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Notes: Buehler 'ready to go'; decisions loom

@kengurnick
July 21, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- Despite getting the kid-glove treatment in Summer Camp, Dodgers co-ace Walker Buehler said he’s healthy and ready for his first start, which likely will be next Tuesday in Houston. “I feel good and ready to go,” Buehler said. Buehler has pitched in only one simulated game, retiring

LOS ANGELES -- Despite getting the kid-glove treatment in Summer Camp, Dodgers co-ace Walker Buehler said he’s healthy and ready for his first start, which likely will be next Tuesday in Houston.

“I feel good and ready to go,” Buehler said.

Buehler has pitched in only one simulated game, retiring the seven teammates he faced. Instead of pitching in one of the three exhibition games against the D-backs or Angels, he’s only thrown to Dodgers hitters and will do that again in a voluntary workout on Wednesday.

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Buehler, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015, said he threw less than his staff mates during the pause because of the uncertainty over when camp would resume. He believes he’s only “an inning or two behind” the other Dodgers starters, although they have already thrown six innings in games.

Buehler wouldn’t speculate how many innings he would pitch in his first start, and manager Dave Roberts said Dustin May might be saved to pitch the same game as Buehler. Buehler has dismissed any concern about not being able to face opposing hitters in Summer Camp.

Decision time
Roberts said the club still has two roster decisions to make, one a position player, one a reliever. He had said the club could carry anywhere from 14 to 17 pitchers.

He said Zach McKinstry, likely one position player on the roster bubble, “has the skillset, the mindset to be a big league player right now. As they say, he’s an injury away. He’s right there.”

Reliever AJ Ramos, the former Marlins closer who was signed last week, has impressed for someone that hasn’t pitched in two years because of shoulder surgery. “At the off-site [training facility], he can do the things he hasn’t been able to do” while sidelined. Roberts also complimented reliever Edubray Ramos.

Worth noting
Mookie Betts was not in the Dodgers’ lineup Tuesday night, but Roberts said he just wanted to give him a second day off before Thursday’s opener.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.