Walker Buhler Injury: Dodgers Ace to Be Stopped in Six to Eight Wee due to Stretched Elbow Ligaments

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost twice on Friday night. They were beaten by rival San Francisco Giants in their 7-2 loss at the opening of the Oracle Park series (boxing result), and also lost to right-handed Walker Buhler from an elbow injury. Buhler left after four innings and 70 pitches with what the Dodgers initially called discomfort in his right elbow. On Saturday, Buhler was on the wounded list and underwent tests to determine the exact nature of his injury. According to manager Dave RobertsBuhler was diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his elbow and will be closed for six to eight weeks. Once he is able to resume the throw, he must return to readiness for play. The team expects him to play again this season, but in Roberts’ words “it will take some time”. Do the math and it may be September before Buhler is ready to rejoin the rotation, and that rules out any setbacks.

“I had Tommy John’s surgery, so I think [the level of concern] is a bit amplified, “Buhler told MLB.com on Friday.” That’s what it is. It’s happening in this game. Many boys in this club have done things with their elbows. This is part of this game. I have all the faith in our medical staff and what not. But before we get into that, we need to know what we’re dealing with. “

The 27-year-old Buhler underwent surgery on Tommy John shortly after being selected for the 2015 draft. He has not had significant elbow problems since, as his list of various injured MLB list results from rib fractures and blisters. Buhler allowed three runs in four innings on Friday and has a season much lower than his usual standards: a 4.02 ERA with 1.29 WHIP and 8.0 K / 9 are the worst of his career.

Walker Buhler

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The discomfort came after throwing a ball in the third inning, Buhler said. He finished the inning and then threw the fourth inning, but his elbow did not feel better, so he was removed from the game. Buhler admitted that he had experienced mild elbow discomfort over the years, but had always been manageable. However, this injury seems to be worse than his previous elbow pain.

As Baseball Prospectus noted earlier this week, Buehler’s fast ball wasn’t quite right this season. His fast top has been a truly elite terrain throughout his career, although the rotation and movement of the terrain are not the same this year and as a result, opponents punish the Buehler heater. Here are the figures for Buhler’s fast four-stitch ball over the last few seasons:


96.5 mph

2456 rpm





96.8 mph

2546 rpm





95.3 mph

2472 rpm





95.2 mph

2267 rpm




MLB averages

93.9 mph

2260 rpm




Buehler’s speed of rotation slowed down after pressing foreign substances last year (2,611 rpm before and 2,349 rpm after) and the terrain has not been as effective since. It is unclear whether this new elbow problem is related. In the end, Buhler and his fast top were wrong all season and now he has a significant injury

“Certain inconveniences that you can deal with when he clearly felt tonight that it could be more harmful,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com. “I think that’s more – you should definitely set Walker a player with intelligence and a bodybuilder by default.”

Los Angeles welcomed Clayton Kershaw back into the rotation on Saturday, and he conceded two runs over four innings in a 3-2 loss to the Giants. He missed about a month with a thigh problem. The Dodgers also have to get Andrew Heaney back soon. Heaney made two great starts at the start of the season before falling with a shoulder problem. Undoubtedly, Buhler’s loss for so long is a blow, but the return of Kershaw and Heaney should help.

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