Dodgers Team News

Dave Roberts Talks Dodgers Bullpen Struggles: ‘Their Track Records Speak for Themselves’

The Dodgers dropped game three of their three-game series against the San Diego Padres on Sunday night. While the offense only plated three runs, the pitching staff took the brunt of the blame after issuing 14 walks — something the Dodgers have not done since 1962.

The bullpen has been a sore spot for this team this year. Generally a strength in Los Angeles last season, the relief pitchers not performed up to their established standards.

After Sunday’s game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke to the media, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, about the bullpen’s struggles this year:

“This was definitely not a good one. But I think in totality, you look and there’s been a lot of good things, a lot of innings that they’ve covered. It’s hard when you look back at a couple pitches we would like to have back. The walk is something that is tough to watch. But the guys that we have we really like. Their track records speak for themselves. And we just gotta be more consistent.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register

Since 2019, the Dodgers bullpen’ has ranked among top five in ERA at the end of every season. So far this season, in a small sample size, they currently rank 21st with a 4.69 ERA.

Dodgers Bullpen Struggles

Part of this has to do with how much the bullpen has been used. They had to pitch the bulk of the games in South Korea because of an abbreviated start by Yoshinobu Yamamoto in Game 2, after working the better part of two exhibition games due to the shortened off-season ramp-up for starters.

The Dodgers have also leaned on their relief pitchers more, perhaps, in order to keep their starting pitchers fresher by limiting their pitch count, removing them from a rough start, or as part of a bullpen game.

Notably, the bullpen is missing a couple of key contributors who were expected to be healthy this season: Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen. Graterol is a long ways from returning from the 60-day injured list as he recovers from shoulder inflammation. Treinen only recently started throwing to batters and should have a rehab assignment scheduled sometime next week.

Evan Phillips and Daniel Hudson have anchored the bullpen this year with a 1.17 and 2.25 ERA, respectively. Outside of the two right-handers, each pitcher has struggled to record clean outings.

Kyle Hurt remains in Triple-A and on the 40-man roster. He has performed well in his limited outings spanning back to 2023. If the bullpen struggles continue, perhaps the Dodgers will bring him back up and give him a longer runway.

Photo Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

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Kevin Skinner

Graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Biology and Philosophy. Despite growing up in San Diego, loves all thing Los Angeles sports

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