No. 1 draft choice Walker Buehler talks Tommy John surgery

Walker  Buehler

Walker Buehler/Photo courtesy of University of Vanderbilt


The Dodgers selected pitcher Walker Buehler as their No. 1 draft choice in the June draft, even though they knew he had an issue with his pitching elbow. Buehler then had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 6.

Buehler was on hand at Dodger Stadium on Saturday and spoke with reporters.

“I’m a little bit more than six weeks out from surgery, so I’ve been in Arizona five of those six weeks,” said Buehler, a right-hander who played his college ball at Vanderbilt. “Things went well, according to plan. Feel good.”

Buehler, who has been getting treatment at the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Phoenix, Ariz., went 5-2 with an ERA of 2.95 his junior year at Vanderbilt. He had 92 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings. He knew he had elbow issues during that campaign, but he didn’t think it would end up resulting in Tommy John surgery.

“It was one of those things where during the season I pitched through some stuff and the elbow wasn’t perfect,” he said. “But I didn’t think it was that. But I think now is the best time it could have happened, to be honest with you.

“I was surprised, but it’s not as bad as everybody thinks it is.”

Buehler, 21, is expected to be ready for the 2017 season.

According to a story on SB Nation, Walker – the 24th pick overall in the draft – signed for a bonus of $1.78 million, under the allotted slot value of $2,094,400. That was because the Dodgers had knowledge of his elbow problems.