The Dodgers have just passed the halfway point in the month of June and you can say at this point a lot of data has been collected when it comes to the roster going forward. That data should tell the front office that this team needs a lot of help.
After a rough stretch of games, the Dodgers sit at 39-33, 4 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West and a half game behind the now second place San Francisco Giants. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that the team has played extremely poorly in June, winning just 5 of 15 games.
So who’s to blame? Ask on Twitter and you’ll have a handful of fire Dave Roberts comments within minutes. But Dave isn’t the guy playing on the field. There’s no one guy you can point a finger at and say they’re the problem. But here are three guys that the team may need to look at sooner rather than later.
This entire season has been a grind for Alex Vesia. Whether it’s because of the pitch clock or the restricted shift, something has been markedly different for the lefty reliever. Through 22 games, he has an ERA of 8.00. And, since returning from a stint at Triple-A he’s actually been a little worse in some ways. He’s allowed runs in 11 of his 22 outings, offering not much in the way of relief when he enters games.
So why does Dave Roberts keep running him out there?
A deeper dive at his stats shows that he’s a victim of some really bad batted ball luck. Vesia has a .585 BABIP against him, which is actually ludicrous. His 3.33 FIP and 4.32 xERA show someone that’s been better than his standard stats say. Still, the reality is that he has an 8.00 ERA and 2.500 WHIP and just plainly is not helping the Dodgers win ballgames often enough when he enters.
This one hurts. At the height of his power, James Outman was hitting .316 with a 1.109 OPS for a Dodger ballclub that was still figuring some things out. However, since April 26th, has a .177/.278/.266 triple slash line and has looked overmatched at the plate. Whether the league caught up to him and he’s having trouble adjusting, or his swing just has too many holes, at this point it feels like each passing day with another 0-for game is chipping away at his already depleted confidence.
He has minor league options and at this point, it might not hurt to give him a few weeks down at Triple-A to see if he can get back on track. It’s worth noting that he’s had a nice little surge with 5 hits in his last 13 at-bats.
Similar to Vesia, Yency Almonte is another reliever that has struggled to keep runners off the bases and runs off the board. His ERA has skyrocketed from 1.02 in 2022 to 6.30 in 2023 as he’s regressed in the hits and walks per 9 departments. He’s also allowed 5 home runs, which is tied for the most among LA relievers.
All the things that made him a breakout star for Dave Roberts in the bullpen last year. In reality, he’s just sort of regressed to his career averages. With Phil Bickford on the IL and not a current option to blow games in relief, Almonte is the next guy where the Dodgers can clearly upgrade to make the overall bullpen better.