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Los Angeles Dodgers star Walker Buehler to undergo season-ending surgery

Vincent Frank

The Los Angeles Dodgers currently boast the best record in the Majors at 79-34. Unfortunately, Walker Buehler will not be a part of their World Series push.

Los Angeles announced on Monday that the star pitcher will undergo elbow surgery next week and is out for the remainder of the season.

Buehler, 28, has not pitched since back on June 10 against the San Francisco Giants and is currently on the 60-day disabled list. It’s not yet known whether going under the knife will include Tommy John Surgery, which would likely keep the ace out through the first half of next season, too.

To say that this is a massive blow for the Dodgers would be an understatement. The team might have depth in its rotation. However, one has to wonder whether Los Angeles’ MLB trade deadline plans would’ve changed if this information came out earlier in August.

Related: Los Angeles Dodgers standing in Sportsnaut’s most-recent MLB power rankings

Impact of the Walker Buehler injury on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ title aspirations

Walker Buehler
Jun 4, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler (21) delivers against the New York Mets in the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles finds itself 16 games ahead of the San Diego Padres in the National League West with 49 games remaining heading into this week’s action. It is well on its way to earning a eighth division title in nine years. Home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is also a likely end result.

With that said, Buehler has proven to be among the best pitchers in the game since joining the Dodgers as a top prospect back in 2017. The two-time All-Star has pitched to a 46-16 record with a 3.02 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out more than a batter per inning during his career. He was sensational last season, too.

Walker Buehler stats (2021): 16-4 record, 2.47 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 212 strikeouts in 207.2 innings

This performance led to the former first-round pick from Vanderbilt finishing fourth in the National League Cy Young race. Despite Buehler being in the midst of a down season (4.02 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), this is a major loss for Los Angeles.

With Buehler sidelined for the season, Los Angeles’ playoff rotation will now likely consist of Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urias and Tyler Anderson. That’s still not bad. However, it also must be noted that Kershaw himself is currently on the injured list.