Blue Heaven has been awaiting the return of their newest anointed son, Walker Buehler. Not just a return to action – which we witness June 28th in relief against the Chicago Cubs. A full return – one that has Buehler back as a featured member of the Dodgers rotation – is what would comfort many in regards to Buehler’s health.
Buehler threw a simulated game on Sunday in Anaheim. All the boxes were checked, and things went well according to Dave Roberts:
“I thought he threw the ball really well,” said Roberts. “He pitched well in Rancho, efficient. Today, facing big league hitters, built him up. The stuff was sharp. I think I heard he touched 97, so the velo was good. He’ll throw a ‘pen Wednesday and then we’ve got to figure out where we pencil him in. He will start before the All-Star break.”
According to various reports, Buehler is actually on track to start a game next weekend against the Anaheim Angels in Los Angeles. This could make for an exciting night before the All-Star break.
After his successful simulated game today, Walker Buehler will start next weekend against the Angels, Dave Roberts said.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 8, 2018
It will be interesting to see what the Dodgers do if Buehler returns to being Buehler. There has been mention of using a six-man rotation if the team ever gets to that point.
Buehler is 4-2 on the season with a 3.44 ERA to go with 54 strikeouts in 52 and 1/3 innings pitched. He will continue to take aim at winning the Rookie of the Year hardware when he makes his return.
I can’t wait until Buehler is back and pitching every fifth (or sixth) day as a starter. His starts became appointment television, and you could feel the city and fan base start to take this kid under their wing with each progressive performance. Buehler is one of the most exciting young talents in all of baseball, and could prove to be a massive addition in the second half of the season. This is not just about getting a young player’s feet wet and experience for the future. Buehler has the talent to help the Dodgers add to the win column every time he takes the ball. It will be interesting to see if he experiences any rust from not facing big league hitters for an extended period.
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