Dodgers Keep Postseason In Perspective With Decisions To Push Back Walker Buehler & Skip Hyun-Jin Ryu In Rotation

For a team that’s taken great pride in a deep starting rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers are suddenly facing some question marks as the postseason approaches. Namely with Hyun-Jin Ryu, though Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw both haven’t been their sharpest of late.

With Ryu, who’s now thrown his most innings since 2013, there would appear to be an issue of fatigue setting in. However, he and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts have both refuted the notion. Ryu’s struggles have spanned four consecutive starts in which he’s gone 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA.

He’s gone past the fifth inning only once during that span and issued a season-high four walks against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Following that outing, Roberts maintained confidence in Ryu but would not commit to a date for his next start.

Roberts has since revealed the 32-year-old is being skipped over in his next turn, and the Dodgers are also pushing Walker Buehler to a start on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“With Walker, we just feel right now to push him back and not do it later, get him a little bit of a blow right now so he can make three starts going into the postseason, is best for him and us. With Hyun-Jin, we’re going to do the same thing. We’ll skip this start in Baltimore with Hyun-Jin and we’ll figure out when we pencil him back in. I think that right now, to forgo a start in early September probably makes more sense than waiting until the end of September.”

With Buehler and Rich Hill (Thursday) slated to start in the Orioles series, and Dustin May or Ross Stripling potentially filling the middle game, the earliest Ryu would take the mound is Friday against the New York Mets.

That would mean eight days of rest for the left-hander, good for his longest this season (excluding stints on the 10-day injured list).

Though the regression hasn’t been nearly as steep as Ryu’s, Buehler has logged five innings or fewer in two his past four starts. Since his 15-strikeout performance and second career complete game, Buehler is a mere 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in five starts.

His next outing will come on six days’ rest, which the Dodgers have now done four times for Buehler this season, plus a stretch of 12 days off that wrapped around the All-Star break.