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Preview, #46: 5/20 @ Mets

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Clay Buchholz makes his D-backs debut

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NEW YORK METS
David Peralta - LF Brandon Nimmo - LF
Chris Owings - RF Jay Bruce - RF
Jake Lamb - 3B Wilmer Flores - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Michael Conforto - CF
Daniel Descalso - 2B Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
Jarrod Dyson - CF Luis Guillorme - 2B
Nick Ahmed - SS Tomas Nido - C
Jeff Mathis - C Noah Syndergaard - RHP
Clay Buchholz - RHP Amed Rosario - SS

Today’s starter for the Diamondbacks is not a man you would have expected to see in an Arizona uniform by mid-May, but the combination of injuries (Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray) and ineffectiveness (Kris Medlen and not-Kris-Medlen-but-still-not-good-enough, a.k.a. Troy Scribner) have forced Arizona into this situation. Clay Buchholz is best known for his time with the Boston Red Sox. He spent a decade with them, from his debut in 2007, through 2016, and was a two-time All-Star there, in 2010 and 2013. He made an immediate impression, throwing a no-hitter for the Sox in his second start, against the Orioles on September 1, 2007 - the third pitcher with a no-hitter so early in his career.

His best season were the two ones were he was an All-Star. Buchholz won 17 games in 2010, with a 2.33 ERA and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting. He got a four-year, $30 million deal from Boston the following April, with two option years. He started the season even stronger in 2013, going 9-0 in a dozen starts, with a 1.71 ERA before a neck strain cost him most of the second half. Still, he finished the year 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA. Thereafter, however, he was never quite as effective and over his last three seasons with Boston (2014-16), he had a 92 ERA+ and was moved to the bullpen in his final year. He was traded to the Phillies in December 2016, but underwent surgery in April on his right forearm.

This spring, he signed a minor-league deal with the Royals, but that had a get-out clause if he was not added to the active roster. Buchholz exercised that clause at the start of May, and the Diamondbacks added him to their AAA roster. All told, he has made four minor-league starts at that level this year, throwing 23 innings with an ERA of 3.52 and a somewhat wobbly K:BB of 14:10. At this point, after the way the last ten games have gone - the Diamondbacks going 1-9 in that time, yet still somehow holding on to first place in the National League West - I’ve basically turned into the embodiment of the shrug emoji. Things can’t really get any worse, can they?