Spring Training Preview: Walker Buehler Makes 2019 Cactus League Debut As Dodgers Hosting Indians
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the final week of Cactus League play, but it is never too late for a player to make their spring debut, especially when it’s Walker Buehler.

Buehler has not pitched yet during Spring Training after being slow-played due to some arm issues left over from last season. He is now healthy and ready to go though, and his first test is the Cleveland Indians at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday night.

The expectation is that Buehler will throw three innings and around 45 pitches in his first start. Overall in 24 games (23 starts) last year, Buehler went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA, 3.04 FIP and 0.96 WHIP with 151 strikeouts and 37 walks in 137.1 innings. He finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

While Buehler has been ruled out for Opening Day, if all goes well Tuesday night and in his next outing, Buehler could be available at some point during the first week of the regular season.

Opposing him in another rookie from a season ago, right-hander Shane Bieber, who is in the midst of a very strong spring. In four Cactus League starts, Bieber has pitched to a 0.64 ERA and 0.36 WHIP. He has allowed just one run in 14 innings, striking out 17 and walking two.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Joc Pederson
1B: Max Muncy
CF: A.J. Pollock
RF: Cody Bellinger
3B: David Freese
C: Russell Martin
DH: Alex Verdugo
2B: Brad Miller
SS: Daniel Castro

Indians lineup:

DH: Hanley Ramirez
RF: Tyler Naquin
3B: Jose Ramirez
1B: Jake Bauers
C: Kevin Plawecki
LF: Greg Allen
CF: Trayce Thompson
2B: Max Moroff
SS: Eric Stamets