Dodgers Roster: Walker Buehler Transferred to 60-Day Injured List

The Los Angeles Dodgers transferred Walker Buehler to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster for Trayce Thompson, who was acquired in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.

Buehler’s season was brought to a halt after being removed from his start against the San Francisco Giants on June 10 due to feeling discomfort in his right elbow. An MRI revealed Buehler had a Grade 2 right flexor tendon strain that would require being shut down from throwing for six to eight weeks.

Buehler mentioned the “zing” he felt in his elbow was something he has experienced at times since undergoing Tommy John surgery and it usually subsided, but the latest instance was different.

Already facing a prolonged recovery process, Buehler underwent underwent arthroscopic surgery on June 13 to remove a bone spur from his right elbow that had been there for some time.

“It was certainly his decision, with advice from Dr. Elattrache, our staff, his representation,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “So all of us coming together and realizing that getting the bone spurs removed, taking the allotted time needed and hopefully giving ourselves an opportunity to get them back in September some time seemed like the best course of action.”

The procedure did not change Buehler’s timeline, and the team won’t rush him back until the buildup process has been completed.

“If there’s an opportunity for him to come back, he will. It’s going to be a tough process because no player wants to go through that and you sort of feel kind of alienated, isolated,” said Roberts. “So we’ll make sure he’s included in things and relevant, but it’s going to be a tough, lonely road for a while.”

With Buehler on the 60-day IL, it opened a spot for Thompson who makes his return to the Dodgers after last playing for the club in 2017. Over parts of two seasons with L.A., he hit a combined .207/.287/.407 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs, and 34 RBI in 107 games, but a complex set of back injuries derailed his time and led to getting designated him for assignment.

Once Kevin Pillar underwent shoulder surgery, and Mookie Betts hit the IL for fractured rib, the Dodgers acquired Thompson from the Tigers for cash considerations. With their Triple-A Toledo affiliate, he hit .299/.352/.639 with seven doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBI across 25 games.

Once Buehler resumes throwing, he will need to build his arm back up as if going through Spring Training.

That will likely keep Buehler out until September, assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. With the MLB trade deadline roughly eight weeks away, the Dodgers may need to decide on acquiring another starting pitcher.

But for the time being, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club will look to their internal options to replace Buehler.

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