Dodgers News: Walker Buehler Addressed Mechanics During Bullpen Session

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Although Walker Buehler has posted a 2.89 ERA through his first eight starts of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the right-hander has been frustrated by some of his outings which have provided inconsistent results.

Buehler’s strikeout rate is down from his career 27% to just 20% this season, and opponents are hitting .250 after batting .197 last season and .178 the year before.

The 27-year-old has attributed some of those struggles to a decline in the effectiveness of his fastball, which has made him rely on his other pitches more than he normally does. Additionally, Buehler has also been unhappy with his command after a few of his starts.

As Buehler tries to fix the issues plaguing him, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he threw a bullpen session that yielded positive results, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“Talking to Mark (Prior, pitching coach), talking to Walker, he was encouraged,” said Roberts who watched the session. “He cleaned some things up with the delivery. It was really good.”

Buehler has been looking to find more consistency all season and wants that to translate to pitching deeper into games. So far, he has averaged 5.2 innings per start after averaging 6.1 last season.

Roberts previously said he had increased confidence Buehler would figure out his issues because he can recognize when he isn’t right and doesn’t rely on coaches to tell him.

“It does, and I think that the smart players, the ones that are really self-aware, makes them even better,” Roberts said. “And I think that it’s not arm strength, it’s not age or anything like that.

“It’s just with his delivery and the characteristics of his fastball, he understands that. And when he’s not spinning the baseball the right way, you’re not going to get the results you want.

“So it’s really nice when you have a talented player, as well as a guy who really understands what he’s trying to do.”

Roberts: Buehler is best when using pitch mix

While Buehler’s fastball and its high velocity has always been an important part of his game, Roberts feels the starter is at his best when involving his entire pitch mix.

“For me, it’s when he decides to pitch and not throw, I think he’s better,” Roberts said. “And I say that because he’s got a really good fastball. But I just think that he has a lot of good weapons to get guys out.

“And so when he’s using his entire pitch mix, I think he’s a better pitcher. You know, when you let the bravado get into play, if you try to bully guys with just fastballs, I think that it doesn’t go as well.

“So yeah, for me that’s it in a nutshell. I think he’s been healthy. For me, it’s just some days you feel good, some days you don’t.”

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