorded career-best strikeout and walk rates per nine innings (8.41 and 2.04, respectively) to this point. ERA estimators like FIP (3.68), xFIP (4.00) and SIERA (3.72) aren’t quite buying his results, but Teheran has consistently outperformed those figures throughout his career.
- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin admitted Saturday that he’s in a bind with his team’s catchers, Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp. “That’s the hard part of about this job. You have to give up something to get something, and right now we need offense. At least right now, Cam offers more offense,” Mackanin told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “However, is it more important to guide the young pitcher and bring him along with some veteran experience?” With his .270/.306/.483 batting line and seven home runs in 183 plate appearances, the 27-year-old Rupp has been a bright spot in a toothless Phillies offense, though his 48:6 K:BB ratio doesn’t bode well going forward. However, while Mackanin’s worried about Rupp’s ability (or lack thereof) to aid his pitching staff, the backstop has graded well in the pitch-framing department this year. That’s not true of the 37-year-old Ruiz, who has also contributed to Philly’s offensive woes with a .219/.311/.333 line in 119 trips to the plate. Nevertheless, Mackanin is bullish on Ruiz’s game-calling abilities, notes Gelb.
- Mackanin had center fielder Odubel Herrera shag fly balls in right field prior to the Phillies’ game Saturday, but that doesn’t mean a position change is coming. “If he reads something into it, good,” said Mackanin (via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com). “Maybe he’ll think that he needs to do better. There’s nothing imminent. There’s no plans for me to move him out of there.” Notably, Herrera ranks last among qualified center fielders this year in Defensive Runs Saved (minus-7) and also grades poorly in Ultimate Zone Rating, but he has combated his fielding woes with a stellar .299/.392/.427 offensive showing and eight home runs through 319 PAs, also adding 41 walks against 58 strikeouts.