Andrew Friedman: Dodgers ‘Feel Good’ With Walker Buehler’s Offseason Throwing Program

The Los Angeles Dodgers boast one of the most talented starting rotations in all of baseball, led by three Cy Young Award winners in Clayton Kershaw, David Price and Trevor Bauer, to go along with one of the league’s brightest stars in Walker Buehler.

Outside of a brief stint on the injured list, Kershaw was a constant force for the Dodgers this past season. Buehler, on the other hand, was more limited due to a lingering blister issue that forced him to miss time during the regular season.

It was a continuation of the slow start he endured in Spring Training, and eventually, Summer Camp. This was partly due to the right-hander electing to stop throwing for a period of time during MLB’s shutdown phase.

It’s normal for Buehler to not throw as much during long layoffs like the offseason. While the strategy is unorthodox, it has certainly paid off for him.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman noted that the organization is comfortable with letting Buehler throw as often as he pleases due to his work ethic and competitive nature, via Pedro Moura of The Athletic:

“I think it’s been a learning process, as it is with all of our guys. His is just a little bit more visible. But we feel good with what we’ve learned and how we’re applying it. Again, the fact that we’re dealing with someone that’s this competitive and works this hard makes it easier to feel confident about.”

Buehler pitched to a 1-0 record with a 3.44 ERA, 4.36 FIP and 0.96 WHIP over eight starts this past season. He never logged more than six innings in any outing, and didn’t pitch more than five in his three starts during September.

Despite having to closely manage his blisters, the Dodgers started Buehler in Game 1 of the Wild Card round, National League Division Series and National League Championship Series. His final playoff start was in Game 3 of the World Series.

In five overall postseason starts, Buehler went 2-0 with a superb 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 25 innings pitched. He was at his best during the NLCS, where he posted a minuscule 0.82 ERA in 11 innings against the Atlanta Braves (two games).

Buehler adjusted offseason throwing program after receiving advice from Max Scherzer

Buehler entered the 2020 season coming off a new offseason throwing program that in some part was a byproduct of speaking with Max Scherzer.

Buehler noted that he didn’t take as much time off when compared to the previous offseason, but still threw less often than his fellow teammates.

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