GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Top pitching prospect Walker Buehler threw his first bullpen session of the spring Monday, reporting no ill effects from an upper back injury suffered in January.Buehler is being "slow-played" this spring, manager Dave Roberts said, in part because of the muscle injury suffered in workouts, in part
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Top pitching prospect Walker Buehler threw his first bullpen session of the spring Monday, reporting no ill effects from an upper back injury suffered in January.
Buehler is being "slow-played" this spring, manager Dave Roberts said, in part because of the muscle injury suffered in workouts, in part because management wants to avoid a spike in innings pitched from the 88 2/3 of last season. Buehler pitched only five innings in 2016 coming off Tommy John surgery.
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With the catcher a few feet in front of the plate, Buehler threw fastballs and breaking balls in Monday's session, which he said was about "two-thirds" the volume of throws of a normal bullpen session. He said he felt fine afterward and expects to throw off a mound again Thursday.
Alex Wood, apparently fully recovered from an ankle "tweak" suffered Thursday, threw a full bullpen session Monday.
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Roberts reflects: Manager Dave Roberts addressed his club before Monday's first full-squad workout and for the first time since the Game 7 loss in the World Series.
"The message was to understand what we went through last year and it takes a certain type of player, person, team to rebound, to refocus, and put ourselves in the same situation this year," Roberts said.
Roberts said the chances of first baseman Cody Bellinger playing in the outfield this year were "very slim." Bellinger started in 43 games in the outfield last year, but also turned an ankle while playing right field in Detroit in August.
Enhanced netting coming: Safety netting at Dodger Stadium will be extended to the end of the dugouts, chief executive officer Stan Kasten said Monday.
The move is part of MLB's priority to ensure fan safety at the stadium.
Kasten said safety netting also will be extended at Camelback Ranch Stadium in time for Friday's Cactus League opener between the Dodgers and White Sox, who share the facility.
Wills in the house: Dodgers legend Maury Wills, still a bunting instructor at age 85, reported to camp for the first day of full-squad workouts. Wills' first Spring Training with the Dodgers was in 1951.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.