Los Angeles Dodgers young starter Walker Buehler has not thrown a single pitch in Cactus League play to this point, but that was not believed to be for injury reasons.
All spring, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has said the organization is just slow-playing Buehler because he threw a career-high in innings in 2018.
It appears that may not have exactly been the case though. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Roberts revealed on Wednesday that while Buehler wasn’t necessarily dealing an injury, his arm didn’t feel right at the beginning of the spring which led to the slow-play:
Dave Roberts said club took a step back with Buehler earlier this spring because he “wasn’t really feeling right,” but he’s healthy now.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 13, 2019
Buehler being healthy now is definitely a positive sign even if he is not able to get completely stretched out by Opening Day.
The right-hander has thrown a handful of bullpens over the last couple weeks, and on Wednesday the plan is for him to face live hitters for a second time to get in two innings of work. If all goes well from there then he could get into his first Cactus League game next week.
Buehler and Clayton Kershaw are currently in similar positions after dealing with some arm issues at the beginning of the spring. Even if neither is built up past four innings by the start of the season, it seems like the organization is OK with both of them still starting the year on the active roster.
Ensuring they are healthy and not rushing them back will surely be the most important concern though above having them on the mound on Opening Day.