Dodgers spring training camp has officially begun with full workouts scheduled for the beginning of next week. Exhibition games are just around the corner with the first game against the White Sox scheduled for February 23rd. There’s not much to report during the first couple of weeks of spring camp though. The players show up and take their physicals. They practice. The pitchers throw some bullpen sessions and the hitters take batting practice. That’s about it.
So unless you love to watch players do jumping jacks and run around Camelback Ranch, it’s kind of boring. Of course knowing that we’re only days away from real live Dodger baseball and the new season is so close to getting underway that you can smell the Dodger dogs is super exciting.
The Dodgers are looking to set some new records here. Only two days into camp and we’re already hearing injury news on two pitchers. Fear not Dodger fam, they’re ok. Apparently Alex Wood had his bullpen session pushed back after injuring his ankle. He hurt the ankle during warm-ups, but according to the club he will be fine. He’s also made some dietary changes which seem to have helped him feel better.
Rookie Walker Buehler had to undergo additional medical testing but the club doesn’t seem worried at all about it. Buehler only missed one day of practice and is expected back tomorrow for a full slate. Apparently the problem has nothing to do with his arm.
Wood and Buehler are expected to be important parts of the Dodger’s pitching staff in 2018. Wood should be the third starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. Wood had a fantastic breakout season in 2017 finishing with a 16-3 record and a 2.72 ERA across 152.1 innings pitched. Wood struck out 151 and walked only 38 while whiffing 8.9/9 in 27 starts.
Buehler the 23-year old right hander is considered the Dodger’s top young pitching prospect in the organization. He was recalled last September during roster expansion for his first taste of MLB action. Unfortunately he sucked as he posted a 7.71 ERA over 9.1 innings pitched while allowing 8 earned runs on 11 hits. He did strike out 12 and walk only two during his 8 appearances. He should be competing for a spot in the rotation, at the least looking to make the opening day staff. The Dodgers are expecting big things from these two hurlers and so are we. So let’s hope they remain healthy.