Blue Jays: Clay Buchholz expected to start Saturday versus Rays

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 22: Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a warm up pitch during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Chase Field on August 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Angels 5-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 22: Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a warm up pitch during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Chase Field on August 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Angels 5-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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According to John Lott of the Athletic, pitcher Clay Buchholz will be activated from the injured list and make his Blue Jays debut on Saturday versus the Tampa Bay Rays.

Clay Buchholz is recovering from a flexor strain in his pitching elbow that he suffered last September while a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Blue Jays inked the veteran hurler to a $3 million dollar pact at the beginning of March hopeful that he would be healthy enough to shore up the rotation.

Buchholz made a rehab start in Buffalo on Sunday surrendering four home runs in five innings of work for the Bisons. Buchholz felt positive about the start regardless of the gopher balls.

"“When you miss, that’s what hitters get paid to do, I fully expect that. But overall, I came out of it healthy, felt good, got to my pitch count (70) and threw some good pitches. I feel ready, usually, the last thing that comes is being able to throw all your pitches for strikes and I’ve been able to do that over the last three times out."

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The 34-year old reasserted himself as a force to be reckoned with last season in Arizona. Buchholz made 16 starts going 7-2 with an impressive 2.01 earned run average while fanning 81 in 98.1 innings of work in 2018. The hurler also posted a 3.2 WAR last season, so there is potential for him to be a real bargain for the Blue Jays if he can recapture his desert magic.

Buchholz is best known for his decade pitching in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox from 2007 through to 2016. The former first-round pick sports a career 88-64 record with a 3.86 earned run average and an18.2 career WAR in 224 MLB games.

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Buchholz will join a Jays rotation that has pitched very well thus far in the season, he will likely swap out Thomas Pannone on Saturday for his first contest north of the border.