Dodgers Spring Training: Walker Buehler Encouraged By Being ‘On Schedule’

Walker Buehler historically has been slow to ramp up in Spring Training, but he’s been full-go since the Los Angeles Dodgers opened camp this year due to changing his offseason routine to throw more regularly.

Buehler and the Dodgers were optimistic about the position it left him, and that continued to hold true after his second Cactus League outing. Buehler made an adjustment to pitch exclusively out of the stretch — though it didn’t yield positive results until the end of his start.

Buehler surrendered a pair of home runs with two outs in the first inning, and back-to-back doubles after needing just one more strike to get through the second. Buehler then set the Texas Rangers down in order in the third.

“Yeah, the third inning being clean was a step in the right direction,” he said. “I physically felt good, so fixing things is what this is for. Physically, I felt fine. … You don’t want to give up runs and homers, but at least I’m on schedule and on time more than I usually am.

“I feel fine. Get back out there in five days and keep getting better.”

As for pitching out of the stretch, it was with the overall delivery in mind. “Trying to get my mechanics going,” Buehler began.

“When I threw a bullpen out of the stretch the other day I felt a little more athletic, so going to do that for an outing or two and hopefully it kind of translates into the windup and go from there. It’s not the first time I’ve messed with something to try and get a certain feel. Definitely don’t think that’s why I gave up homers. I feel fine.”

Correlating to feeling where he would like to physically was Buehler pitching with increased velocity from his first spring start. “It was a little bit closer today to how I want it, so now I think it’s more about refining everything,” he said.

“Obviously that’s a big part of what I do, so a little bit more encouraged by today.”

Roberts pleased with Buehler

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts echoed much of what Buehler shared. “I think we’re on schedule. I thought the ball was coming out good, the spin was much better that last inning,” he said.

“Early on I thought the fastball was just not located. It was up a tick and they put a couple good swings on him. For where we’re at right now, I thought it was very positive.”

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