When the diagnosis of a partial tear to Clay Buchholz flexor tendon was announced, nobody figured to see him back on the mound anytime soon. On Tuesday, Buchholz underwent surgery to repair the damage - rather than trying to rest and rehab like Cliff Lee had chosen to do - and the prognosis is now official; four to six months. That makes best case scenario for Buchholz to be back somewhere right around the trade deadline, but it's also possible that he could be lost for the season.
Either way, Zach Eflin gets first crack at his spot in the rotation, and makes his 2017 MLB debut tonight in New York against the Mets. Eflin was officially recalled, also taking Buchholz' roster spot. Buchholz was initially placed on the 10-day DL, but will likely be shifted to the 60-day if the Phillies need another spot on the 40-man roster. Right now, there is one opening on the 40-man roster because of the 80-game suspension given to Elniery Garcia.
This stint on the DL marks the seventh time in Buchholz' career that he has been on the DL for ailments including a torn finger nail, left hamstring strain, a lower back strain, a stomach illness, neck strain, hyper-extended left knee and a right elbow strain.
Buchholz was acquired during the offseason in exchange for minor league infielder Josh Tobias, who is at High-A Salem in the Red Sox organization and is batting .380 with two home runs, 10 RBI, a .446 on-base percentage and a .600 slugging percentage.