Links: Buchholz, prospects and the schedule advantage

Clay Buchholz turned in a pretty good outing in his first start of 2009. Despite striking out just three batters, he showcased the stuff that has all of baseball asking for him at this year’s trade deadline. He used his fastball to good effect, and that changeup was quite effective; the curve, not so much. I think it’s pretty clear he belongs up here, so I fully expect Brad Penny to be dealt at the deadline.

There’s a nice prospect progress report by Michael Silverman here. He also highlights Ryan Westmoreland’s ascension after last year’s shoulder surgery. The Sox also signed 16-year old Jose Vicinio, a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic. Vicinio received a $1.95M deal. Boston is also expected to sign shortstop Jose Iglesias, according to the report. They are definitely taking this shortstop situation very seriously, but it’s up to Jed Lowrie to hold down the fort until one of these guys is ready.

The race is tightening up, and I don’t enjoy it any more than you do. But one piece of encouraging news: The Yankees face the 3rd toughest schedule in the second half according to Baseball Prospectus (based upon opponent’s winning percentage). The Rays have the 5th most difficult, while Boston is 8th in their degree of difficulty rankings.


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