Dodgers Don’t Have ‘Hard Start Date’ For Walker Buehler’s 2024 Debut

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to enter the 2024 season with a starting rotation of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Bobby Miller, James Paxton and Emmet Sheehan, with Michael Grove, Ryan Yarbrough and Gavin Stone among the other possible options on the 40-man roster.

Walker Buehler has already been ruled out from being part of the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation due to an innings limit, but the right-hander recently said he is ahead of schedule in his rehab.

Buehler missed the entire 2023 season while recovering from the second Tommy John surgery of his career. He initially hoped to join the Dodgers’ rotation at the end of the year but shifted his focus to 2024 after making one rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Buehler figures to make his 2024 debut at some point after the first month of the regular season, but manager Dave Roberts said there is no concrete date in place, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

“There’s still no hard start date,” Roberts said. “There’s a progression that needs to be in place and is in place. Once he passes all those markers, he’ll be ready to go. I just don’t know when that’s going to be. We just don’t want to rush him.”

Buehler last pitched in an MLB game on June 10, 2022. His rehab start for OKC last September consisted of two strikeouts in two hitless innings.

While Buehler has seemingly navigated his rehab process without issue, the Dodgers are looking at the bigger picture and prioritizing the postseason over the early months of the regular season.

Buehler started throwing bullpen sessions before reporting to Camelback Ranch for Spring Training and has continued to do so in Arizona.

Walker Buehler: Shohei Ohtani brings NFL atmosphere to Dodgers

The Dodgers’ signing of Shohei Ohtani to a record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract has created a buzz around the team in Spring Training, which Buehler compared to the NFL on Sundays.

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