Dodgers Team News

Andrew Friedman Believes the Dodgers Do Not Need a Closer

A little over two months into the new MLB season and the Dodgers find themselves in a weird spot. Sitting in second place within the NL West, Los Angeles stills showcases a solid team but one that does have some major faults.

Weirdly, it’s been their pitching that has plagued them so far this season.

After the most recent six game road trip, the Dodgers bullpen sits at an ERA of 4.76 which is fourth worst around baseball. As a team, Los Angeles holds an ERA of 4.49, good for the worst full season since the team has called LA home.

However, President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman doesn’t seem to believe that the team needs changes.

“We feel like we have the talent down there to navigate close games and win them,” Friedman said. “If you have a designated closer, that’s helpful in a lot of ways. But I also think it can be harmful if you force that.”

Per The LA Times

While Friedman deserves some benefit of the doubt for putting together strong teams in the past, this current ideation of the Dodgers won’t win come October as currently constructed. The starting rotation may improve as some of their guys get healthy, but the bullpen is a real problem. They have a few options, but none are slam dunks and could prove costly.

Evan Phillips is the likely candidate with his 2.66 ERA and seven saves already on the season, but he may be better used as a high leverage guy than a closer. He thrived in that role last season and seems to be at his most comfortable there — and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts doesn’t want to put too much on Phillips’ plate.

“I don’t think it’s smart to put ourselves, myself or Evan in a situation where it’s all or nothing,” Roberts said.

Per The LA Times

Brusdar Graterol has the power pitches to be a closer, but he has been inconsistent and isn’t the greatest defender. Caleb Ferguson has been a disaster of late and can’t be trusted. Other options either have regressed from their production last season or are injured at the moment.

“I’m not sure our personnel sets up perfectly, right this second, for a designated closer,” Friedman said.

Per The LA Times

It seems that the team will continue to go with the closer by demand approach for now. But with the trade deadline coming up, they should look to make some improvements. But for now, the team seems content with who they have in-house.

“Obviously, if that doesn’t happen, then we’re gonna have to figure out either internally or externally how to improve,” Friedman said. “But we feel like we have the talent internally to get there, and then couple that with some reinforcements.”

Per The LA Times

The fate of the 2023 Dodgers rests on how they operate the trade deadline. If they believe in this version of the team, then they will go all in and get the bullpen some help. Without it, this team will continue to struggle in the late innings and October will be a tougher fight than anyone hoped for.

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Matt Levine

Matt earned a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University in 2021. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, growing up a huge fan of the Dodgers and Lakers. Matt Kemp was his favorite Dodgers player growing up.


  1. Freidman has no clue what he is doing, this pitching staff won’t win in October, they won’t even get them into the playoffs.

  2. Why is there no mention of relievers on the IL? Hudson will be back soon and is a stud! Then there are Feyereisen, Treinen and Pepiot. You shouldn’t overlook these “additions”.

  3. It’s a bloody shame that The Powers That Be don’t see that Andy is running out of magic. We’ve been screaming for better pitching for years and Andy keeps pulling rabbits out of his hat but now he’s ending up with more bunny poop than rabbits. It’s time to say, “Good night Andrew.” I do hope the door hits him in his arse on his way out.

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