The Los Angeles Dodgers played their first weekend of 2020 Spring Training without Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler taking the mound, but that will change come Friday.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw is set to pitch in his first Cactus League game, facing the Milwaukee Brewers on the road. Buehler will follow Kershaw on Saturday, but whether he will pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch, or Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields, remains undecided.
“Walker is going to go two (innings),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Clayton, I don’t know that answer right now. My guess is it’s one and another one in the ‘pen.”
Up to this point both pitchers have been limited to bullpen sessions and throwing live batting practice. Buehler was the latest to do so, pitching to Terrance Gore and Corey Seager on Monday.
“I think that Walker feels that if he’s facing hitters, it brings out more of his edge and focus,” Roberts 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, 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.”
Roberts had previously noted the team planned to get Kershaw on a five-day routine in the immediate future. He faced batters on Sunday and is scheduled for another bullpen session before taking the mound against the Brewers.
The left-hander is enjoying a much better Spring Training than last year, when he was shut down by shoulder trouble. Roberts has regularly noted Kershaw’s health and that he is bullish over the outlook of his season.
The Dodgers have not yet publicly announced their Opening Day starter, but Roberts intimated it will either be Buehler or Kershaw.
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