One of the biggest concerns this Spring, other than the health of Clayton Kershaw, has been the slow-playing of Walker Buehler. With just two weeks left until Opening Day, the Dodgers’ ace in the making has barely thrown a few bullpen sessions. Dave Roberts clarified the slow play early on Wednesday.
Dave Roberts said club took a step back with Buehler earlier this spring because he “wasn’t really feeling right,” but he’s healthy now.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 13, 2019
There was not a whole lot of clarification on what it means to not feel right, but it would certainly explain a lot. Roberts went as far as to say it seemed like a sort of “dead arm”, but that was it. Buehler was easily one of the best pitchers on the team last season, and many expect him to take Kershaw’s spot on Opening Day. His lack of playing time in real games in Spring caused many to wonder if there were lingering issues as a result of the longest season of his young adult life.
Buehler pitched in 137.1 regular season innings in 2018, in addition to 23.2 in the regular season. A total of 161 innings of work is far and away the most Buehler has ever thrown at any level, despite the team insisting he would not pitch many innings in his first season. But Buehler impressed early and often carried the team at times, forcing management’s hand.
With this new concern in mind, slow playing Walker may be the way to go. In the same way that the team does not need Kershaw to rush back, I would much rather have a healthy Buehler after the start of the season.
However, luckily for Dodgers Nation, Roberts finally provided a timetable for game action involving the young ace.
Dave Roberts said Walker Buehler said he will pitch in a game Monday or Tuesday.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) March 14, 2019
As of today, Dave Roberts has full confidence that Buehler will be ready to pitch in games within the coming week. Something to keep an eye on at the very least.
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