Dodgers Team News

Caleb Ferguson Hoping To Get More Opportunities, Should Dodgers Rethink How They Use Him?

Caleb Ferguson has been a major talking point among the Dodgers and their fans and not in the good way. 

The relief pitcher started off the 2023 season strong, but the good times have fallen by the wayside of late as he’s been tagged for two walk off losses and his ERA has jumped to 3.68. Throughout his career, he has been inconsistent but there was hope that his hot start would last. 

Things really came to a head this week as Ferguson blew a two-run lead to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night. He couldn’t control the zone at all and threw just 12 pitches for strikes in his 30 pitches. It was an implosion for Ferguson and one that has his usage now in question. Manager Dave Roberts spoke about his relief pitcher.

“Fergie was all over the place. The walks, the hit batter. It sped up on him, and it was very apparent.”

Dave Roberts on Ferguson

He walked the bases loaded, walking in one run and hitting a Reds player for the tying run before being removed. It was just another example of the weakness in the bullpen that the 2023 Dodgers have.

“We’re counting on (Caleb) to be a leverage guy regardless of handiness,” Roberts said. “I felt that (the bottom) of the order, he should be able to handle that.”

There are still questions as to why Roberts selected Ferguson to enter in the 9th to begin with as his stats against righties have been terrible. Prior to entering, righties were slashing .319/.396/.404 against him this season. It was an awful ending to a game that the Dodgers probably should have won.

So Ferguson should have never been put in the game in the first place but that still doesn’t give him an excuse for another poor outing. However, Ferguson didn’t make any excuses and took accountability for his performance.

“Just be better, that’s it,” Ferguson said. “I’ve been bad. I hope Doc keeps running me out there. I’ll figure it out, but at the end of the day, it comes back on me. I’ve just got to be better.”

Friday night’s loss wasn’t as bad but it still stung. Kyle Schwarber took a Ferguson curveball deep to right field to send the Phillie faithful home happy. Roberts wasn’t as harsh with the left-hander saying it was “a step in the right direction” despite the home run.

“He’s frustrated. You never want to get walked off,” Roberts said. “But that potential comes with pitching late in games. I liked the way he threw the baseball tonight. One pitch he’d like to have back but at times you gotta give the hitter credit. Kyle put a good swing on it.”


What once was a strength for the Dodgers is now a weakness. The struggles of the bullpen highlight some real issues with this year’s version of the team and if they don’t fix it soon, it could be too late.

The team will continue the series in Philadelphia this weekend and they will look to end this road trip on a high note.

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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. I do not want to see Ferguson pitching in the 9th inning even though the “implosion” that we witnessed against the Reds was less his fault and more the compromised decision making of Roberts (to put Ferguson on the mound to face 3 consecutive righties when Ferguson has trouble with right handed batters.) I still think that, overall, Ferguson is a decent relief pitcher; after all, last night he did get the 2 outs before Schwerber (almost predictably) would knock one out to end the 4/4 tie…

  2. What a frustrating road trip!
    I like Caleb Ferguson but #1) he has always been inconsistent and I would never trust him in a closer role with a close score! #2) and ESPECIALLY not against righties I don’t care if it’s the bottom of the order! #3) and I don’t understand why he wasn’t pulled sooner when it was obvious he didn’t have it?? No one warming up in the bullpen? Loaded the bases then walked in a batter?? He should never have still been in there to hit the batter to tie the game! Poor decision-making by Dave in my opinion!
    When he was put in again in the 9th with Kyle Schwarber coming up I was pretty positive the game was gonna be over. As I said, I like him but when he’s struggling like this don’t put him in the 9th!

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