Dodgers Spring Training: Walker Buehler Benefitting From Change In Offseason Routine

After the MLB Players Association rejected a proposal to delay the start of Spring Training and the 2021 regular season, camps in Arizona and Florida opened this month. Defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers had all of their pitchers report to Camelback Ranch on time.

That of course includes David Price, who is looking forward to playing in the 2021 season and helping the team defend their title. Price reiterated the difficult decision he made to opt out last year due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns and voiced confidence in health and safety protocols.

Another early storyline for the Dodgers is how Walker Buehler looks after enduring a rough start last year. The right-hander was slow to build up after he elected to stop throwing for a period of time during MLB’s shutdown phase.

Buehler adjusted his routine during the offseason, electing to continue throwing rather than take a substantial break. “So far I feel good about where I’m at. Just trying to evolve and figure out what works best for me. So far we’re happy with where I am,” Buehler said.

He’s among the Dodgers pitchers who have thrown a bullpen session thus far into camp, and already is reaping the benefits of a change in offseason routine. “I just feel a little bit closer to where I want to be physically,” Buehler explained.

“And then I think there’s a mental side of that where you’re not as stressed out about going through this stuff. You can kind of build up and just feel good about where you are and get ready for a season.”

In addition to not ramping up as quickly as he would have hoped, Buehler was plagued by blister issues for the first time in his career last season. He twice was placed on the 10-day injured list and continued to be bothered by them throughout the Dodgers’ World Series run.

Buehler finished the regular season 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA, 4.36 FIP and 0.96 WHIP over eight starts. He never logged more than six innings in any outing, and didn’t pitch more than five in his three starts during September.

Despite having to closely manage his blisters, the Dodgers started Buehler in Game 1 of the Wild Card round, National League Division Series and NL Championship Series. His final playoff start was in Game 3 of the World Series.

The 26-year-old was particularly effective from the NLCS through the World Series, allowing a combined two earned runs and striking out 26 batters across 17 innings in three starts.

Before reporting to Spring Training, the Dodgers and Buehler avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract.

Buehler happy Trevor Bauer signed with Dodgers

Buehler previously expressed a desire for Trevor Bauer to sign with the Dodgers, and now that it’s been finalized, is excited to be teammates.

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