While the Los Angeles Dodgers won a 16th of their last 21 games, it came at somewhat of a cost as Walker Buehler was removed in the sixth inning due to rib soreness. The hope is the organization’s top pitching prospect isn’t dealing with a more significant injury, which will be determined by further testing.
Although he is not on the disabled list as of this writing, Buehler joined the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dennis Santana as starting pitchers who are not healthy. Hill and Maeda are nearing a return, which could come next week.
Moments after Buehler had to come out, Chris Taylor curiously replaced Yasiel Puig as a pinch-hitter. Initial thoughts went to the Dodgers suffering another injury, but manager Dave Roberts clarified it was for disciplinary reasons, per Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:
“He’s fine, it was just an in-house thing that we’re dealing with,” Roberts said of the often-disciplined Puig. “He’ll be in there [Saturday].”
Whereas in some games past there have been clear indications as to why Puig was likely benched, Friday did not make for such.
He hit an RBI single in the first inning and was promptly picked off, but it’s unlikely Roberts would have allowed the enigmatic right fielder to remain in the game for several more innings. The only ball hit to Puig in the top of the sixth was a slicing ground-rule double that just landed fair.
The 27-year-old was abruptly dropped by his agency this past spring but has largely avoided falling into the same pitfalls that led to disciplinary action in the past couple of seasons.