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Dodgers are confident Walker Buehler’s blister problems are behind him

He returns from the IL tonight

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the postseason beginning next week, all eyes will be on Walker Buehler tonight as he returns from the Injured List after dealing with a blister issue.

“We’ve done a great job in preparing him for tonight to pitch as many innings as he’s capable of,” Dave Roberts said when speaking to the media this afternoon. “I think it’s inning to inning. The main thing is we get out of this with a net positive and that we don’t go backwards.”

It’s been two weeks since Buehler pitched last, and it was one of his worst starts of the season. He allowed five runs to score in only 2⅔ innings of work. This blister issue has been a lingering problem for some time now, but Buehler is confident he’ll be able to move forward without any problems.

Earlier in the week he pitched in a simulated game and threw 90 pitches. According to Roberts, the feedback was great. Buehler threw 75 pitches with the blister uncovered and then covered it for the final inning of work.

“He wouldn’t be making the start if we didn’t feel good.” Roberts said. “After tonight, it’ll be telling. He’ll have an extra day or two before making a start in the postseason.”

Roberts said that Buehler has spent time talking with former Dodger Rich Hill, who dealt with blisters numerous times during his stint in Los Angeles.

News and notes

  • The National League has implemented the DH in 2020, and things have gone a lot better than expected. It seems that those who were against it have come around to the idea, including Roberts.

“It’s been such a pleasant surprise as far as the new rules,” he said. “How we’ve used it, I think a lot of teams are using the model as using it as a day for players to revolve and get days off. We’ve done it with a handful of guys. Just allowing guys to manage their workload and getting at bats.”

Roberts said he has about three players who we will see at DH in the postseason.

  • Clayton Kershaw will pitch on Friday. Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are going to pitch bulk on Saturday and Sunday. Roberts is still unsure as to whether they will be making the starts or they’ll be coming out of the bullpen.