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Dustin Could is out for the season, and the Dodgers’ pitching is in a bind.

The Dodgers introduced Tuesday that Could, who hasn’t pitched since Could 17, will endure surgical procedure to restore the flexor tendon in his proper elbow. The 25-year-old right-hander had obtained a platelet-rich plasma injection six weeks in the past to advertise therapeutic in hopes that he would be capable of keep away from going underneath the knife, a prognosis that was confirmed over Tuesday’s vacation.

The surgical procedure shall be carried out on July 18 by Dr. Neal ElAttrache — the identical physician who carried out Could’s Tommy John surgical procedure in 2021. Could may also endure a Tommy John revision for a Grade 2 sprain of his UCL, a league supply informed The Athletic. The hope is he can return midseason subsequent yr for the Dodgers.

The hard-throwing Could made a complete of 15 outings after surgical procedure earlier than complaining of elbow discomfort after the primary inning of a begin towards the Twins by which he confirmed diminished fastball velocity. In 9 begins this season, Could demonstrated the kind of upside that has made him a tantalizing expertise, with a 2.63 ERA in 48 innings whereas displaying the identical form of electrical stuff he did when he first got here up.

Given the state of the Dodgers’ rotation, which misplaced Clayton Kershaw to the injured checklist on Monday, it’s a probably catastrophic blow. The Dodgers have been solely holding out hope for Could’s potential return, however their rotation want is dire. Coming into Tuesday, they ranked seventeenth in baseball with a 4.40 ERA amongst its beginning workers, with a collection of hurdles which have fashioned alongside the best way. Seven completely different members of the Dodgers’ beginning pitching workers have hit the injured checklist sooner or later this season, together with Kershaw, Could and Julio Urías — the three major starters the Dodgers have been hoping to construct their rotation round. The group additionally doesn’t embody Walker Buehler, who underwent Tommy John surgical procedure a yr in the past. Urías has a 4.94 ERA in 11 begins this season. Tony Gonsolin, an All-Star a yr in the past, has seen his fastball velocity lose a few ticks and seen his efficiency battle this season, with a 3.69 ERA in 12 begins this season and a 6.39 ERA in 5 begins for the reason that starting of June.

Because it stands, the Dodgers at the moment have three rookies of their rotation — Michael Grove, Bobby Miller and Tuesday’s starter, Emmet Sheehan, together with one other beginning pitching prospect of their bullpen in Gavin Stone and one other in Ryan Pepiot who has been on the injured checklist all season on account of an indirect subject.

An space of the roster initially perceived as a energy has abruptly crumbled. For as a lot of a load as Kershaw has taken this season, his shoulder hassle will carry some trepidation for the remainder of the season. Veterans reminiscent of Urías and Gonsolin have underperformed. An excessive amount of is being requested out of a gifted, but unproven set of arms beneath them. Moreover, the commerce market seems cloudy, at finest, with a number of of the golf equipment boasting tradeable beginning pitching working someplace throughout the center floor of the game, shut sufficient to postseason competition to not need to transfer on from these items.

That presents a problem for the Dodgers on the finish of this month. The membership has carried out nicely sufficient to beat their beginning workers up to now, at 10 video games over .500 (47-37) coming into Tuesday. However truly going far in the event that they go to October will depend on their skill to beat accidents like this one, the most recent in Could’s promising profession that has consisted of quick bursts greater than it has sustained success.

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(Picture: Kiyoshi Mio / USA Right now)

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