After the game, Buchholz sounded confident in his abilities and ready to put last year's difficult season completely behind him: “There’s no doubt in my mind I know I have the physical ability to do anything I want to do in this game. It’s a lot harder than a lot of people think it is as far as the mental side of the game. That’s where I had to build a lot on this offseason, talking to people and listening to what their past experiences were as a big leaguer back in the day or even now guys on this team. It was a struggle for last year but at the same time I learned a lot from it and I definitely know when I get in a certain situation this year I’ll know what I need to get through.”
Throughout the off season, Buchholz saw a sports psychologist to help him move beyond a difficult year and focus on the mental challenges he faces on the mound. In what is a very small sample this spring, it seems to have worked. Buchholz appears comfortable and more confident on the mound. Let's hope they tell Pedroia to not zing Clay too hard about seeing a psychologist...because you know he's dying to jump all over him about it.
Most believe Clay will start the season in Triple A regardless, and barring any injuries, I can't say I disagree. Building on some of this momentum will only help in his long term development. The question I have in my mind however, is that if Buchholz continues to improve and throw well, do the Red Sox try to move him at a high value come the trade deadline this summer? I think it'll depend on injuries and offensive production. Anything can happen from now until late July, but early signs point to an improved Clay Buchholz, which is certainly not a bad thing.