Walker Buehler Returns to the Injured List

Walker Buehler Returns to the Injured List

Walker Buehler heads back to the injured list due to right hip inflammation, an unwelcome development for both the player and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Buehler missed most of the 2022 season and all of 2023 following his second Tommy John surgery, and his journey to regain his previous form has been arduous.

From 2018 to 2021, Buehler was a cornerstone of the Dodgers' rotation. Over those four stellar seasons, he won 39 games and posted an ERA that never climbed above 3.44. His contributions were instrumental to the team's success, helping to solidify their pitching lineup.

2024 Struggles After Comeback

Since his return on May 8, 2024, Buehler has struggled to find the form that once made him a dominant force on the mound. He has recorded a 1-4 record with a 5.84 ERA over eight starts. His latest performance in Colorado epitomized his struggles, as he stayed in the game despite taking a line drive off his hip. Ultimately, he surrendered seven runs on seven hits, including two home runs.

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts disclosed that Buehler's hip had been sore for several starts. The decision to place him on the injured list is as much about his physical well-being as it is about his mental state. Roberts believes this time off will allow Buehler to regroup both physically and mentally.

"I think he's a little bit sort of finding himself again," Roberts said. "I think he's still in search mode. So, as he's getting back to health, I think for the mind and some clarity, I think this will be a good thing."

Buehler expressed his own frustrations and commitment to returning strong. "It sucks to feel kind of invaluable, or like you're hampering your team," Buehler admitted. "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."

Bobby Miller Activated

In a corresponding move, the Dodgers activated Bobby Miller, who has been out since April 10 due to right shoulder inflammation. Entering his second major league season, Miller has shown promise. So far this year, he has a 1-1 record with a 5.40 ERA over three starts, though he impressed many during his rookie campaign in 2023.

Miller's return adds much-needed depth to a Dodgers pitching staff that has been plagued by injuries. His presence will help mitigate the loss of Buehler and provide the team with an additional reliable arm.

Looking Forward

Despite recent setbacks, Buehler's career statistics remain impressive. Over seven seasons, he has compiled a 47-20 record and a 3.17 ERA. His resilience and dedication to the team's future are undeniable, qualities that give the Dodgers hope that a period of rest will help him return to his top form.

Injuries are an inevitable part of Major League Baseball, and the Dodgers have demonstrated depth and flexibility in dealing with them. Bobby Miller stepping up will help cover the loss of Buehler, though all eyes will be on Buehler’s recovery and eventual return to the mound.

As the Dodgers navigate this challenging period, the hope remains that Buehler will find both his physical and mental stride. The team is poised to support him through this process, as they collectively aim to position themselves for success by the season's end.