The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the betting favorites to win the World Series, but all of a sudden their rotation looks like a major question mark. The team recently ruled out ace Walker Buehler for the season due to a flexor tendon issue. Buehler had Tommy John surgery for a second time in his career and probably will miss all of 2023 as well. The 28-year-old Buehler last pitched June 10, when elbow discomfort forced him from the game.
Dodgers May Have A Pitching Problem With Gonsolin Injury
“There’s no sugarcoating it,” said Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations. “It was a tough blow but we’ll get him back. I know he’s already itching.”
The second betting favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award is Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin but he landed on the injured list Monday when he was supposed to start against the Marlins. Gonsolin’s injury is being called a right forearm strain. It is always somewhat alarming when a pitcher is diagnosed with an injury to their throwing arm, but it’s especially worrisome in the case due to Gonsolin’s excellent season, the short amount of time remaining in the season and the club’s injuries elsewhere.
Gonsolin has been one of the best pitchers in the Majors this season. He leads the National League with 16 wins and a 2.10 ERA. The .169 batting average against Gonsolin is the lowest in the Majors this season. At 128 1/3 innings, however, Gonsolin has blown past his career high in innings pitched during a big league season.
Gonsolin’s most recent outing was last Tuesday at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, when he gave up one run while throwing 77 pitches over five innings. In Gonsolin’s absence, the Dodgers will continue to lean on Julio Urías, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw, who will likely come off the injured list to start on Thursday against the Mets, though that has not been formally announced.
Dustin May only recently returned from his own Tommy John surgery. Kershaw has missed two months with a couple of back injuries. Andrew Heaney has been out for extended stretches with shoulder problems. Then there is the bullpen, which will be without Daniel Hudson for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, and which is still waiting to see how many of their currently rehabilitating relievers — Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, Victor González, Danny Duffy and Yency Almonte — will be able to contribute down the stretch.
The Houston Astros are second-favorites to win the World Series and they have a pitching concern of their own with AL Cy Young betting favorite Justin Verlander. Verlander left his start on Sunday after three innings and 60 pitches, with the team later announcing he has right calf discomfort. The team is still waiting on MRI results.
Verlander has had a terrific season as Houston has comfortably sat in first place in the American League West for most of it. The 39-year-old veteran entered Sunday’s start with a 16-3 record, a 1.87 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP and 148 strikeouts.
“These things happen,” Manager Dusty Baker said. “They can happen to anyone on the field. I’m just glad it wasn’t his arm.”
Baker said the injury occurred when Verlander made a move to cover first base in the third inning. With one out and runners on first and second base, Baltimore’s Anthony Santander flied out to center field, but Robinson Chirinos, who was on second, was caught in a rundown and wound up getting tagged out in an inning-ending double play. Just as Chirinos was being tagged between second and third for the final out, Verlander darted from the grass behind the mound and toward first base in anticipation of a relay throw that wasn’t needed.
The Astros have been careful with Verlander’s workload this season and have been giving him extended rest between his starts. Sunday marked only the fifth time he had pitched on four days of rest this year, with the majority of his starts (13) coming on five days of rest.Houston is going to win the AL West and probably finish with the best record in the league even if Verlander can’t pitch for a while but if he’s out for the playoffs, that might kill the Astros’ chances to win the World Series.