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


HBO throws in towel on live boxing coverage after 45 years

first_imgGretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college 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 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? The network pioneered modern pay-per-view coverage of boxing. The fighters who have appeared in more than 1,000 bouts aired by HBO include a who’s who of the sport’s biggest names.Most recently HBO produced the highly anticipated rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin for the unified middleweight title.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 ChrissThe only remaining fight card scheduled to air on HBO is on October 27 at Madison Square Garden, headlined by an International Boxing Federation middleweight title bout between Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.“Going forward into 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO,” HBO Sports said in a statement. “As always, we will remain open to looking at events that fit our programming mix. This could include boxing, just not for the foreseeable future.” Murphy in for injured Reid LATEST STORIEScenter_img MOST READ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. HBO is walking away from professional boxing after 45 years of live fight programming, the US cable network confirmed Thursday.HBO’s long association with the sport began in 1973 when it carried George Foreman’s stunning knockout of reigning heavyweight world champion Joe Frazier.ADVERTISEMENT HBO sports noted in its statement that boxing is now available on a “host of networks and streaming services.”“In some cases, this programming is very good. But from an entertainment point of view, it’s not unique,” the company said, adding that it wants to focus on “storytelling” suited to unscripted series, documentaries, reality programming, sports journalism and event specials.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum View commentslast_img read more