Dodgers

Dodgers News: LA Starter Reacts to Possibility of Returning as Key Bullpen Piece

Injured starter Walker Buehler appears to open to returning as a reliever.

Even with a number of injuries to their pitching staff throughout the season, the Dodgers have to be feeling fortunate with the position they are in. They have managed to pile up an impressive 64-32 record and are way out in front of the other NL West teams. Although they’ve lost key arms like Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Andrew Heaney for long stretches of time, they’ve endured and the Dodgers can thank organizational depth and outstanding efforts from Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urías for that.

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But it won’t have to be like that for long. 

Fortunately, Clayton Kershaw has been relatively healthy after his injury stint in May and Andrew Heaney is set to be back soon

Unfortunately, Buehler is one of the injured players they’ll have to keep waiting for. He won’t return until mid-to-late September even though he started throwing this week

According to the LA Times‘ Jack Harris, the Dodgers pitcher spoke about his situation.

“If things don’t go perfectly and I end up being a guy that can help us get outs in the playoffs, that’s what I’ll be. I think that would be fun too. I don’t think that’s the biggest letdown in the world. …Take kind of a bird’s eye view of this thing, and I want to be healthy and contribute for a lot of years. And this year is obviously the most important. So I’m gonna do anything I can to get back and contribute as much as I can.”

Assuming that Buehler doesn’t have enough time to get built back up to being a conventional starter or has an unforeseen setback, a bullpen role isn’t out of the question for him. 

Obviously, the Dodgers could go a number of different ways if that were the case. For instance, Buehler could piggyback a starter like Tony Gonsolin, or the other way around. But, ideally, they get him built back up to his starter self.

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