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The Los Angeles Dodgers got horrendous injury news on their ace Walker Buehler
Prior to their matchup in San Francisco on Saturday, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed their ace Walker Buehler on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain.
After the Dodgers’ loss to the Giants, manager Dave Roberts told the media (including Juan Toribio of MLB.com) that Buehler will not pick up a baseball for six to eight weeks.
But it will be even longer than that for the Dodgers and their ace.
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler may return from the IL in September
Since Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler will not pick up a baseball for six to eight weeks, he will have to ramp up his strength and stamina. As a result, Buehler likely won’t return to MLB games until “[s]ometime in September,” according to Toribio.
Buehler, who turns 28 next month, was having an excellent season until his last three starts. In his last three starts, his ERA had ballooned from 2.91 to 4.02. He didn’t pitch in more than four innings in either of his June starts, combining to go 6.1 innings while allowing nine hits and eight runs for an ERA of 11.37.
For the Dodgers in 2021, Buehler went 16-4 with an ERA of 2.47 in an MLB-leading 33 starts. That ERA was third in the NL and he came in fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting after totaling 207.2 innings while allowing fewer than one baserunner per inning (0.968 WHIP, which was fourth in the NL).
Buehler had a 3.38 ERA in his two NLDS starts for the Dodgers last year but he struggled in the NLCS as he had a 7.04 ERA in his two starts against the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, they activated Clayton Kershaw off of the IL on Saturday so he will, essentially, replace Buehler in the rotation but if both are healthy, Buehler is the more dominant pitcher now for the Dodgers.
It will be very important that the Dodgers have both of them be healthy for the postseason because, otherwise, despite their regular-season success, they could fall the way of the Dodger teams in a non-pandemic season: coming up a day late and a dollar short in the playoffs.