Clay Buchholz
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Clay Buchholz won’t pitch again in 2018

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Diamondbacks right-hander Clay Buchholz is done for the year, according to postgame comments made by club manager Torey Lovullo on Friday. Buchholz experienced a bout of right elbow stiffness prior to a scheduled start on Thursday and was officially diagnosed with a flexor strain after undergoing an MRI the next day. An exact timeline for the right-hander’s return to the rotation was not outlined by the skipper, though it’s conceivable that he could start throwing again by spring training if all goes well during his recovery over the offseason.

Complicating matters, naturally, is Buchholz’s history of injuries, particularly the torn flexor tendon that cost him all but two games of the 2017 season. While he may not require surgery to fix his current injury, the Diamondbacks clearly have a good reason to play it safe with one of their most consistent starters. Until Thursday’s incident, the 33-year-old had been closing in on some career-best numbers after turning in a 7-2 record in 16 starts with a solid 2.01 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, 7.4 SO/9, and 2.0 fWAR through 98 1/3 innings.

Buchholz will leave behind a rotation that currently ranks seventh-best in the majors with a collective 3.77 ERA and 14.6 fWAR in 2018. Per MLB.com’s Alyson Footer, the club is expected to utilize one of two right-handed options in Buchholz’s absence: rookie Matt Koch, who covered for the righty on Thursday and currently owns a 4.48 ERA and 1.264 WHIP in 78 1/3 innings, or reliever Matt Andriese, who was brought over from the Rays prior to the July trade deadline and struggled to a 7.31 ERA and 1.688 WHIP in his first 16 frames with the club.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.