Dodgers Make Final Call on SP Walker Buehler Rehab Assignment

Walker Buehler

Getty The Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Walker Buehler will make a Triple-A rehab start on March 31.

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t expect starting pitcher Walker Buehler to make his 2024 season debut until at least May. But he now could return before that initial timeline.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on March 30 that Buehler will throw in a Triple-A rehab start on March 31. The outing will be his first of four rehab starts in the minor leagues.

If everything goes according to plan at Triple-A, Buehler could be ready to pitch for the Dodgers in less than a month.

“Sunday’s outing will be the first of four rehab starts for Buehler, as per the team’s current plans, though things remain fluid as the Dodgers want to be as careful as possible in managing Buehler’s return after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2022,” wrote MLB Trade Rumors’ Mark Polishuk. “Buehler is already well beyond the normal 13-15 rehab window, though obviously not every recovery process is the same for every pitcher, plus this was also the second TJ procedure of Buehler’s career.

“If all goes well at Triple-A, Buehler should be on track to be part of the L.A. rotation before April is over.”

Buehler last pitched for the Dodgers on June 10, 2022. He posted a 6-3 record with a 4.02 ERA in 12 appearances during the 2022 season.

Dodgers’ Walker Buehler Set to Make Season Debut at Triple-A

Getting Buehler back in the rotation would be a huge boost for the Dodgers.

He owns a .742 win percentage in his seven-year MLB career. Buehler has also registered a 3.02 ERA with a 1.036 WHIP and 690 strikeouts in 638.1 career innings.

Buehler finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting during the 2021 season. He was an All-Star that season along with in 2019.

He won at least 14 games in each of those two campaigns.

The Dodgers are dealing with a lot of injuries in their starting rotation to begin the 2024 season. In addition to Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Emmet Sheehan, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin all opened the season on the injured reserve list.

In all likelihood, the Dodgers will need to get back more than one of those arms to be a dangerous October team. But Buehler’s return would obviously be a big step in the right direction for the Dodgers rotation.

Dodgers Starting Rotation Impressive in Opening Home Series

With all the injuries, the Dodgers had major question marks in their rotation entering 2024. Furthermore, their prized international signing, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, gave up 5 runs in 1 inning in his MLB debut during the Seoul Series on March 21.

Los Angeles signed Yamamoto to a 12-year, $325 million contract during the offseason.

But the Dodgers starting rotation is off to a much better start at home.

In the home opener on March 28, Tyler Glasnow allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings. He also struck out 5 and walked only 1.

Then on March 29, 25-year-old Bobby Miller topped Glasnow’s performance. Miller tossed 6 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 11.

Behind Glasnow and Miller, the Dodgers have beaten the St. Louis Cardinals in the first two games of the opening series at Dodgers Stadium.

On March 30, Yamamoto will receive his second opportunity to pitch at the MLB level. He is projected to face Cardinals veteran starter Lance Lynn.

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