Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Making 2020 Spring Training Debut Against Rockies; Ross Stripling Facing Diamondbacks In Split-Squad Game
Walker Buehler, 2020 Spring Training
Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers played their first few games of 2020 Spring Training without sending Clayton Kershaw or Walker Buehler to the mound, but manager Dave Roberts indicated that’s due to change this weekend.

Kershaw’s first game of the year is set for Friday, when the Dodgers face the Milwaukee Brewers on the road. It will mark Kershaw’s first Cactus League action since 2018, as he was shut down last spring due to a shoulder issue that led to a stint on the injured list to begin the season.

Meanwhile, Buehler was earmarked to start and throw two innings Saturday, though with the Dodgers in split-squad action against the Colorado Rockies (road) and Arizona Diamondbacks (home), it was unclear as to which game the right-hander would pitch in.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested Buehler would start at home, but noted he would first speak with him before finalizing plans. According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, that’s amounted to Buehler instead making the start at Salt River Fields:

Coming off a winter in which he continued throwing for the first time in his career, Buehler to this point in spring has only advanced to three sessions of live batting practice.

“I think that Walker feels that if he’s facing hitters, it brings out more of his edge and focus,” Roberts recently explained. “Just to do the ‘pens, versus the lives, and then get into a game, that’s just what he wants.

“Every pitcher is different. With Walker, it might be this way this year and next year it could be completely different. To Walker’s standards it was just OK (on Monday), but for the rest of us it was really good.”

Buehler’s latest round of live BP consisted of three innings, which is more than traditionally seen. “I guess if you look at everyone else (three innings is aggressive) but it’s not a game,” Roberts noted.

“He just faced one hitter. I think threw three or four pitches in that third inning.”

For Stripling, Saturday’s start will be his second of the spring. He went a scoreless inning last week and was encouraged by the early returns on his new changeup grip.

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