Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on a Revamped Pitching Staff

Although the Dodgers lead the entire MLB in team ERA, the club may be seeing some improvements over the next few weeks that could fine tune the rotation and bullpen.

As a matter of fact, the Los Angeles 2.86 team ERA is the only mark under 3.00 in the league. Their combined 2.71 ERA for starting pitchers is light years ahead of Houston’s second -place mark of 3.14, and their 3.08 team bullpen ERA is good enough for third in the majors.

Take Craig Kimbrel’s 21 earned runs and 4.46 ERA out of the picture, and Los Angeles might be leading in the relief category, too.

The mention of Kimbrel brings us to the team’s first potential late-season transformation.

Instead of going with Kimbrel in the ninth inning of Friday’s opener against the Marlins, skipper Dave Roberts turned to Evan Phillips to secure the final three outs and seal the victory.

While we’ve been discussing the possibility of this happening for a few weeks, Roberts explained that it was more of a usage thing in his eyes, as Kimbrel had pitched in three of the team’s last five games before the Marlins series.

“I trust Phillips to finish a ballgame,” said Roberts. “So it kind of was the best-case scenario, in the sense of giving Craig a day and getting him back in there tomorrow.”

While this move by no means signifies anything definitive, it at least tells us the skipper is flexible and that the possibility of a permanent change is there.

Another upgrade is the activation of young righty Dustin May, who takes center stage on Saturday after undergoing UCL surgery at the beginning of last season. Roberts forewarned fans that May isn’t a savior to the rotation, but he still offers a significant upgrade over other youngsters like Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove or Andre Jackson.

In addition, Clayton Kershaw appears to be on track for a mid-September return, providing an additional rotation boost.

Our friend J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reported on Friday that Kershaw threw a bullpen prior to the Miami opener and that his back is asymptomatic.

As far as the bullpen goes, it looks like Brusdar Graterol might be activated as soon as Saturday or Sunday to provide possible late-inning reinforcement. Also, Blake Treinen continues to progress and is eyeing a return to the team right around when rosters expand at the beginning of September.

Both Treinen and Graterol’s returns could prove to be significant if Kimbrel continues to throw inconsistently.

15 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on a Revamped Pitching Staff

  1. I hope Kimbrel can reward Robert’s faith, and find that little adjustment he needs to tighten up his control. If Kimbrel’s control is right, the additions of Treinen, and Graterol, and then the best five of the rest of the relievers, it would be a very formidable bullpen to take into the playoffs.

  2. Moronta was dfa’d today to make room for May on the 40-man roster.

    If Bazooka returns in the next couple of days, there are only two possibilities that I can see as far as who gets sent to OKC, Bickford or Pepiot. If they really want to keep a 6-man rotation, that means Bickford goes. If they prefer to keep an extra bullpen guy, then Pepiot goes.

    1. At this point in the season, with a huge lead, they don’t need a 6 man rotation. They need the 13 best pitchers. Beckford and pepoit don’t fit that criteria. Almonti was easy. Who gets dfa’d when Treinen comes back?

      1. With Kershaw, VGon, Duffy, Kahnle and Treinen all in various stages of rehab, I don’t know where they’ll put them all. Who the heck do you eliminate? Even Bickford, who is on the bubble has been pretty decent lately.

        It could be that they switch out some bullpen guys from one post season series to the next depending upon matchups, but there will be some tough decisions to make over the next few weeks.

        Luckily, we got Martin instead of Hader. Can you imagine what the Brewers would have said if we had offered them McKinstry for Hader?

      2. Expanding the roster doesn’t help the 40 man. 2 have to be dfa’d, maybe 3 or 4. Will be interesting.

  3. If May performs, Urias, Anderson and Gonsolin continue their incredible seasons Kershaw in my mind is the fifth guy. Probably not what the Dodgers will do but to me you play the people that got you there if they continue to perform. Kershaw has had an incredible career but most of us have had back issues, I had back surgery as has my wife. A back issue can flare at any moment and once injured it rarely goes away no matter how much therapy and rehab.

  4. Somebody please explain the 152 ping back. Did they pick my post up, change the words a little and then post? I’m so confused😀

  5. I thought Moranta did a credible job, he could help a lot of other staffs. Someone should claim him, if they don’t I’d be happy to stash him in AAA for depth against an injury.

    Roberts seems to like to use Bickford quite a bit, so I’m going to guess Pepiot gets sent down, we’ll see.

  6. I see Pepiot is scheduled to start tomorrow, alas I’m wrong again. I better keep my day job, because I would never make it as a prognosticator.😀

    1. Bazooka isn’t officially back yet. They could send Pepiot down after his start tomorrow.
      You may turn out to be wrong about being wrong.

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