Dodgers Team News

Andrew Friedman Believes Dodgers’ Walker Buehler’s Stuff is in ‘Great Spot” Right Now

The return of Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed ace Walker Buehler is approaching folks. A return date has not been set, but it’s only a matter of time before we see number 21 back on the mound for the Boys in Blue.

Although his latest rehab outing wasn’t the prettiest, only going 2.2 innings and throwing 68 pitches, his return is palpable. Before his last outing, Buehler has looked more like himself and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is noticing it. Or at least he’s looking at it from a more optimistic lens.

When OC Register’s Bill Plunkett asked Friedman about Buheler, he thought Buehler was in a ‘really good spot.’

“Actually watching his start last night, I think his stuff is in a really good spot,” said Friedman, who watched video of the outing. “I’ve seen it with a lot of major-league pitchers who are on a rehab assignment – the adrenaline is different. I don’t think we’ll have a really good answer until he’s built up and back. But we’ve all seen Walker a lot over the years and we would absolutely bet on him.

“But the most important thing for us, watching a guy on rehab, is where’s their stuff and execution. Just looking at the box score last night, I assumed the execution was poor. Watching it, it was way better than that and the stuff is in a really good place. Those are the two most important factors that we look at with a guy on rehab and I would say he checked both those boxes.”

—Bill Plunkett, via OC Register

Buehler’s latest outing with the Triple-A Oklahoma City Baseball Club was not pretty. He finished with 68 pitches, 34 strikes, four hits, four walks, three strikeouts and two earned runs.

Those are the highs and lows the 29-year-old will experience when recovering from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a long road for the former Vanderbilt Commodore. June 2022 was the last time he was on a big league mound, and August 2022 was the second time he underwent Tommy John surgery in his career.

The results may not be there for Buehler, but it’s more about the build-up and ensuring he is ready for the rigorous major league schedule. We also care about the results, but in Buehler’s case, it’s more about whether he can handle the load that will be thrust upon him.

October is the only thing that matters. If he’s good enough by then, L.A. will be just fine.

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Ricardo Sandoval

Born and Raised in the East side of Los Angeles. Ricardo is a staff writer at Dodgers Nation and on the LA Sports Report network of sites. He's also a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan. Ricardo is an alumnus of CSUN (Go Matadors).

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