MRI reveals partial tear for Buchholz

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Buchholz called the coaching staff to the mound during the third inning of Tuesday’s 14-4 loss to the Mets before being removed from the game in just his seventh frame in a Phillies uniform. In 7 1/3 innings, Buchholz has a 12.27 ERA and 2.59 WHIP.

The 32-year-old was sidelined in 2015 with a strained flexor tendon and missed the last 2 1/2 months of the season, although he did sustain a setback during rehab.

If Buchholz misses significant time, the Phillies’ ability to trade him decreases dramatically, if it’s not taken off the table completely. Not many contending teams would give up a prospect for a pitcher with an injury-filled career coming off yet another injury.

This leaves the No. 3 spot in the rotation open, but the Phillies have one of the deepest pitching rotations in the Minor Leagues at Triple-A Lehigh Valley that includes two pitchers that made at least 10 starts in the big leagues in 2016.

“We’ve got five starters in Triple-A that any one of them can come fill in,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before the MRI results were revealed on Wednesday.

Mackanin talks loss to Mets

Zach Eflin (11 starts, 5.54 ERA in 2016) is one option for the Phillies. He pitched well in his first start for Lehigh Valley on Tuesday after rehabbing double-knee surgery this offseason. In Spring Training, he said the knees weren’t bothering him for the first time in a decade.

Jake Thompson (10 starts, 5.70 ERA in 2016) is also an alternative after spending the final two months of last season in the Majors.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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