The Dodgers own the best record in baseball and are running away with the National League West — but as they look toward the postseason, their pitching rotation took another hit Monday with the announcement that right-hander Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery.
With left-hander Clayton Kershaw already on the injured list with a back issue, the Dodgers on Monday announced that Walker will undergo surgery next Tuesday.
The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with the Kerlan-Jobe Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
A statement by the Dodgers gave no specifics as to the nature of Buehler’s surgery, but the 28-year-old — a two-time All-Star — has been sidelined since June 10 with a reported a Grade 2 flexor strain.
Since then, he also underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow in an unrelated injury. He had begun a throwing program last month that now will be shut down.
Buehler made 12 starts for the Dodgers this season, going 6-3 with a 4.02 earned-run average while striking out 58 batters. He is 46-16 over his six MLB seasons.
He’s the second Dodger starter currently on the shelf, with Kershaw landing on the injured list last week with another flare-up of his chronically balky back.
Kershaw this week reported that “It’s doing a lot better than I thought it would,” while Dodger manager Dave Roberts said the lefty could begin throwing off a mound in the next week.
The Dodgers entered Monday night’s game in Milwaukee with an MLB-best 79-34 record, 16 games ahead of the second-place San Diego Padres in the NL West. They had won 12 in a row — one win short of tying a franchise record — before losing 4-0 on Sunday in Kansas City.