NEW YORK (AP) - 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 Phillies also placed outfielder Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right abdominal strain, retroactive to April 16, in a move announced about an hour before the game.
Buchholz, a two-time All-Star, last pitched a week ago in Philadelphia, allowing six runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 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.
Kendrick, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November, was hitting .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBI in 10 games this season. The 33-year-old Kendrick last appeared in a game on Saturday at Washington.
In a corresponding move, Philadelphia selected the contract of right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old is 27-22 with a 3.38 ERA in 95 career minor league games, all in the Phillies’ organization. A 22nd-round draft pick in 2013, Leiter allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in two appearances for Lehigh Valley this season. His father, Mark Leiter Sr., pitched for the Phillies from 1997-98. They would become the second father-son pair to play for the Phillies.
Ruben Amaro Sr. played for the club from 1960-65 and former Phillies General Manager and current Boston Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr. suited up for Philadelphia from 1992-93 and then again from 1996-98.
The Phillies also 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.
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