Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Clay Buchholz has undergone surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon. Buchholz has had an up-and-down career, but was looking to boost his stock with a full season in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, he is likely done for the season after just two largely unimpressive starts. He is expected to miss 4-6 months. Now, the two-time All-Star must rehab while also preparing for free agency at 32 years of age.
Clay Buchholz Suffers Setback
RHP Clay Buchholz had successful surgery today with Dr. James Andrews to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm.
— Phillies (@Phillies) April 18, 2017
Traded to Philadelphia
The Boston Red Sox made the decision to trade away Buchholz after acquiring Chris Sale via from the Chicago White Sox. Boston traded Buchholz for infielder Josh Tobias, and the Phillies agreed to pay all of Buchholz’s remaining $13.5 million salary. Buchholz was coming off of a 2016 season in which he made 37 appearances, 21 of which were starts, but he did not prove to be terribly effective last season. In 139.1 innings pitched, Buchholz posted a 4.78 ERA and surrendered 21 home runs. The gamble did not pay off for the Phillies front office, and now they must look to fill the gap left by the injury.
Buchholz played in parts of 10 seasons for the Red Sox to begin his career. There is no denying that he had loads of talent. His breakthrough came in 2010, when he made the American League All-Star team and finished sixth for the Cy Young Award. Buchholz finished that season with a 2.33 ERA and 17 wins in 28 starts.
The problem was Buchholz’s inability to post consecutive full seasons. He never made more than 20 starts in back-to-back seasons. Buchholz began 2013 with an unbelievable start, posting a 12-1 record with a 1.74 ERA to earn his second All-Star appearance. Unfortunately, he only contributed 16 starts in another injury-riddled campaign.
It is hard to paint a positive outlook for Buchholz at this time. There is no argument that he was once a very talented pitcher, but he could not stay healthy and struggled with consistency. Further compounding the problem is Buchholz’s growing ineffectiveness and his age. Now, he must wait to determine if any team will take a chance on him this offseason.