Los Angeles Dodgers starter Walker Buehler will have season-ending elbow surgery next week

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ faint hopes of having Walker Buehler in their postseason rotation ended Monday when it was announced their ace pitcher would need season-ending elbow surgery.

The Dodgers were vague in their description of Buehler’s injury because an initial MRI didn’t provide enough clarity, a source with knowledge of the situation said. The Dodgers won’t know the details until Dr. Neal ElAttrache will conduct the procedure on August 23.

What they do know, however, is that their quest for a World Series title will be without their most talented pitcher.

The Dodgers have the highest win rate and lowest ERA in the major leagues despite struggling with a number of staff injuries, with 11 pitchers currently on their injured list. But Dustin May is expected to return from Tommy John surgery on Saturday and the team are hoping Clayton Kershaw, who has been out since early August with lower back problems, can still make it in time to build up for the playoffs. A first-round bye awarded to the two teams with the best records in each league in the new format would certainly help his cause.

Buehler, 28, had surgery from Tommy John shortly after the Dodgers drafted him from Vanderbilt in 2015 with their 24th overall pick. From 2018 through 2021, he established himself as one of the predominant arms in the sport, going 39-13 with a 2.82 ERA and 620 strikeouts in 564 regular-season innings while also coming through in some of the Dodgers’ biggest postseason games.

However, Buehler got off to a relatively slow start in 2022, allowing eight runs in 6⅓ innings in his first two June games and being shut down with a flexor strain, at which point he also had a bone spur removed from his right elbow. The original schedule called for Buehler to recover in 10 to 12 weeks, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters in Milwaukee Monday that Buehler experienced unusual pain while catching, which led to an MRI that led to his death was finally closed.

“It’s certainly a hit,” Roberts said. “We’re better with Walker on our ball racquet but there’s nothing we can do about it. I still think we have enough people to stop runs going into October but yes we wanted him to be a part of it.”

The Dodgers start October without Buehler, Kershaw just recovering from a back injury, May in the early stages of his return from major elbow surgery, and Tony Gonsolin surpassing his previous career-high innings. Julio Urias and Tyler Anderson, the latter a revelation in his first season in LA, will likely be heavily relied on.

The Dodgers defeated the Brewers 4-0 on Monday night with Urias on the mound. He finished the game with six strikeouts, allowing four hits and two walks in five shutout innings and improving to 10-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his last 11 starts.

“We know how difficult a loss is, especially the loss of Walker,” Urias said through an interpreter. “But we have a good rotation. We know what we can do.”

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34405165/los-angeles-dodgers-starter-walker-buehler-season-ending-elbow-surgery-next-week Los Angeles Dodgers starter Walker Buehler will have season-ending elbow surgery next week

Emma Bowman

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