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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Reveals Optimistic Timeline for Walker Buehler Return

In 2022, the Dodgers finally passed the torch and made Walker Buehler their Opening Day starter instead of Clayton Kershaw. It was supposed to be the next step in Buehler’s progression, and he was expected to challenge for the Cy Young Award.

Instead, Buehler pitched relatively poorly, posting a 4.02 ERA in 65 innings before being shut down with injury. He ended up undergoing Tommy John surgery in August, the second TJ of his career, ending his season and putting 2023 in jeopardy.



According to Dave Roberts on the Starkville Podcast, though, Los Angeles hasn’t ruled out having Buehler back next season.

“Clayton’s back, Julio’s back. We don’t get Walker back until hopefully September. Dustin May will be healthy, he’ll have a healthy offseason — but coming off TJ, you got to manage his innings. Tony Gonsolin was ailing, he’ll be back. We got some other guys that are on the come in the system that are really close, but to have that kind of dependable Major League starter is something that is going to be a priority for us.”

The note about Buehler is just kind of thrown in there, but it stands out. When Buehler had his surgery, there was a lot of discussion about how a second TJ often takes longer to recover from than the first one, and September would be a somewhat aggressive timeline under any circumstances. If Buehler did return in 2023, it would almost surely be as a reliever.

It makes you wonder if Roberts knows something we don’t, but then we have to remember this is the same guy who talked about Max Muncy possibly returning for the 2021 World Series when he already knew Muncy’s elbow was severely injured and there was no way he was coming back. When it comes to Doc and injury updates, there might not be enough grains of salt in the world.

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2 Comments

  1. “Clayton’s back, Julio’s back. We don’t get Walker back until hopefully September. Dustin May will be healthy, he’ll have a healthy offseason — but coming off TJ, you got to manage his innings. Tony Gonsolin was ailing, he’ll be back.” Leave it to Roberts seeing everything with rose-coloered glasses. I’m surprised he did not say, “book it,” but I guess that will have to wait for the start of spring training.

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