0 thoughts on “Trade Value: Chamberlain and Buchholz

  1. This is where it sometimes helps to have context with statistics. While everything you wrote is correct — Chamberlain has slightly better peripherals over a slightly higher innings workload — it is worth mentioning that Buchholz’s emergence as a starter began last year at approximately the same time that Chamberlain’s horrible regression began.

    I would argue that Buchholz’s 2008 results (horrible) precipitated a need for him to return to AAA-Pawtucket where he re-discovered trust in his fastball and refined his off-speed stuff (as well as took a mental break). Buchholz earned his way back to Boston and I expect him to pitch as effectively in 2010 as he did at the end of 2009.

    On the other hand, I’ve been arguing for months that Chamberlain needed to go through the same demotion as Buchholz, going back to AAA-Scranton to work on his FB location, refine his breaking stuff and take a mental break from a steady diet of failure. The minor leagues are clearly beneath Chamberlain from a talent perspective but if he’s sent there to work on things like location, pitch pattern, stamina/efficiency, it doesn’t matter that he’s facing sub-optimal talent. It’s about the work he does and not about the numbers themselves.

    Although the numbers seem to show that Buchholz and Chamberlain are equals, I think contextually they are in slightly different places right now and that Buchholz has slightly more value given the fact that he’s had more recent success among the two young pitchers.

  2. Good piece, Moshe. I would give Joba a slight edge because his upside is higher and he’s a year younger. But its very close

  3. I can’t think of one person right now that can say Joba’s upside is more than that of Buchholz. I mean Joba did have great stuff as a starter once upon a time and if that ever comes back then we have a conversation but what I saw last year was Buchholz throwing harder than Chamberlain a lot of times and in much better control of secondary pitches, right now it’s easy Buchholz has way more trade value the only difference between the two teams is Montero because the Red Sox can’t counter with a position player as good.

  4. Moshe Mandel: He meant that due to the schedule, you only need 4 guys until May, at which point you bring Joba back.  

    I don’t trust Hughes as my number 4 starter and would much rather have a veteran for that role and allow Hughes to be the 5th starter we don’t have to use until May and we bring Joba in when he is ready and not because we have to.

  5. MJ: Correct, my mistake. I briefly confused him for Lester. He’s a RHP.

    I never specified what pitches of Buchholz’s I considered plus pitches. His changeup is a plus-plus offering, as is his curveball.

    From Baseball America’s scouting report of Boston’s top-10 prospects in 2008:

    “Buchholz has a low-90s fastball that tops out at 95 mph, and it’s his third-best pitch. His 12-to-6 curveball and his changeup both rate as 70s on the 20-80 scouting scale and are better than any on Boston’s big league staff. With terrific athleticism and hand speed, he uses an overhand delivery to launch curves that drop off the table. He’ll also mix in a handful of sliders during a game, and that’s a plus pitch for him at times.”

    Actually you did

    MJ:Both pitchers have plus velocity

    As I stated above I don’t consider a fastball that is average 90-93 MPH to be of “plus velocity” and in face I believe it to be pedestrian from the right side… If Chamberlain can’t get his velocity up he is an average starter at best, Clay doesn’t need the plus velocity because he has such good movement and his 2-seam fastball is great. Joba on the other hand does need to the plus velocity (93-96+ MPH) in order to make his stuff special.

    I didn’t say that you said his fastball was a plus pitch I was simply remarking on the fact you said his fastball has “plus velocity” which he doesn’t and at the current moment neither does Joba.

    I agree that Clay has a very good change and his curve is very nasty but that doesn’t mean he has plus velocity he doesn’t… but he doesn’t need it to be good like Joba does.