Buehler ready to go after final spring start

April 4th, 2022

ANAHEIM -- It wasn't the result that Dodgers ace was looking for against the Angels in the first game of the Freeway Series on Sunday night, but he still came away pleased with the way he felt physically in his final outing leading up to his first career Opening Day start on Friday in Colorado.

Buehler went five innings, allowing five runs on five hits, including three homers, in a 5-1 loss in front of a sold-out crowd at Angel Stadium. But he reached his pitch count of 85 pitches and said he's ready for his start in the regular-season opener.

“I threw some good pitches, I threw some bad ones and they hit some out,” Buehler said. “I’m always tinkering with stuff and maybe I tinkered a little too much. I gave up a couple homers on my changeup and struck some guys out with my changeup. It is what it is.”

Buehler's fastball reached as high as 96.4 mph and averaged 94.4 mph, which Buehler felt like was right in line with where he wanted to be in his last spring start. His fastball averaged 95.3 mph last year.

“I would like to pitch better but the velocity was close,” Buehler said. “My stuff was all right, so I’ll be all right. It felt good to go 85. You want to be really good and I wasn’t, but that’s fine. I’m more built up than I have been in spring before, so it’s all good.”

Ríos wins competition over Lamb

The Dodgers reassigned infielder to Minor League camp on Sunday, which means fellow infielder Edwin Ríos is expected to be on the Opening Day roster. Roberts was complementary of Lamb, who hit .333 with two homers in 12 Cactus League games, as Lamb could be called up later in the season. Lamb, 31, isn’t on the 40-man roster.

“Jake is a big league ballplayer,” Roberts said. “We think very highly of him. It’s something to have options, especially if you move a player like AJ Pollock. You have to be able to back him up with talent. And I think in-house, we can do that.”

Ríos won the competition with a strong spring, batting .333 with three homers and seven RBIs in 10 games. He’s expected to see action at both corner infield spots, as he started at first base against the Angels on Sunday with Freddie Freeman held out of the lineup with flu-like symptoms. Ríos is coming off season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder in May, but Roberts noted that Ríos has looked completely healthy this spring.

“I think the thing that stands out with Edwin is where he's at health-wise,” Roberts said. “He looks physically strong. His shoulder looks healthy. And then the performance has been really good."

Dodgers to carry 16 pitchers

Roberts confirmed the Dodgers will open the year with 16 pitchers and 12 position players with rosters expanding to 28 players until May 2. But Roberts wasn’t quite ready to say how the bullpen will shape up just yet with 11 relievers on the roster.

“We’re going to go with 16 pitchers,” Roberts said. “I’m not going to divulge the whole roster. But we’re going to go with 16.”