At the beginning of 2017 spring training, the bullpen of the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared as if it was in outstanding shape, especially in terms of having several quality lefty arms at its disposal. However, as the season began to take shape, so did the landscape of the relief corps. Grant Dayton was never quite the same as he was in 2016, and eventually fell victim to a ligament tear, which would ultimately end his season. Adam Liberatore, who was one of several workhorses in the relief crew last year, was hampered by injuries for most of the current campaign. And Luis Avilan, well, is Luis Avilan.
While most of the recent injury news surrounding the Dodgers has been centered around the prospective return of staff ace Clayton Kershaw, there are a few other players close to activation who may impact the squad down the stretch of the season — most specifically veterans Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier.
The Dodgers on Friday afternoon officially recalled catcher/infielder Kyle Farmer from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-handed pitcher Grant Dayton on the 10-day disabled list with neck stiffness.
While the Dodgers have been extremely quiet so far during the weeks leading up to the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, the silence doesn’t necessarily mean the front office isn’t working hard to negotiate a trade or two in order to upgrade an already stacked 25-man roster. If there is one departmental weakness on the club, it could be the vulnerability of the bullpen, despite the NL-leading 2.90 ERA. Furthermore, it’s apparent that the team could benefit from the acquisition of an elite lefty specialist, and nobody fits the bill better than Zach Britton of the Orioles. And we’re here to tell you five reasons why.
As it’s been nearly 10 days since we’ve put together our last injury report, there hasn’t been any changes to the disabled list of the Dodgers, outside of several cases of improvement to a few players who could contribute to the club down the stretch run of the season.
In Saturday’s column, we took a look around the farm system of the Dodgers and outlined a handful of potential pitchers the club could conceivably utilize for the stretch run of the regular season. But while there’s a good chance the Dodgers do indeed call on one of the youngsters we mentioned, it still doesn’t solve the team’s problem of not having a reliable lefty relief specialist.
It’s really not that difficult to inadvertently overlook the injuries of the Dodgers considering the club’s most recent string of success; however, looking ahead, the overall health of the squad could become a critical factor during the stretch run of the regular season and into the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon recalled infielder/outfielder Scott Van Slyke from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-handed reliever Grant Dayton on the 10-day disabled list with neck stiffness.
While it’s probably not the most ideal time to begin a discussion about the Dodgers bullpen considering the way the offense has been producing over the last month, the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline is now a mere four weeks away, and it would be very surprising if the club did not try to upgrade with at least one quality arm.