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Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, hoping for a potential return next month.
Despite having surgery less than a year ago, Buehler’s been adamant that his recovery has progressed ahead of schedule. According to Buehler himself, he’s set to face hitters on August 8th and go out on a rehab assignment soon afterwards.
Given it’s his second Tommy John, there’s increased scrutiny on his arm and pitching motion. And with the Dodgers on a road trip to San Diego, the team seized the opportunity to get a bit more data on how he’s progressing.
The Athletic reported that Buehler went to the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, just north of San Diego. That facility, normally used for PGA Tour professionals, has high tech motion capture capabilities meant to track body motions. Perfect for a player looking for hard data on how his arm is working.
And according to Dodgers Assistant Pitching Coach Connor McGuinness, it went well. “(He) looks like Walker,” McGuinness said.
But someone else was at the facility doing a check up and was reportedly so impressed, he wanted to get a closer look. Former Masters Champion and world number one Jon Rahm.
Jon Rahm Impressed With Walker Buehler’s Control
Fabian Ardaya reported that Rahm “marveled” at Buehler’s control and ability to locate in the strike zone at will.
As always, hitting seems a lot easier watching on television than stepping in the box.
The coincidental timing meant that Buehler’s first “hitter” faced during his recovery was a professional golfer. And one of the world’s best, at that.
Buehler’s set a September 1st target for a potential return to the Dodgers’ pitching staff. While that hasn’t been ruled out by the team, it would be a surprisingly quick progression for the 29-year-old.
Given the Dodgers’ rotation problems and the tightly bunched up NL West, they may be willing to take a chance for the last few weeks of the season.
If he does make it back before the end of the year, Buehler may have, of all things, the Titleist Performance Institute to thank. With a small assist from one of the best golfers on earth, Jon Rahm.