Clay Buchholz to start Tuesday in Tampa. Who's out of the rotation?

Jim Rogash

Clay Buchholz is ready to make his return to action for the Red Sox. But whose spot will he be taking in Boston's rotation?

The Red Sox have made it official: Clay Buchholz will start on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays if no problems arise during his upcoming bullpen session.

It's been a long wait for the Red Sox and their fans, but the team has done better than just survived, establishing themselves as the clear leaders in the American League East with an 8.5 game lead over their closest competition in the Tampa Bay Rays. Still, with the playoffs on the horizon, the Sox will welcome back the man who pitched to an outstanding 1.71 ERA in the early months of the year.

What's not entirely clear is who Clay Buchholz will be replacing. While many have anticipated his return as the end of the struggling Ryan Dempster's season, there's an argument to be made for removing Felix Doubront instead. The young left-hander ran into something of a wall in 2012 as he approached his previous height in innings pitched,, and while he's managed to go beyond that previous high in 2013, there are signs that he's wearing down once again.

If so, that would not be the end of the world. Young pitchers often take a while to build up the stamina to pitch 200 innings, and even after his last performance Doubront has certainly taken a significant step forward. But at this point his development might be best-served by a break, while the Sox can certainly afford to run Dempster out there a few more times.

Giving Doubront some time off could also potentially insure the Sox against an imperfect return for Buchholz. While right now neither Doubront or Dempster would need to feature in a four-man postseason rotation, if Buchholz has lost it in the intervening months, then having a rested Doubront ready to pitch in the playoffs would certainly be the next best option. Hopefully that scenario never arises, but it doesn't hurt to plan.

Read more Red Sox:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Over the Monster

You must be a member of Over the Monster to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Over the Monster. You should read them.

Join Over the Monster

You must be a member of Over the Monster to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Over the Monster. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker