The sudden absence of Walker Buehler from the Dodgers’ Summer Camp has been a topic of conversation in the last few days. After appearing in MLB’s promo for the first day back, fans couldn’t see Walker anywhere else aside from pictures taken on July 6th.
Dave Roberts was asked about Buehler today at this press conference and it sounds like he is behind. Compared to other Dodgers pitchers, Buehler does not sound like he will be built up and ready to go for the second game of the season.
I think it was Sunday I think he went one plus…facing hitters in a live situation so I would expect him here to do the same live BP but I would expect it to be a 2 plus situation. And then after that, his next outing will be in an exhibition or in an intrasquad game…I think that he’s just a little bit behind the other guys but once the season starts whatever he can give us with the extra pitchers on the staff will be sufficient.
Roberts already confirmed this week that he will be able to carry some extra pitchers to give starters more time to ramp up at the start. With that in mind, it’s safe to safe that Buehler will not be built up to throw more than a few innings for the Dodgers’ second game against the Giants. Buehler’s turn through the rotation is just ten days away.
Other Dodgers pitchers have already built up to as many as six innings including guys like Clayton Kershaw and Ross Stripling. Buehler, on the other hand, apparently did not stay as ready as everyone else during the quarantine.
Certain other guys threw throughout quarantine. I think with Walker he took some time off with the uncertainty and that was his decision and Mark was in tune with it. So just kind of the build-up period for Walker is just going to take a little bit longer…To get him when the season starts 3 to 4 innings with some guys behind him he’ll be fine.
As Roberts said, there is a good chance that Buehler will still be able to get the start for the second game of the season. It might only be a few innings, but the Dodgers have the ability to be covered by the expanded bullpen.