No pitcher should ever be called “Walker,” so I have taken the liberty of changing his name to “Striker” Buehler. I thought about spelling his name with a “Y” instead of an “I” but that just wasn’t as effective. Also, if a pitcher struggles with an aspect of his game, like walking too many batters, which Buehler does, you should never call him by his weakness. It’s negative thinking and we can’t have that. Have you ever heard a pitcher be named “Hit Batter” or “Home Run” or “Human Rain Delay?” OK, well, I guess that used to fit El Gasolino, who has actually been better this year. If he keeps it up, DodgerRick will have to change Pedro’s name to El Kerosino – he just not as explosive… but I digress… which I almost always do.
I really don’t know what to expect tonight, but I will say that I think Striker will be very good or very bad – I’m leaning to the good! Baseball America ranks him the #13 prospect in MLB and says this:
Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 60
Scouting Report: Buehler is thin-framed, but that doesn’t affect his stuff or the ability to hold it. His newly-enhanced fastball sits 97-98 mph deep into outings, reaching 100 and rarely dipping below 95. It jumps on hitters quickly out of his loose, athletic, elastic delivery, and he pounds the strike zone. The one shortcoming of his fastball is it doesn’t have a ton of life, making it easier for hitters to square up when he misses his spot, a problem that was exposed during his September callup in the Dodgers bullpen. Buehler’s slider and curveball are both plus pitches he locates well. His slider is a wipeout offering at 91-93 mph with tight spin and late tilt, and his north-to-south power curveball is equally dangerous at 81-84 mph. Buehler is still working on his changeup, with only about one in five he throws flashing average. He shows average to above command and control on all of his offerings. To top it off, he has a fearless mentality, exceptional makeup and a solid understanding of how to set hitters up.
This is a kid who can be very good, very quickly IF, BIG IF, he can locate that fastball. He should forget his change for now… or give it to Clayton. We’ve been waiting for this for a while. Here we go!
Rants & Raves
- So with all the moaning and groaning and complaining, the Dodgers are .500 and off to a better start than last year. How about them apples?
- I find it incomprehensible that Dave Roberts have been so degraded this year. Just the opposite is true. Doc is truly amazing.
- Why did Joc play the last couple of days? Of course, some of you want to say it’s because Dave is just stupid. They don’t even consider that Matt Kemp might be a little bit tweaked… which he was. Stick to your days jobs. Doc has this one!
- Conner Wong obviously needs to move to Tulsa, but they have two catchers. I think it’s time he moves to 2B or 3B… or both. The Dodgers have enough catchers and this kid is way above A Ball. I think he should abandon catching all together.
- Goodbye Wilmer Font… well it may or may not be goodbye if he clears waivers. He was worthy of a shot and the Dodgers gave it to him. He couldn’t make it count, but you never know when the light just goes on. That’s why you keep trying. Ask Charlie Morton – many baseball insiders said he was the worst signing of the 2016-2017 off-season. He will be 35 this season and is one of the best starters in baseball right about now, with a 0.72 ERA.
- The season is young. Verdugo and Toles are in the wings and there will be some changes…
- JT will be back before we know it.
- For the record, I can’t see any way Chris Taylor does not play CF the bulk of the time. I am pretty sure he has saved 3 games this year. That’s more saves than Kenley!
- Speaking of Kenley – it looked like he just “flipped the switch” yesterday and said “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”