HomeTrending MLB NewsDodgers ace to make first start in nearly two years on Monday

Dodgers ace to make first start in nearly two years on Monday

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The Los Angeles Dodgers (20-13) already have the biggest lead of any division frontrunners in MLB, ahead of the second-place San Diego Padres (16-18) by 4.5 games in the National League West.

Now, manager Dave Roberts’ club is getting set to welcome back one of their aces, as two-time All-Star Walker Buehler is scheduled to make his season debut on Monday against the Miami Marlins. After his second Tommy John surgery, Buehler was limited to 12 starts in 2022 and missed all of 2023.

The right-hander’s final rehab outing with Triple-A Oklahoma City went well, as he fired five innings of one-run ball while allowing seven hits and no walks with five strikeouts.

Buehler’s return against Miami offers a soft landing spot for his first MLB outing in 696 days. The Marlins enter Thursday last in the NL in a variety of categories, including doubles (36), walks (78), on-base percentage (.281), slugging percentage (.328) and OPS (.609), while ranking 14th in total bases (352), 13th in runs scored (115) and batting average (.223) and tied for 13th in home runs (23).

The former first-round pick hasn’t been on a big-league mound since June 10, 2022, when he pitched against the San Francisco Giants.
Since then, the Dodgers have been eliminated in the NLDS in back-to-back playoffs despite finishing with an MLB-best 111 wins in 2022 and third-most 100 wins in 2023.

Los Angeles is as loaded as ever this spring after an offseason that saw it add two-time AL MVP Shohei Ohtani and one-time All-Star power-hitting outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to a stacked lineup. Ohtani is an early NL MVP candidate and leads the team in home runs (seven) and doubles (14), while Hernandez is tied for second in home runs (six) and third place in runs scored (21) and RBI (22).

With Buehler, three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, and other arms still on the mend, the Dodgers added veteran southpaw James Paxton, longtime Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow, and Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the rotation. 

The trio of newcomers have gone a combined 11-2 with a 3.31 ERA.

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