Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Hopes Walker Buehler Returns in Starting Pitching Role This Year

Walker Buehler is steadily progressing through his road to recovery from Tommy John surgery and the hope is that he returns to the mound this year.

Over a year since the former ace has thrown a pitch at the Major League level, the 29-year-old pitcher is finally at the backend of his recovery.

On Wednesday afternoon, he and teammate Blake Treinen finally faced live hitters in a simulated-game setting throwing around 20 pitches.

The two-time All-Star was sitting around 92-93 mph, which is only about two-to-three mph less than his average fastball velocity of 95.2 in 2022.

Buehler has been very vocal about his recovery and his possible return to the mound and now the star pitcher finally has his eye set on a September return.

“I think I’ll face professional hitters on Sept. 1 or around there, I imagine,” he said, referring to a minor-league injury rehabilitation assignment. “I don’t know if I’ll be back with the team by then. But all in all, this surgery or second Tommy John (recovery estimate) is 14 to 18 months. If I step on a field this year, I’ll have blown that out of the water. So I’m pretty proud of where I am right now. I don’t think Sept. 1 is probably a reality but I’m hoping sometime in September.”

(via Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

Buehler will most likely not have enough time to build up to a full starter’s workload, around six-to-seven innings. But the addition of Ryan Yarbrough and rookies like Emmet Sheehan allow for the recovering pitcher to only be needed to toss around three or four innings a game.

Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, knows the work Buehler puts in and does not want to stop him from getting a good recovery and sacrificing what Buehler is used to.

“The hope is as a starter. That’s the expectation,” Roberts said. “I think the question remains how much of a buildup would it be? I think as a starter, there’s more certainty on when you’re gonna be pitching. That’s the routine that he’s used to. So that’s where all of our heads are at.”

(via Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register)

September may be a big month for returning Dodgers pitchers with Blake Treinen, Walker Buehler, and Shelby Miller all eyeing a September return.

The Dodgers are starting to get healthy in all the right places as they look to gear up on arms to man a long postseason run that hopefully will end in a World Series trophy.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Jacob Zinder

Jacob Zinder is a digital sports journalist that recently graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Growing up in California, Jacob has been a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire life.

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