Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler established himself as one of baseball’s youngest and brightest stars this past season behind a dominant campaign that culminated with a third-place finish in National League Rookie of the Year voting.
In 24 games (23 starts) during the regular season, Buehler went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA, 3.04 FIP and 0.96 WHIP over 137.1 innings pitched. He struck out 151 batters and issued only 37 walks on the year.
Buehler then shined on baseball’s biggest stage, tossing seven shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series. All-in-all, he posted a 3.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over 23.2 postseason innings (four starts).
When reflecting on his first full Major League season, Buehler was generally pleased with how everything played out. “As weird as it is, it’s kind of one of those years where I can look back and say my stuff works and plays,” he said.
“If I can just keep it where I want it then I’m going to have some success. That’s really about it. It’s about getting healthy and feeling good and then moving forward execution stuff. That’s what spring training is for. We’ll get there.”
Looking ahead to his sophomore season, Buehler is maintaining a similar mindset to that of his rookie year. “Just trying to get back to where I was at the end of the year and keep moving forward,” he said. “Trying to keep everything sharp and do a little better.”
In terms of what he worked on during the offseason, Buehler focused on the basics. “Just getting back,” he revealed. “I think you’re always working on stuff and nothing to me mechanically. Just some stuff with the ball out of the hand.”
Confident in his talent and ability, Buehler didn’t feel making any changes to his routine were necessary this offseason. “Not really,” he said.
“My body felt good at the end of the year so there’s not a whole lot to change in terms of that kind of stuff. Just getting back into shape and getting the arm back ready to go.”