You wouldn't expect it of a team carrying over five rotation members from the year before, but the Red Sox might just have the most interesting rotation in baseball. Clay Buchholz is a perfect example of why it's so interesting: uncertainty. Each man in Boston's rotation is capable of producing a great season, or a real disaster.
That's to be expected, of course, when the entire rotation entered 2013 as a giant question mark coming off of disappointing performances and proceeded to rebound. Certainly, it's better to be coming off of a good season than a bad one, but those radar blips lurk too close by to be forgotten. And Clay Buchholz? His is the most recent of them all.
It's not just that Clay Buchholz struggled in 2012. He did, but for the most part showed he could still pitch well before the Red Sox even turned that terrible page. No, the problem is what left him struggling in the first place, and what kept his 2013 performance from being worthy of Cy Young consideration: injury. It was the back in 2011, carrying over into early 2012, and a mysterious lingering neck ailment in 2013. The question is simple: can Clay Buchholz stay healthy?
If he can, well, we've seen what he's capable of. Hell, last year we saw that even 2010 wasn't necessarily him at his best. But if he can't, or if he struggles in his return as he did to start 2012, it could be another tedious season.
What will it be?