The Los Angeles Dodgers endured another blow to their starting rotation last week when top prospect Walker Buehler was removed from his outing due to what was later diagnosed as a rib injury.
The injury came just one day after fellow pitching prospect Dennis Santana was scratched from what would’ve been his first career Major League start with a right lat soreness. An MRI more accurately determined Santana’s injury was a rotator cuff strain.
Santana was later transferred to the 60-day disabled list, leaving the Dodgers’ rotation depth even more thinner than anticipated. The club caught a bit of a break, however, when x-rays revealed that Buehler avoided a significant injury and was only dealing with bruised ribs.
Despite the positive development, there’s no timetable on when the 23-year-old will return to the mound.
That being said, Buehler is focused on healing and doesn’t believe his ribs injury will hinder him in the long run, via Kaelen Jones of MLB.com:
“I think it’s kind of up in the air at this point,” Buehler said of his status. “I’m not too worried about it. I don’t think it’s anything long term that’s going to affect me; it’s just a matter of getting it right.”
Buehler has been a revelation for the Dodgers in the wake of injuries to Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu. In nine starts this season, he has pitched to a 2.63 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 51.1 innings with 54 strikeouts to only 11 walks.
Buehler remains on the active roster for the time being, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dodgers place him on the 10-day disabled list in the coming days to make room for the imminent return of Maeda, who’s slated to start on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers.
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