Buchholz Shut Down
Reliever Taylor Buchholz experienced tightness in his right elbow and was unable to complete a bullpen session Saturday, raising the possibility he might need Tommy John surgery that would sideline him about a year.
Managersaid Buchholz threw three or four pitches when the tightness in his elbow flared up. He threw 17 pitches, hoping the elbow would loosen up, and when it didn’t Buchholz halted his bullpen session.
Buchholz, who was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in spring training, possibly was going to be examined Saturday by Dr. Thomas Noonan, the Rockies medical director.
“We’re hopeful that Dr. Noonan will be here this afternoon,” manager Jim Tracy said. “And he’ll get together with our medical people and weigh the different options that are in front of us right now. And then we’ll go from there.”
One of those options would be Tommy John surgery involving a ligament transplant if it is determined Buchholz has a complete tear in ulnar collateral ligament.
Had he come through his bullpen session without a problem, Buchholz likely would have started a rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday or Wednesday with high Class A Modesto.
Tracy said Buchholz’s tightness was in the same area where he was bothered in late February in his only Cactus League appearance. Buchholz was then diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
That Buchholz experienced elbow problems Saturday was not a total surprise, based on the last time he took the mound Wednesday in Milwaukee.
“When he threw his last simulated game in Milwaukee, he threw the ball OK,” Tracy said. “But he did relay to us when he was finished with it that he had felt some tightness in he elbow but wasn’t overly alarmed at that time.”
For that reason, Tracy said, the decision was made to let Buchholz rest for a few days, see how his elbow responded and then attempt his bullpen session Saturday.