Dodgers Spring Training Video: Walker Buehler Throws Bullpen Session

The Los Angeles Dodgers are entering their first full week of Cactus League games but Walker Buehler remains on a much different trajectory than his teammates.

Coming off a second Tommy John surgery, Buehler missed the entire 2023 season and won’t be included on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster as they delay him in effort to preserve some health and innings for what the team hopes is a World Series run.

Because of that, Buehler has been limited to playing long toss and throwing bullpen sessions thus far in camp. His latest opportunity to throw off the mound came Saturday morning during the Dodgers’ workout at Camelback Ranch.

“If it goes well, then the next progression should be he’ll face some hitters,” manager Dave Roberts said shortly before Buehler began his bullpen session.

However, on Sunday, Roberts said Buehler won’t pitch to batters in his next time throwing and instead will go through another bullpen session.

The Dodgers anticipate the right-hander experiencing some rust with command and needing to build his velocity, but of greater concern and importance is how Buehler’s surgically repaired elbow responds.

Lingering soreness while ramping up last year and after a rehab start ultimately led to Buehler and the Dodgers halting his pursuit at a late comeback and shifting the focus to 2024.

Buehler’s reported fastball velocity during bullpen sessions thus far has been around 92 mph, but that is not a primary focus for the Dodgers and there’s the potential for an increase as he progresses to face hitters and eventually pitch in games.

Gavin Stone, Ryan Yarbrough and Emmet Sheehan are the leading candidates to fill Buehler’s spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

When will Walker Buehler pitch?

Buehler is not expected to pitch in any Cactus League games, which for the Dodgers is a condensed schedule because of starting the regular season early in South Korea.

A target date or goal has not been publicly shared for when Buehler will make his first start for the Dodgers this season.

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