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.
In 2016, late pitcher Roy Halladay was asked if he would prefer to wear a Blue Jays or Phillies cap on his plaque if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Per Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star, Halladay said, “I’d go as a Blue Jay.” He added, “I wanted to retire here, too, just because I felt like this is the bulk of my career.”
Obviously, circumstances have changed as Halladay tragically died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida in November 2017. Halladay was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, becoming the first player to be posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility since Christy Mathewson in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year.
Today, Arash Madani reports that Halladay’s wife Brandy said her late husband will not wear a cap with the emblem of either team on his plaque. He will instead be portrayed with a generic baseball cap. Brandy said, “He was a Major League Baseball player and that’s how we want him to be remembered.”
Halladay spent 16 years in the majors, 12 with the Blue Jays and four with the Phillies. He meant a lot to both teams. He was a six-time All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003 with the Jays. He won the NL Cy Young in 2010 with the Phillies and was a runner-up for the award in 2011, making the All-Star team both years and helping the Phillies continue their streak of reaching the postseason, which lasted from 2007-11. Halladay authored a perfect game in the regular season against the Marlins and a no-hitter in the postseason against the Reds as a member of the Phillies in 2010 as well.
In aggregate, Halladay won 203 games with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings during his storied 16-year career which was unfortunately cut a bit short by injuries.