Bad News: Dodgers Place Walker Buehler on DL With Rib Fracture

Walker Buehler

Today the Dodgers announced the news we’ve been dreading to hear for the last week or so. They’ve placed rookie right hander Walker Buehler on the 10-day disabled list. Medical examinations revealed he has a microfracture in his ribs from that line drive he took in the mid section during a start against the Rockies a few weeks ago. Tonight the Dodgers will be starting another rookie Caleb Ferguson against the Rangers. He’ll be making his second career MLB start.

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The Dodgers are hoping that Buehler will only miss a couple of weeks and it can’t be overstated just how valuable he’s been to the Dodgers pitching staff. Over his nine starts in 2018 Buehler has a 4-1 record with a 2.63 ERA. In 51.1 innings pitched Buehler has struck out 54 and walked 11. He’s allowed just two home runs and has given up 6.7 hits per nine innings. He’s also struck out 9.5 per nine innings pitched and has posted an FIP of 2.26. The kid has been fantastic and it’s a huge loss for the Dodgers.

Needless to say, Buehler has been a revelation. The Dodgers are in big trouble here. Even with the news that Kenta Maeda is due to be activated off the disabled list tomorrow night, the Dodgers still have only three starting pitchers. Nearly the entire pitching staff is on the disabled list. As of right now the Dodger’s pitching staff consists of Ross Stripling, Maeda (if healthy), Caleb Ferguson, Kenley Jansen and a bunch of castoff middle relievers. Even with Maeda due back, he’ll likely be on some kind of pitch count so I doubt he’s allowed to pitch more than 4-5 innings anyways. That means the bullpen has to once again give the Dodgers 6 or more innings of relief.

I don’t care what anyone tells you, starting pitching is still and will always be the name of the game. The Dodger starting rotation has provided them with the least amount of innings in all of baseball. The relievers have pitched the most innings of any other club. This is simply put, common sense. The Dodgers (like any other MLB team) must get innings and health from their starting rotation in order to make it through the long season. The bullpen can’t pitch 6-7 innings every night or the relievers will start to drop like flies.

As I have decried on this blog for the last three years now, innings, health and length are important for a major league pitching staff. If the bullpen is pitching 6-7 innings per game, or 7-8 relievers are pitching every night then that is a recipe for disaster. The Dodgers can’t operate like this for much longer. Eventually it’s going to catch up with them, whether that is tonight, or two weeks from now. The Dodgers need pitching and they need it yesterday. Pick up the phone Mr. Friedman and get something done before this patchwork pitching staff feels the burn.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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8 thoughts on “Bad News: Dodgers Place Walker Buehler on DL With Rib Fracture

  1. Well Scott,

    It is not catching up to them tonight. Bats are batting and relievers are relieving. Pitching is pitching, no matter what you call it. If you want to think only in ‘old’ terms, you may. All Relievers, All The Time is happening to the Dodgers. You say they will falter. They may. But this staff was not built for all relievers. If it were, the athletes would be chosen more carefully and managed more prodigiously. It will take a couple of seasons to implement and refine, but I like it just fine that we are heading in this direction. Too much importance and stress has been put on the starter. Time to change.

    1. They scored 12 runs Jeff. Hard to lose when you score 12 runs, no matter who pitches. At some point the bats will cool down and they will need their pitching staff to get through the season, especially during the dog days of summer. You’re going to see more arms going down with injuries if the bullpen is pitching 7 innings every night. It’s just not sustainable. Starting pitching is still the name of the game, that will never change. Innings count. You can’t just have an entire pitching staff of middle relievers.

      1. We seem to be doing it, Scott. They have quite a stockpile lined up. Have there been any injuries to the relief army lately? I understand your concerns but I’m not yet convinced that they will happen as you say. Our batters get more use and abuse on a daily basis than our pitchers do. I’m sure the pitchers have their own ways of staying in shape and minimizing their injuries. There will always be players that seem more prone to injuries than others. Those will not work under my 24/7 umbrella. Those seem to be more common with the starting rotation. FAZ is not very good selecting starters.

        1. Cingrani is on the DL, Chargois was sent down, they have 9 pitchers on the DL. You need length out of your starters. This all relievers all the time thing is never going to work. No way with a 25 man active roster. Even using the DL, you are going to burn up your staff long before the playoffs. To even consider something like this is nuts. You would need a 20 man pitching staff. You could never do it within the confines of the way rosters are set up now. That you have bought into this kind of nut job idea is even more shocking.

    1. Confidence builder. They wanted to keep his pitch count down and get him out of there with a better performance than his first game. Day off yesterday. The bullpen was fresh and rested and a day off Thursday before the Giants arrive.

    2. Like I’ve been saying, 3 innings should be the ceiling for these guys. He’d already given up 2 runs. Relievers do it again. The worthless Joc and Grandal do it again. I like this. Corcino!!

      1. Grandal? Please. It was Joc, Muncy and Puig. Corcino is a career minor leaguer who is more or less a filler with all the guys on the DL. This bullpen will be toast by August. Who is going to be out there then>? The entire AAA staff? Nuts,

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