Walker Buehler was supposed to pitch three innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. Instead, the Dodgers decided to activate the right-hander and use him out of the bullpen.
Much like Clayton Kershaw last week, Buehler will get his rehab work at the major league level. Manager Dave Roberts said the team will give their young starter a fresh inning whenever he comes into Thursday’s game.
The Dodgers were hoping Buehler would be back in two weeks after he landed on the disabled list with a rib microfracture. As it turns out, they are activating him two weeks from the time they placed him on the DL.
The 23-year-old has been outstanding this season, going 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA. Buehler has allowed two or less runs in seven of his nine starts, striking out 54 against 11 walks in 51 1⁄3 innings.
Reliever Josh Fields swapped places with Buehler, heading to the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Fields is 2-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 37 appearances this season and has given up just four runs in his last 21 games.
Fields is the 17th Dodger to be placed on the disabled list in 2018.
The Kershaw Plan
Clayton Kershaw is scheduled for five innings and 75 pitches in his second start since returning from the disabled Saturday in New York. In a perfect scenario, Kershaw will go five and Buehler will follow with three innings of his own.
Chris Taylor starts for the first time in eight days. He was 3-for-5 with a homer and a double as a pinch hitter in between.