Dodgers co-ace Walker Buehler made his return to the active roster on Thursday night and tossed 4 scoreless innings. His fastball touched 99 miles-per-hour and the curveball looked sharp. Buetane threw 65 pitches, 45 for strikes.
Oh, and he did all this while nursing a blister issue on the index finger of his pitching hand.
The irritated digit has cost Buehler a good chunk of the season while the training staff has explored treatment options. Frustrated, Walker turned to the guru of blisters, former Dodger Rich Hill.
Richie, now pitching for the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins dealing with chronic blister issues in his first two seasons in Los Angeles. Moreover, he missed several weeks immediately after the Dodgers traded for him from Oakland in 2016.
Notably, D. Mountain tried everything to get his blister under control (seriously… everything) before finding a solution that worked for the rest of his Dodgers tenure. Now, dealing with a blister of his own, Walker Buehler turned to his former teammate and close friend Hill for advice. He confirmed that he gave him a call in recent days.
Any blister issue, I think Rich Hill is gonna be one of the first people on the list. Obviously, Rich and I are pretty close, and we did the charity event and all that this offseason, so I don’t think that was a far stretch to give Rich a call and talk about the blister and some other things. He’s a great resource, he’s been around this game a long time … he’s definitely helped.
So what was Hill’s advice to Buehler? Walker continued.
He gave me some treatment things to do and let me know mentally how to handle it. There’s some weird parts about having a blister where you can’t do what you think you can do all the time. So kinda keeping your confidence when you can’t prepare exactly how you want all the time.
Great resource and a guy I miss and I know our clubhouse misses… glad I can still give him a call.
Notably, Buehler said that he and the team have “figured out some things on how to treat it” and that he doesn’t expect it to be an issue moving forward. Ready or not, Buehler’s next outing will be when it matters most in the postseason starting next week.