Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Seems Open to a Postseason Bullpen Role

The Dodgers have to be feeling fortunate with the position they are in. Even with a number of injuries to their pitching staff throughout the season, they still have managed to get to a 64-31 record and are way out in front of the other NL West teams. 

Even with losing guys like Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Andrew Heaney for decent periods of time, they’ve endured. The Dodgers can thank organizational depth and outstanding efforts from Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin for that. You also can’t forget how quietly good Julio Urias has been. 

But Buehler is one of the injured players they expect to have back last. He started throwing this week, but he still won’t return until mid-to-late September. The Dodgers pitcher spoke about it this week, and it sounds like he would be open to a bullpen role. (quotes via the LA Times)

“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.”

That’s assuming that Buehler can’t get built back up to being a conventional starter. But the Dodgers could go a number of different ways if that were the case. Buehler could piggyback a starter like Tony Gonsolin, or the other way around. 

That would allow the Dodgers to ease up a little bit on Gonsolin, who reaches a career-high in innings pitched every time he takes the mound. It could also mean pairing Buehler with Dustin May when he returns. But ideally, they get him built back up to his normal starter self. 

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