GLENDALE — It took nearly a month, but we finally got to see Walker Buehler take the mound in a Spring Training game. On Tuesday night, Buehler made his debut after being held out for the first four weeks of camp.
Overall, Buehler felt satisfied with his performance. “Pretty pleased with it as a whole,” he said. “A little erratic, I’m kind of all over the place, but that’s what these games are for.”
Prior to the game, manager Dave Roberts said that the 24-year-old would have a limit of only three innings and 45 pitches.
Buehler threw 46 pitches on the night, but failed to make it three innings. He was removed with two outs and a runner on first in the top of the third. That run would eventually score, being Buehler’s only charged run of the night. He finished with two strikeouts, and saw his velocity touch as high as 98 mph.
“I thought he was where we had hoped he would be tonight,” Roberts said. “He was amped-up, rightfully so. As far as the way the ball was coming out, very pleased. I think it was a positive night for him and us. A very good night.”
Buehler said there were no limitations for him on the night between mixing his different pitches. “I think for me it’s just kind of the whole bag,” he said. “Just trying to get a little bit of feel for everything, we did that tonight.”
When asked if he expects to start the season on the active roster, he said he’ll be good to go. “Yeah. At some point we got to go. I’ll be fine.”
Roberts isn’t worried about rushing Buehler back, saying the Dodgers have a really good bullpen that can help carry him until he’s fully 100 percent. “I think that with the pen, we can build him up,” Roberts said. “We can have people that can piggyback him and finish a game.”
The next plan is for Buehler to start sometime this weekend against the Angels in the freeway series. “He’s going to go one of those days,” Roberts said. “He’ll throw four [innings] and 60 [pitches]. He’ll be ready to go at some point for the first series [of the season].”
This is great news, especially after Dave Roberts announced Buehler wouldn’t be getting the nod on Opening Day after Kershaw was announced out. There was speculation that Buehler would join him on the injured list to begin the season.
“Things are fine. I’ll get my work in, and I’ll be ready I think,” Buehler said. “Once I’m kind of going, I’m going. As long as I get the feel, I think I’ll be fine.”