Phillies righty Clay Buchholz isn’t counting out a late-season return, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. He is currently in the early stages of recovery from surgery for a flexor tendon tear.
The idea of making it back in September seems to represent a rather optimistic scenario for the 32-year-old hurler. While his surgery is said to come with a four-to-six month recovery period, that doesn’t account for the the need to restart a throwing program.
Buchholz acknowledges that he was not operating at his peak even prior to the injury. As Zolecki notes, his velocity readings showed that. “I was probably throwing at 85 percent,” says Buchholz, “just trying to do what I was doing, get by and build arm strength.” Nevertheless, he insists, the injury arose suddenly.
The veteran starter says that he has apologized throughout the organization for being out, though surely he’s not at fault here. Still, the club seems unlikely to get much for its $13.5MM investment. Barring a surprising return late this year, odds are that Buchholz will not throw another pitch for the Phillies before he reaches free agency for the first time.
As for that upcoming open-market trip, Buchholz suggested he has every intention of returning. “I wanted to pitch,” says Buchholz. “I wanted to be good. … I definitely don’t think I’m done playing. I’ve stayed healthy for the most part. This is the first issue that has involved surgery for me.”
There’s plenty of time to see how the market shapes up, but Buchholz seems likely to represent a classic buy-low, back-of-the-rotation target. He has been excellent at times, including recently (in much of 2015 and late in 2016), though inconsistency and questions about his health will surely tamp down interest.
Ah, The annual Buchholz late season return hope-a-thon has moved to Philly!
if he ever would be healthy enough to pitch this year, they would just cut him unless the younger options have all hit innings limits or gotten hurt themselves. absolutely no reason for the phils to put him out there otherwise.
Darn good trade by Red Sox.
“I’ve stayed healthy for the most part.”
Oh, Clay. Clay, no…
I trust Clay more than the Sixers GM Colangelo
saw this coming, unfortunately. damn shame
Knowing that he is a free agent next season, Clay needs to show he is healthy in game action. Unfortunately for him, the Phillies have moved on and need to, especially by September. Efflin’s two starts have been head and shoulders better than the two dissasters started by Buchholtz. The Phils Klentak gambled on an April-June good showing to make a trade. Bad gamble. By September, the late season call ups will have priority over allowing Clay a “showcase” for other teams come 2018.