When will Dodgers’ prospect Walker Buehler be ready to blossom?

first_imgLess than three years after he was drafted in the first round and almost immediately underwent Tommy John surgery, Buehler is expected to break into the Dodgers’ rotation at some point this season and begin to fulfill the potential that comes with a high-90s fastball and electric pitch mix.“I think he’s in position to help us win games this year,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “When that is, I don’t think we know yet. But I think he’s in position to do that.”There are plenty of unknowns with Buehler – as there were with Urias. Foremost is how much of a workload the Dodgers can expect him to handle.Friedman is reluctant to set any target for starts or innings, saying there are too many factors potentially in play. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said in a best-case scenario, 140 to 150 innings “is potentially attainable” for Buehler this season.“If he’s healthy,” Roberts said. “If Walker is healthy, good things are going to happen for him and for us.” Dodgers’ Corey Seager deals with another spring of sickness and setbacks Yu Darvish makes Cubs debut lighter after ‘what happened in the World Series’ After All-Star season, Dodgers’ Alex Wood made changes looking for more consistency Some day Urias and Buehler might be in the same rotation. For now, Friedman said there is only so much that can be gleaned from the experience with Urias that can benefit the Dodgers as they try to prepare Buehler for the big leagues.“They’re unique. They’re different,” Friedman said. “From an industry perspective, every team is on a race to continue to learn more and be able to individualize pitcher progressions even more. We know more today than we did three years ago. We’ll know even more three years from now than we do today.“Last September was a great experience for him. And that was part of the thought process. A worst-case scenario and he doesn’t help us and make our playoff roster, the experience will serve him well and help him going into 2018. That’s exactly what we got out of it.” Cubs score six in first inning, beat Dodgers in Yu Darvish’s spring debut Unlike Urias, Buehler’s has not been a slow build. Signed as a 16-year-old, Urias had 222-1/3 innings over three minor-league seasons before he debuted in the majors in 2016. Two years older, Bueher has a college career behind him. But he has just one full season as a professional – and that ended with him pitching in the major leagues with a chance to make the Dodgers’ postseason roster as a reliever.Major-league hitters were not impressed with Buehler’s lofty prospect ranking. He allowed eight runs on 11 hits and eight walks in 9-1/3 innings last September.“This is a different level. It just is,” Buehler said of the lesson he learned. “Those guys are really good. You have to kind of understand more what guys are trying to do against you as opposed to what you can do. Because they’ve seen it all. It doesn’t matter how good you are. They can get you if you make a mistake – even if they’re just sitting on the right thing in the right spot.”Buehler remains fully loaded with confidence. But last September also chastened him enough to shape his answer when asked if he feels ready to step into a major-league rotation this year.“I don’t know. There’s parts of it that are different,” he said. “It’s hard to look back on a September where I had a 7.00 ERA and be, ‘Oh, I can go out and win 20 games.’ But I think getting back to starting and kind of getting back to being myself, all of that helps.“We’ll see. I feel good about it. I feel good about myself on the mound. But there will be ups and downs to it, I imagine, if and when I get to pitch up there.”Upper back tightness provided the Dodgers with good cover to ease Buehler into things this spring. He was almost two weeks behind most of the starting pitchers in camp in hitting the early-spring markers. But he did pitch an inning in a “B” game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.GM Farhan Zaidi has already said Buehler is not a candidate to open the season with the Dodgers, raising the possibility of some of the “slow-play” hints from Urias’ spring a year ago – time in extended spring camp, a slow buildup in the minors.“We had some dialogue last year in terms of the schedule I was on as far as going five starts on, one start off,” said Buehler who pitched 88-2/3 innings at three minor-league levels last year. “That was something that had been discussed and figured out so they kind of got me ready for it. That’s the flip side of being slow-played. Last year, I was really slow-played compared to anything they could do to me this year.“That’s above my pay grade. That’s their job. My job is to get outs in whatever city they stick me on a mound. I’m good with that. … I’m 23. I’ve got some time to kind of feel it out and get as good as I can be to where when I get the chance to do it (in the major leagues) I can do it. That’s about all I’m worried about.”Related Articles PreviousDodgers relief pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Colorado Rockies during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler talks with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Dodgers’ Walker Buehler throws during workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Walker Buehler throws to the plate against the Colorado Rockies in his major league debut in the eighth inning of a Major League baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 07, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler talks with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Dodgers do not plan to have Walker Buehler in their rotation to start the season and will handle him with care, but he’s clearly someone they envision as part of their rotation for years to come. (Photo by G Fiume, Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Walker Buehler reacts after giving up a two-run home run to Colorado Rockies’ Trevor Story during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Denver. The Rockies won 9-1. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Dodgers relief pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Colorado Rockies during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler talks with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 7The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler talks with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandGLENDALE, Ariz. — They are the orchid bulbs of baseball development – delicate, high-maintenance. But, oh, when they blossom, they are a sight to see.The Dodgers have had two blue-chip pitching prospects in a row to nurture and try to develop into big-league starters. They handled left-hander Julio Urias with care, putting innings limits and pitch count restrictions on him, even using an elective eye surgery as a means to shut him down for a long stretch of the 2015 season.That seed has yet to take. The 21-year-old Urias is not expected to pitch until late this season (if at all in 2018) after undergoing serious shoulder surgery last summer.Now it’s Walker Buehler’s turn. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Chris Sale’s shouts rally Red Sox to brink of title

first_imgGov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Boston had just fallen behind by four runs in the sixth inning Saturday night, nine outs from finding itself tied 2-2 in a World Series that seemed to be a runaway just 27 hours earlier. The Red Sox had managed just one hit in six innings.“We felt that we had no energy, actually none whatsoever,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “It had to do with Rich Hill, the way he was throwing the ball.”Sale did not respond with reassuring words like the ones delivered by David Ortiz in his dugout huddle in St. Louis after the fifth inning of Game 4 five years ago.This was more like Justin Verlander’s motivational message to the Houston Astros when he popped up the stairs in the very same dugout during Game 2 last October.“Chris Sale in his leadership kind of in the middle of the game said, ‘Hey, we got to get it going,’ and the guys responded,” hitting coach Tim Hyers would later explain. “We capitalized and struck quick and struck often at the end.”ADVERTISEMENT Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Boston rallied on Mitch Moreland’s three-run homer off Ryan Madson in the seventh and Steve Pearce’s solo shot against Kenley Jansen tied the score in the eighth, both homers coming from pinch hitters.Brock Holt doubled with one out in the ninth and scored on Devers’ pinch single off Dylan Floro, Pearce hit a three-run double against Kenta Maeda and Xander Bogaerts’ RBI single built a five-run advantage. With a 9-6 victory, the Red Sox grabbed a 3-1 Series lead and kept rolling toward their fourth title in 15 seasons.“I was down the tunnel and I heard someone yelling,” Holt later recalled.Holt turned to Mookie Betts and asked: “Who’s yelling up there?”“He said, ‘Sale.’ Oh, my God. He was mad at us,” Holt said. “I think that kind of lit a fire under everybody. We didn’t want to see him mad anymore. So we decided to start swinging the bats a little bit.”Sale had been announced as Boston’s starter against Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced after the game he was switching to David Price and saving Sale for a possible sixth game at Fenway Park on Tuesday.Game 4 seemed like a test Boston had never had to face.A 17-2 start meant the Red Sox could coast to the playoffs en route to a team-record 108 wins.Other than an opening loss to Houston in the AL Championship Series that seemed like a bump, the Red Sox have approached another title like a marathoner pacing along the course, noting mile markers and counting down to the finish line.Time to map the parade route. MOST READ Design a 2018 ring to dazzle.After two nights of Fenway fun, the flight west seemed like the final stretch toward the inevitable.Then came an epic 18-inning stumble that left the pitchers’ arms frayed, bodies and minds exhausted. J.D. Martinez called it like getting “punched right in the face” but said players marveled at the experience.“That was pretty sick,” he said. “Everyone was like, dude, this is crazy.”Then came a run-scoring throwing error by catcher Christian Vazquez and Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer against Eduardo Rodriguez in a four-run sixth inning Saturday that seemed like a crusher.Sale was not going to let the Red Sox lose quietly.“Guys, dig a little deeper. Let’s keep moving forward. We’re a good team. Let’s not just roll over,” Hyers said was the message. “Chris Sale is a leader, and Chris Sale did it the way Chris Sale knows how to get the team moving. And so we have to give him a lot of credit. And it was that perfect timing.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Boston Red Sox’s Chris Sale answers questions for the World Series baseball game Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Boston.The Red Sox play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)LOS ANGELES — Chris Sale stood in the back of the dugout as the World Series was slipping away and started screaming.“He’s got two pitches!” the Boston Red Sox ace hollered to his left among a stream of profanities, referring to Los Angeles Dodgers starter Rich Hill.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Ginebra reclaims top spot, fends off Magnolia Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Then he shouted to his right.And then straight ahead, pointing with his pitching hand and extending his ring and middle fingers for emphasis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSale stepped down, kept on shrieking and raised his right hand, his head bobbing up and down and a fire in his eyes like a Shakespearean king exhorting troops into battle.“It scared me a little bit,” Rafael Devers said through a translator, “because I had never seen him yell like that, and the words that he was saying, I had never heard that come from him before. But, you know, we came out sluggish and that moment helped us get motivated for the rest of the game.” View commentslast_img read more