Walker Buehler Returns to the Injured List

Walker Buehler Returns to the Injured List

Walker Buehler has been placed on the injured list due to right hip inflammation, a significant setback for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This marks another unfortunate chapter in Buehler's career, which has been marred by injuries in recent years. He missed most of the 2022 season and the entirety of 2023 after undergoing a second Tommy John surgery. Since his return, he has struggled to regain the dominant form that characterized his performances from 2018 to 2021.

2018 to 2021: A Period of Dominance

During the four-year period from 2018 to 2021, Buehler was a cornerstone of the Dodgers' rotation. He won 39 games and maintained an ERA that never rose above 3.44, establishing himself as one of the most reliable pitchers in Major League Baseball. His impressive performances during this time were instrumental in solidifying the Dodgers' pitching staff and propelling the team to numerous successes.

2024 Struggles After Comeback

However, Buehler's comeback in 2024 has not gone as planned. Since May 8, he has posted a 1-4 record with a troubling 5.84 ERA in eight starts. His latest outing in Colorado was particularly concerning, as he took a line drive off the hip but continued to pitch. The result was seven runs conceded on seven hits, including two home runs.

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts acknowledged that Buehler's hip had been sore for several starts prior to this game. "I think [he's] still in search mode, trying to find himself again. I believe this injured list stint will allow him to regroup physically and mentally," Roberts said.

Bobby Miller Activated

In a corresponding move, the Dodgers have activated Bobby Miller. The young pitcher has not pitched since April 10 due to right shoulder inflammation. In his second major league season, Miller has shown promise, with a 1-1 record and a 5.40 ERA in three starts this year. His rookie year in 2023 was impressive, and his return adds much-needed depth to a Dodgers pitching staff that has been significantly affected by injuries.

Looking Forward

Despite his recent struggles, Buehler's career statistics remain impressive. Over seven seasons, he has compiled a 47-20 record and a 3.17 ERA, numbers that speak to his talent and resilience. The Dodgers are hopeful that a period of rest will help him return to his top form. Buehler's dedication to the team's future remains unwavering, as he stated, "It sucks to feel kind of invaluable, or like you're hampering your team. But at the end of the day, we really like our team and want to be ready for the end of the year. And I'm going to do whatever I need to do to feel like I can help our team at the end of the year, and do everything in my power to be valuable enough to be on those rosters."

The Dodgers' Depth and Flexibility

Injuries are an inevitable part of Major League Baseball, and the Dodgers have demonstrated remarkable depth and flexibility in navigating these challenges. The activation of Bobby Miller is a testament to this, as his presence in the rotation will help cover the loss of Buehler. Miller's potential to perform at a high level makes him a valuable asset for the team moving forward.

All eyes will undoubtedly be on Buehler's recovery and eventual return to the mound. His journey back to health will be closely monitored by fans and analysts alike, as the Dodgers look to make a strong push towards the end of the season. Dave Roberts emphasized the importance of this period for Buehler, saying, "I think this will be a good thing for the mind and some clarity."

As the Dodgers continue to contend for supremacy in the league, the hope is that Walker Buehler will once again become an integral part of their success. His resilience and determination to contribute to the team's future bode well for a triumphant return, one that both Buehler and the Dodgers eagerly anticipate.