Although the Dodgers have already racked up 101 wins and have secured home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, there seem to be several spots on their prospective postseason roster that are still up for grabs.
If I had a nickel for each time we discussed the Dodgers‘ bullpen this season, I’d probably be able to payoff my 2019 mlb.tv subscription with ease.
In the weeks leading up to the 2019 trade deadline, many fans of the Dodgers were certain that management would find a way to snag one or more relievers to bolster what has been a mediocre relief crew this season.
Simply put, Kenley Jansen isn’t the same as he was in years past.
In the hours before Friday’s contest against American League rival Boston, skipper Dave Roberts of the Dodgers emphasized to reporters how the arrival of A.J. Pollock, Corey Seager and David Freese felt almost like a series of huge acquisitions at the trade deadline.
Whether the management crew of the Dodgers is prepared to admit it or not, the bullpen is continuing to prove itself as the weakest link on an otherwise very talented ballclub. Monday night’s loss to the Angels was another example of how the relief corps imploded, as it surrendered four combined runs in the seventh and eighth innings, spoiling a very fine outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Joe Kelly was lights out in the playoffs in 2018. The hard-throwing righty went 11 innings, striking out 13 and not issuing a single walk. He allowed just one earned run, posting a 0.79 ERA in the process. However, Kelly hasn’t been quite effective this year for the Dodgers, surrendering four home runs, striking out 20 and walking eight. He has allowed 17 earned runs in 19.1 innings pitched, equating to an ERA of 7.91.
The Dodgers seem to have a knack for finding effective, under-the-radar relievers. Last year it was Dylan Floro, the year before it was Brandon Morrow, and in 2016 it was a workhorse in Joe Blanton. This year the Dodgers diamond in the rough reliever very well may be Yimi Garcia.
When it took Rich Hill 104 pitches to get through six innings in Tuesday’s contest against the Mets, many onlookers cringed at the fact that the Dodgers‘ relief corps would need to be depended upon to complete three full innings of work.