Dodgers Spring Training Video: Walker Buehler Faces Miguel Vargas In Live BP

While the Los Angeles Dodgers are navigating a condensed 2024 Spring Training schedule of workouts and Cactus League games because of starting the regular season in South Korea, Walker Buehler is on a different path due to not being part of the forthcoming Opening Day roster.

Buehler is looking to pitch for the first time since undergoing a second Tommy John surgery of his career in August 2022. He hoped to return late in the 2023 season and for the playoffs, but lingering soreness after bullpen sessions and a rehab start shifted the focus to this year.

Buehler has thrown multiple bullpen sessions in camp thus far and took a somewhat unexpected step forward during Tuesday’s workout at Camelback Ranch.

According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Buehler pitched to batters for the first time this spring, which included facing Miguel Vargas:

Heading into a bullpen session on Saturday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said if it went well, the next progression for Buehler was going to be live batting practice. The next morning Roberts indicated there still was work ahead for Buehler before he could face hitters.

“Walker looked good, (but) I think he’s still searching,” Roberts said. “The ball is coming out well, but I think he needs another ‘pen. He’s still kind of in — not rehab mode — but he’s got to get to the point where you’re getting hitters out. He’s not quite there yet.

“He’s still working through some things in his delivery. He’ll get there. The most important thing is the teeth of the baseball is good and the life of the baseball coming out is good as well.”

It’s possible Buehler ironed out his mechanics during dry work and Dodgers pitching coaches felt comfortable with having him face batters. It’s also plausible the right-hander lobbied his way into moving forward with the progression.

When will Walker Buehler pitch for Dodgers?

Outside of confirming Buehler is going to be delayed to start the 2024 season, the Dodgers have not specified when he may take the mound.

A general belief is Buehler won’t pitch for the Dodgers any earlier than May.

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