The Dodgers continue to dodge bullets on the reliever market and it has proven to be another excellent thing to add to the front office’s resumé.
Passing on Pieces
They passed on one of the best closers in baseball history before the MLB Draft in Craig Kimbrel, letting him sign with the Chicago Cubs. They decided to pass on all of the biggest names in the relief market and only got one left-hander in Adam Kolarek. But with today’s news, the biggest domino fell in what has been an excellent navigation of both the trade market and the relief market for the front office.
On Tuesday, Pirates’ left-hander Felipe Vazquez was arrested and charged with the solicitation of a child in addition to performing a sex act in a video that was distributed to a minor.
The organization held reported interest in Vazquez, as well as names like Shane Greene, Ken Giles, and Jake Diekman. Greene has held a 3.98 ERA with the Atlanta Braves, Ken Giles was injured around the deadline so he wasn’t traded, and Diekman has pitched to the tune of a 6.35 ERA with the Oakland A’s.
Relying on Young Pieces
The Dodgers’ plan is to use length and youth in the playoffs to potentially lead them to the promised land. Dustin May has had his struggles out of the bullpen, but could end up being the bulk innings eater in a Game 4 setting. Tony Gonsolin has looked like an elite bullpen arm. Julio Urías might be the x-factor for the club in October.
The organization has placed an emphasis on using these pieces with complete faith that they will succeed instead of going all out to acquire pieces.
Fans were pissed off and at the time, it was reasonable. However, Adam Kolarek has been a revelation for the Dodgers. He has allowed just one earned run through 10 1/3 innings pitched. He has been absolutely fantastic and should do the same things he is doing now in October. With all the good left-handed bats in the league that are on expected playoff teams — Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, and Yordan Alvarez — Kolarek is a very useful piece.
What seemed to be a terrible deadline now seems a bit better.
The Dodgers have lived up to their name and are currently displaying the best bullpen they have all season. Kenley Jansen is regaining his confidence and his cutter and Julio Urías is back from suspension, with the supporting cast of Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez, and more to back them up.
This may be the year, ladies and gentlemen. It all starts with the pitching staff.