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’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.

Rays place Austin Meadows on 10-day injured list with thumb sprain

Austin Meadows
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Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.

Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.

Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.

In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.