An organization that relies on and champions their depth, the Los Angeles Dodgers are having that tested as injuries mount in their starting rotation. On Friday, Dennis Santana was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a right rotator cuff strain.
He joined Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu as starting pitchers the club is currently without. A few hours later, Walker Buehler was removed from the sixth inning of his start because of an apparent injury.
The Dodgers later announced their top pitching prospect came out with rib soreness. Following his club’s win, manager Dave Roberts explained Buehler had been pitching with some remnants of being hit in the ribs by a line drive on May 21, via SportsNet LA:
“We’re getting some scans, some imaging tonight. Obviously, him taking that ball off the ribs a couple weeks ago, just the residual. He’s made a couple starts since. There was always something there but felt he could make his starts, which he has. Just kind of as he was going through tonight’s start, you saw in that sixth inning the velocity started to tick down a little bit. It just seemed like he wasn’t letting it go like he was earlier. For me, that was a big red flag that he was protecting. As I went out there with the trainer, we talked, and he just said he had a little bit of trouble breathing and he was in pain.”
Buehler was checked on after being struck by the comebacker, and he remained in the game to complete seven innings while holding the Colorado Rockies to just a single run. X-rays on his ribs following the game came back negative.
He pitched seven innings in an ensuing start, struggled some at Coors Field and went five, and got through 5.1 innings against the Atlanta Braves before exiting. As Roberts noted, it wasn’t until that sixth inning where Buehler began to show some signs of potential trouble.
He retired the first 12 batters faced and held the Braves to just one run in a rocky fifth inning. With Hill and/or Maeda possibly returning next week in best-case scenarios, the Dodgers will be even more shorthanded should Buehler require a stint on the disabled list.
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