Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Walker Buehler ‘Unlikely’ to Pitch in Cactus League Games

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler is “unlikely” to pitch in Cactus League games this year, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters Monday at the team’s spring training facility.

Buehler is attempting to return from his second Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the entire 2023 season with the Dodgers.

Though the Dodgers are excited to have Buehler back for 2024, they know they won’t be able to use him fully until later in the season. Roberts explained the thinking behind easing Buehler back into a regular rotation slot.

“I don’t want to put pressure on the training staff or Walker. I do know that he is throwing the baseball really well. As the days go on, he’s gonna get very anxious, knowing who he is as a competitor. I just don’t know right now. When he gets into the regular routine of facing hitters, extending, getting some length, then I think it will be more clear to project. But right now, I don’t even know a time to return for Walker Buehler.”

— Dave Roberts via SportsNet LA

This approach isn’t a huge surprise. Buehler spent all of last season on the rehab trail in attempt to make the Dodgers’ postseason roster. He made it into one rehab game at Triple-A Oklahoma City and pitched two innings before aborting his comeback attempt. More recently, Roberts said he expected Buehler to have a ‘delayed’ start to his 2024 season.

Still, Buehler is making progress. The 29-year-old is getting ready to face live batters for the first time since his injury. He also completed his first bullpen session of the year last Friday at Camelback Ranch.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Eva Geitheim

Eva graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Communication. She has been covering college and professional sports since 2022.

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