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

The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ faint hope of having Walker Buhler in their playoff rotation ended Monday, when it was announced that their ace pitcher would require 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 learn the details until Dr. Neal ElAttrache performs the procedure Aug. 23.

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

The Dodgers have the highest winning percentage and lowest ERA in the major leagues despite an assortment of injuries to their staff, with 11 pitchers currently on their disabled list. But Dustin May is expected to return from Tommy John surgery on Saturday, and the team is hoping Clayton Kershaw, out since early August with lower back discomfort, can still return in time to prepare for the playoffs. Capturing a first-round bye, awarded to the two teams with the best records in each league under the new format, would certainly help his cause.

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

But Buehler got off to a relatively slow start to 2022, allowed eight runs in 6 1/3 innings in his first two outings in June and was stopped with flexor strain, at which point he also stopped. had a bone spur removed from his right. elbow. The original schedule had allowed Buehler to recover in 10 to 12 weeks, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters in Milwaukee on Monday that Buehler had experienced unusual pain while playing catch, which prompted the MRI which led him to close it permanently.

“It’s definitely a blow,” Roberts said. “We’re better with Walker on our ball club but there’s nothing we can do about it. I still believe we’ve got enough guys to keep the races from going into October but yeah we wanted him to do part of that.”

The Dodgers will begin October with the departure of Buehler, Kershaw soon out of a back injury, May early in his return from major elbow surgery and Tony Gonsolin surpassing his previous career record in innings. Julius Urias and Tyler Andersonthe latter a revelation in its first season in Los Angeles, will likely be widely relied upon.

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

“We know how hard it is to lose, especially to lose Walker,” Urias said through an interpreter. “But we have a good rotation. We know what we are capable of doing.”

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