Heading into the middle game of the weekend series against the Rockies, the Dodgers decided to make no changes to their 25-man roster despite several areas of concern that have developed over the last few days.
On Wednesday, we put together a story discussing the consequences of what may occur with the returns of starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, but while both of the veteran left-handers are still a far cry from rejoining the big league squad, there are a few other situations to keep an eye on.
Joe Kelly got smacked on the wrist by a Charlie Blackmon comebacker in the ninth inning of Friday afternoon’s series opener, prompting skipper Dave Roberts to immediately pull his righty reliever from the game.
Kelly received X-rays later Friday night, and the results came back negative.
Bill Plunkett of the OC Register talked to the Anaheim native before Saturday’s contest while he was receiving treatment.
“It’ll be sore but I’ll be good,” Kelly told Plunkett.
His arm may be good physically, but there could be some mechanical issues that need to be worked out. Heading into Saturday’s game, he has compiled a 16.20 ERA after surrendering six earned runs on seven hits—two of which were long balls—over just 3-1/3 innings and three appearances.
Meanwhile, fellow right-handed reliever Brock Stewart finds himself struggling similarly to Kelly.
Like Kelly, Stewart has also surrendered two early season long balls. The Illinois native has given up eight runs on nine hits and two walks over the three games he has thrown so far this year. He was brought on to pitch the seventh inning in Friday’s opener against the Rockies but did not survive the frame, surrendering three earned runs before Roberts was forced to bring in Scott Alexander.
Likewise, Yimi Garcia has yet to find a groove. In five appearances and just 3-2/3 innings, Garcia has tallied a 14.73 ERA after giving up six earned runs on six hits and four walks. He has already allowed three home runs. All this after posting a 0.93 ERA in 11 cactus League appearances.
Garcia has no options on his contract.
There aren’t any saviors on the fringe at Triple-A, but there are guys like JT Chargois, Dennis Santana, Jaime Schultz, Josh Sborz and Adam McCreery chomping at the bit at the Triple-A level.
10 thoughts on “Dodgers Keep Roster Intact Despite Potential Needs in Bullpen”
It’s getting harder and harder not to put Verdugo’s name in the lineup! Just sayin!
Who do you bench?
I look at it this way – depending on where it is in the lineup they hit, there are appropriately 730 plate appearances for the left field position. If it’s divided equally, which it won’t be, each player gets 365 PA’s. Verdugo might take that, Pederson wouldn’t like it. I think at this point Roberts is just going to coast along playing everybody and trying to get all position players in the game for at least an at bat. That’s the way I would do it. On the.days they don’t start, each of those guys would pinch hit.
All that said, if he keeps it up, Verdugo looks like the better overall player. I believe he’s going to earn the starting job.
Right now Russell Martin may be the 3rd best reliever on the team!
We’re lucky that the offense has been so potent that we’ve had the luxury of letting some of the bullpen guys try to work out the kinks. Kenley, Ferguson, Floro, Alexander and Baez have been acceptable to good. The others have been pretty awful. Once CK and Hill return, Urias and Stripling move to the bullpen. Assuming Kelly keeps his spot, that will be the bullpen, and it should be fine over the long haul. If Yimi can somehow recover in the next 2-3 weeks, he might bump Floro back to OKC but that’s about the only change I can see, barring injury. During the winter I was lobbying to have us sign Greg Holland to a one year deal. We didn’t, the Dbacks did and so far he’s doing very nicely (very small sample size). We should keep an eye on him for July.
Santana comes in tonight. Brock Stewart back to OKC.
I realize that the way Stewart was pitching he absolutely couldn’t be kept on the 25-man roster but I wish they would have let Santana stay at OKC and just work on becoming a starter. I really don’t want to see him become the guy that is shuttled back and forth between L.A. and OKC about 10 times this year. That already destroyed one career.
I was surprised it wasn’t Chargois. With eight guys in the bullpen, I think the need for a long man is overhyped, especially the way the starters are throwing.
I thought it would be Chargois too. But Santana going multiple innings makes sense. I guess.
The way the starters are throwing? 9 games, 49.1 innings. That’s 5.1 per start. Sure would like to see at least 6 per start. 11 outs a game seems like a lot to me. Is that because I’m living in the past?
I guess what I meant by the starters throwing well was that we haven’t seen any yanked after a dreaded 2-4 inning outing. I suppose 5-1/3 isn’t terribly bad for this time of the year. If that number holds true into the summer months, I would think that it wouldn’t bode well for the bullpen. Definitely something worth keeping an eye on.
I know you’re right Dennis. 5 inning starters are vogue, so bullpens must be deep today. When the Quality Start stat became popular I couldn’t help but think they’d be easy to get. Apparently 6 inning is more difficult than it used to be. I read something a few days ago that said the average ML fastball has increased to 95. I think pitchers aren’t trying to pace theme anymore. Throw as hard as you can as long as you can. 5 innings? That’ll work. I also think that’s contributing to arm problems.