The team's No. 1 starter entering the season will be shut down for 6-8 to weeks after an MRI revealed a strain in his elbow. No surgery is planned and Buehler is expected to return this season, but that obviously depends on how he recovers.
The Dodgers had already placed Buehler on the 15-day injured list ahead of Saturday's game.
Dave Roberts said Walker Buehler’s MRI revealed a strain in his elbow. No surgery planned — he will rest and rehab it. Won’t pick up a baseball for 6-8 weeks, so will miss significant time, though Roberts didn’t rule out a return this season.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 12, 2022
Buehler exited a start after four innings against the San Francisco Giants on Friday due to discomfort in his pitching elbow, setting up the MRI for Saturday.
It was one more negative development in what had so far been the worst season of his career, with a 4.04 ERA, 1.292 WHIP and career-low 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings. Buehler had been coming off the best regular-season performance of his career, a fourth-place Cy Young Award finish that saw him post a 2.47 ERA and 212 strikeouts in 207.2 innings.
The right-hander's absence will continue a trying year for the Dodgers' rotation depth. The team lost Clayton Kershaw and Andrew Heaney for significant time early in the season, though Kershaw finally made his return Saturday. Tony Gonsolin (1.58 ERA) and Tyler Anderson (3.07 ERA) have stepped up to keep the team's rotation competitive, but the season simply hasn't gone according to plan on the pitching side.
The Dodgers have now lost four of their last six after a torrid start to the season. Now, they face one more obstacle for recapturing the NL West title.