The Phillies’ plans to move a veteran starting pitcher at the trade deadline were hindered Wednesday for the second straight April after an MRI exam showed an injury that could end Clay Buchholz’ season.
The Phillies said that Buchholz suffered a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass, which connects the forearm to the elbow. The pitcher left the game in the third inning Tuesday night after allowing six runs. Buchholz, 32, will meet with surgeon James Andrews on Monday for a second opinion, which the Phillies said will determine a “further course of treatment.”
Buchholz had a similar injury in 2015 and missed the final three months of the season. He elected against surgery that summer, but the recurrence may not give Buchholz a choice this time. He spent time on the disabled list in six of the last 10 seasons.
“Nobody in a big-league clubhouse wants to be hurt,” Buchholz said. “You’re here for a reason. You’re here to play baseball. You’re here to win. Whenever you’re not able to do that, it’s frustrating, especially being a guy that’s been hurt multiple times. I’ve been on the DL for an extended period of time, multiple times. It’s nothing that you want to happen. For me, I’ve got to find out, obviously, what it is and then get it taken care of.”
Buchholz, who will earn $13.5 million this season in the final year of his contract, was acquired in December from Boston for minor-league infielder Josh Tobias.
The low-risk move — a salary dump for the Red Sox — was similar to the one the Phillies made before last season when they acquired Charlie Morton from Pittsburgh. The Phillies assumed the pitcher’s salary in hopes that the veteran would regain his form and the club could trade him in July for prospects. Morton suffered a torn hamstring last April in his fourth start of the season. Buchholz made two starts. Pitchers, the Phillies have learned, often break. The Phillies still have in their rotation Jeremy Hellickson, whom they will try to trade at the deadline.
Buchholz allowed 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings. If his season is finished, he earned roughly $97,826 per pitch. His spot in the starting rotation will be filled by one of the five righthanded prospects at triple A, with Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, and Nick Pivetta being the favorites.
The Phillies recalled Luis Garcia from triple A on Wednesday afternoon after optioning lefthander Adam Morgan after Tuesday’s loss to the Mets. … The Phillies are off on Thursday before starting a six-game road trip with a three-game series in Washington. Aaron Nola, Jeremy Hellickson, and Jerad Eickhoff will pitch for the Phillies, who will face Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark, and Gio Gonzalez.