Dodgers Roster: Walker Buehler Activated, Joe Kelly Placed On Injured List

The Los Angeles Dodgers made the long-awaited move to bring their 2021 ace back into the mix as they activated Walker Buehler from the 15-day injured list and placed Joe Kelly on the IL with a right posterior shoulder strain.

Buehler last pitched on a Major League mound on June 10, 2022 against the San Francisco Giants before a torn UCL caused him to undergo a second Tommy John surgery.

Buehler put all his effort into making a late 2023 return, but ultimately ran out of time. His long time away from the mound could make it easy to forget that Buehler was on the path to becoming one of the best pitchers in the Majors.

The 29-year-old has two All-Star selections already, in 2019 and 2021. His 2021 season saw him finish fourth in National league Cy Young voting after posting a 2.47 ERA and an NL-best 171 ERA+ while striking out 212 batters in 207.2 innings.

Injuries limited Buehler in 2022 and he could never quite find his rhythm before ultimately discovering the torn ligament in his elbow.

He pitched only 65 innings, his lowest of a 162-game season in his career. And this is why for his return, expectations within the organization have been tempered.

Kelly pitched 0.1 innings yesterday, stranding a runner and recording his ninth hold of the season. The 36-year-old has appeared in 15 games this season, allowing seven runs in 13.1 innings with 14 strikeouts.

Since allowing a season-high four earned runs on March 30, Kelly has thrown 11.2 innings, allowing three runs with 14 strikeouts. He has been in the Major Leagues 13 seasons, recording a 53-37 record with a 3.96 ERA and 746 strikeouts in 465 games (81 starts).

Walker Buehler starts for Dodgers on Monday

The Dodgers host the Miami Marlins for a three-game mid-week set, and Buehler is the starter for Monday’s opener. In his first start in nearly two calendar years, he’ll face a Marlins offense that ranks in the bottom 10 in batting average, slugging and OPS.

“I expect him to be excited, anxious, a little nervous,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “And it’s going to be fun to watch him compete.”

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