When the Los Angeles Dodgers broke camp and returned from Spring Training, they did so with their top two starting pitchers still facing a bit of uncertainty. Though, the immediate outlook for Walker Buehler is much more clear than the road Clayton Kershaw faces.
Both were slowed by shoulder trouble, with Kershaw being shut down for several days because of inflammation. Meanwhile, Buehler was slow-played in response to not feeling 100 percent and fully recovered from the 2018 season.
Buehler nonetheless managed to pitch in a Cactus League game, which is a step ahead of Kershaw. Both pitchers participated in a simulated game prior to the Freeway Series continuing at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts deemed it a success not only for his starters but organization as a whole, via SportsNet LA
“It went well. Today was a great day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Clayton, up and down twice, using his entire (pitch) mix. Clayton is always going to poke holes in something, and today would probably be the curveball. But for me, the way the ball was coming out, the depth of his slider, he threw some changeups, I was very encouraged. Walker, up and down four times, life to the fastball, dominated the hitters. It was tough for our hitters to face a guy like Walker in a simulated situation.”
Buehler remains on track to make his regular-season debut Sunday in the four-game finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kershaw faces more throwing before taking the mound for his first start of the year.
He’ll throw a bullpen session in the coming days and follow that with another simulated game situation. From there the Dodgers could opt to send their ace on a rehab assignment or allow him to join the rotation.