With less than three weeks until Opening Day, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top two starting pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, have yet to throw a single pitch in Cactus League play.
Both players are progressing and heading in that direction, particularly Buehler, who is not dealing with an injury, instead just being slow-played to protect his young arm.
Buehler threw live batting practice for the first time over the weekend and got rave reviews from infielder Brad Miller, who was one of the hitters to face him.
The plan for Buehler moving forward has been revealed and according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, he will throw live batting practice again on Wednesday before getting into a Spring Training game:
Walker Buehler will face hitters again on Wednesday.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 11, 2019
Despite how quickly Opening Day is approaching, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is still not ready to rule out either Buehler or Kershaw being in the rotation to begin the season. Ross Stripling would be first in line to replace them if they are not ready.
While it seems like it has been the case this spring, the training wheels are expected to be fully off Buehler this season as he has set a goal of throwing 200 innings. He threw just over 170 combined innings in 2018 between the Major Leagues, Minors and postseason, which was by far a career high.
Buehler may only be built up to throw four or five innings in his first start of the season, but that would still be a great benefit to the Dodgers considering their bullpen is healthy and in good shape.