Clay Buchholz's MRI Wednesday revealed a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass.
The flexor pronator mass is a collection of muscles on the anterior of the forearm used for wrist and finger flexion.
Buchholz will get a second opinion Monday from Dr. James Andrews. It's never a good sign when the words "second opinion" and "Dr. James Andrews" are used in the same sentence.
No timetable has been given but this has the look of a lengthy DL stint for Buchholz.
Buchholz tried to pitch through the issue Tuesday night but eventually called out Phillies manager Pete Mackanin and trainer Scott Sheridan in the third inning. Buchholz had allowed six runs on eight hits over 2 1/3 innings and, as he put it, "wasn't doing the team any favors throwing what I was throwing at that point in time so I made the move."
It's been an ominous start to the season for Buchholz, who allowed 10 runs and 19 base runners over just 7 1/3 innings in his first two starts. He's the second-highest-paid Phillie this season at $13.5 million and is a free agent after the season.
Buchholz suffered a flexor strain in July 2015 with the Red Sox and missed the rest of the season. It's also the same injury Cliff Lee suffered the night of the trade deadline in 2014. Lee never pitched another game in the majors.
"I've been on the DL for an extended period of time, multiple times," Buchholz said Tuesday night. "It's nothing that you want to happen. For me, I've got to find out obviously what it is and then get it taken care of."
It's unclear who the Phillies will turn to in replacing Buchholz in the rotation. Mackanin said before the game there are "five capable starters" at Triple A, referring to Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta and Mark Appel.
Eflin and Thompson pitched for the Phillies last summer and both experienced highs and lows -- Eflin finished with a 5.54 ERA; Thompson had a 5.70 ERA.
Eflin was activated off the DL Tuesday night and pitched at Triple A Lehigh Valley, so he wouldn't have to shift his schedule if the Phillies turn to him. But they might want to see him pitch a few more games at Triple A first to show he's fully healthy after undergoing two knee surgeries late last season. Eflin pitched five shutout innings for the IronPigs but was a bit rusty with control, throwing 42 strikes among 70 pitches.
Another option for the Phillies would be to call up a reliever and skip the fifth spot in the rotation. The Phillies' off days Thursday and Monday would allow for that. However, the Phils have two pitchers in Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez who could use the extra day of rest -- Nola is coming off an elbow injury that cut short his 2016 season, and Velasquez needs to be built up gradually given the fact he's never exceeded 131 innings.