In a time when it felt like nothing might go flawed for the Dodgers, one thing went flawed.
Hours earlier than the Dodgers took the sector for the primary of a four-game set in Milwaukee, they discovered that two-time All-Star Walker Buehler was being shut down for the yr.
Buehler, who final pitched in June, was anticipated again for the postseason. He was going to slip proper again into his function as one of many aces of this workers — a man with tons of expertise pitching in October.
As a substitute, the Dodgers will depend on the blokes they’ve all yr — Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, and Tyler Anderson — to hold this workers. It’s unclear whether or not Clayton Kershaw can be wholesome come postseason time, however Dustin Might, who’s coming off Tommy John surgical procedure of his personal, is scheduled to begin this Saturday’s recreation towards Miami. The Dodgers have additionally loved one spectacular begin after one other from Andrew Heaney, however he’s struggled to remain on the sector.
A postseason rotation of Urias, Kershaw, Anderson, and Gonsolin can be best for the Dodgers, with Heaney consuming up innings out of the pen and May moving into the 2020 Urias-type role of closing out games.
If Kershaw is unable to return, then the Dodgers will look to Heaney to open games, or could decide to rely on May — but they’ll have to see how he progresses over the next few weeks.
The Dodgers will mostly have to look toward Anderson and Gonsolin to continue their dominant seasons, despite their lack of postseason experience — Anderson has pitched seven career postseason innings while Gonsolin has pitched 13.1. Buehler, for reference, has pitched nearly 80 playoff innings.
Any way you put it, it’s a huge loss for the Dodgers. Buehler, who already had Tommy John surgery in 2015, will have his season-ending elbow surgery on Aug. 23.
It’s unclear whether it will be a second Tommy John surgery, but his availability beyond this season will definitely be something to keep an eye on.
Kershaw, Anderson, and Heaney are all upcoming free agents, while Buehler is set for two years of arbitration.
The Dodgers could be left with just Urias and Gonsolin on next year’s staff, and will surely have to look to add some reinforcements. Bobby Miller, the Dodgers’ No. 2 overall prospect, could be a candidate to step into the rotation. He, along with another top prospect Gavin Stone, just got a promotion to Triple-A.
The Dodgers will also look to the free agent supply for starting pitching. The team signed both Anderson and Heaney to one-year deals this past offseason, and sent them into the Mark Prior school of pitching to turn them into two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.
There are definitely some guys that Andrew Friedman will have his eyes on that I won’t be able to predict, but I’ll throw one name into the mix as someone to watch out for.
The Angels will virtually actually entertain presents for two-way celebrity Shohei Ohtani this offseason. Ohtani is ready without spending a dime company after subsequent season, and the Angels can be silly to play out the season and let him stroll. The Dodgers, after holding off on a Soto commerce, have greater than sufficient firepower to strike a deal, and can be the right match for Ohtani. He might keep in Los Angeles, play on one of many premier groups within the nation, and, most significantly, expertise successful for the primary time.
The Dodgers most likely have known as the Angels this offseason anyway, however the Buehler damage makes the trail even clearer.
Dropping Buehler undoubtedly throws a wrinkle into the Dodgers’ current and future. Nobody needs to lose an All-Star. However the Dodgers, as a real testomony to their depth, are going to be simply high quality. They’ve greater than sufficient arms for a postseason run this yr, and can be proper again right here subsequent yr with among the best staffs in baseball — with or with out Buehler.