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Dodgers place Buehler on 10-day DL (rib)

Two-week-old injury flares up on rookie pitcher; Ferguson promoted
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Three weeks after Walker Buehler was drilled in the chest by a line drive, the Dodgers announced their Rookie of the Year candidate has a rib microfracture and placed him on the 10-day disabled list.

That created room on the active roster for left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson, who was recalled to start Monday night's game against the Rangers.

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LOS ANGELES -- Three weeks after Walker Buehler was drilled in the chest by a line drive, the Dodgers announced their Rookie of the Year candidate has a rib microfracture and placed him on the 10-day disabled list.

That created room on the active roster for left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson, who was recalled to start Monday night's game against the Rangers.

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Although the Dodgers backdated the DL placement to June 9, manager Dave Roberts said the hope is that the injury would be "a couple-week thing, but we don't know." Buehler resumed playing catch on Tuesday to keep his arm in shape after four days of rest.

Roberts indicated that Buehler has pitched through the pain pretty much since Colorado's Trevor Story shot a 108-mph liner off the right side of his chest on May 21. Buehler stayed in that game for two more innings and postgame X-rays were reported to be negative. Roberts said the microfracture was discovered in a recent MRI.

Video: COL@LAD: Buehler struck by comebacker, stays in game

"With that, the discomfort, seeing his last start and the mechanics were compromised, to put him in harm's way with his arm and elbow obviously doesn't make any sense," said Roberts. "Walker, to his credit, he wants to pitch. This is a decision we feel is best for him in the short-term and long-term."

Roberts said Buehler felt best in a seven-inning start against San Diego on May 27, but it has bothered him in two starts since: June 2 in Denver, when he allowed four runs in five innings; and Friday night, when he was removed in the sixth inning complaining of pain and breathing issues.

Buehler joins starters Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Julio Urias and Dennis Santana on the disabled list. Kenta Maeda is expected to be activated off the disabled list to start on Wednesday night. Maeda had a strained right hip, and he convinced management after a Sunday bullpen session that he was healthy enough to pitch deep into a game.

The break in action also will help limit Buehler's innings, as the club had hoped originally before injuries accelerated his promotion from Triple-A. Buehler, 23, is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA and has pitched 51 1/3 innings with 54 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Ferguson is getting a second chance out of necessity. He lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his Major League debut in Pittsburgh last week.

Kershaw threw off the bullpen mound two weeks after going on the disabled list with a lower back strain. He made 10 throws, then worked on his mechanics, and Roberts offered no timetable for the next step in Kershaw's recovery.

"Every hurdle, every marker, he's passed," said Roberts. "To get off the mound today, we thought it was the right thing. This was just for him to get down the hill and see how his back responds. He's reassured me he feels great."

Ryu also threw off a bullpen mound for the first time since suffering a bad groin strain on May 2. It was originally believed Ryu would be sidelined until after the All-Star break, but he seems to be on a slightly quicker track than that.

"It was important to get him down the hill as well," Roberts said of Ryu. "We want to see how he responds off the slope. It was low intensity. I don't have a timeline."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler