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Former Red Sox Clay Buchholz could miss rest of season after surgery

  • Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (21) throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson) Laurence Kesterson



Associated Press
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NEW YORK — Phillies right-hander Clay Buchholz had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm Tuesday, and could miss the rest of the season.

The 32-year-old was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 15 prior to the club’s series opener against the New York Mets. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews, and Buchholz now faces an estimated recovery time of four to six months.

“Probably out for the season, obviously, with the surgery today,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “I don’t know for a fact whether he can come back at the end of the year but what did they say, four to six months or something? It’s too bad but fortunately we’ve got pretty good inventory at Triple-A.”

The two-time All-Star last pitched a week ago in Philadelphia, allowing six runs and eight hits in 2⅓ innings against the Mets before the injury forced him to exit the game. An MRI the following day revealed a partial tear of the right flexor pronator mass. Buchholz then visited Dr. Andrews on Monday for a second opinion before opting for surgery.

Buchholz spent his first 10 seasons with the Boston Red Sox before he was traded to Philadelphia in December for minor leaguer Josh Tobias.

In the final year of a contract that pays him $13.5 million this season, Buchholz is 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA in two starts with the Phillies.

Over his career, he is 81-62 with a 4.01 ERA, including a 17-win campaign in 2010. The former first round draft pick played a major role in Boston’s 2013 world championship run, going 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts and pitching four innings of one-run ball in Game 4 of the World Series in St. Louis.

The Phillies recalled right-hander Zach Eflin from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Buchholz in the rotation. Eflin was 3-5 with a 5.54 ERA in 11 starts, including two complete games, last year during an injury-shortened rookie season in which he underwent separate surgeries to repair the patellar tendon in each knee.

“He had the experience and he pitched up here last year,” Mackanin said. “Eflin seemed to be the logical choice.”

The 23-year-old threw 10 scoreless innings with Single-A Clearwater and Lehigh Valley earlier this month, and is scheduled to start Tuesday night against the Mets.