Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Not Willing to Change Things in Volatile Bullpen Just Yet

As we hit the one month mark into the 2023 season, it has become painfully clear that the LA pitching staff isn’t the strong suit it was a year ago. In 2022, the Dodgers led all of baseball with a 2.80 staff ERA and was second in reliever ERA at 2.87.

This year is far from the same.



Up to this point, the staff owns a 4.45 ERA over the first 27 games with the bullpen posting an unsightly 5.05 ERA. Despite the struggles, the Dodgers will still keep running the same guys out there. President of baseball ops, Andrew Friedman shared his thoughts on the bullpen recently.

“We’re at the point right now where we still very much believe in the group. We’re just not doing some things as well as we did last year that we’re going to lock in on. And obviously, at some point, if we’re not right about that then we’ll make changes and figure it out. But we’re still very optimistic in terms of where guys are, what those levers are to pull to help get them back to where they were.”

Manager Dave Roberts has made similar statements saying that he believes in the track records of his relievers and that by the time all is said and done things will be closer to expectations.

How Did the Dodgers Bullpen End Up So Bad?

Most of the damage in the bullpen has come off of three guys. Yency Almonte has allowed 11 earned runs over 10.2 innings pitched. Andre Jackson has allowed 10 runs over 11.1 IP — and is now back down at Triple-A. And Alex Vesia, who allowed another run on Friday night, his 9th in 8.2 IP, bringing his season ERA to 9.35.

Is It All Bad?

It’s not all bad in the LA bullpen as Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, Caleb Ferguson, Shelby Miller, and Phil Bickford have combined to post a 2.56 ERA (15 ER, 52.2 IP). And guys like Justin Bruihl and Victor Gonzalez have pitched successfully since recent call ups (Bruihl was optioned to Triple-A on Friday though).

The problem for the Dodgers is this. Two of Roberts’ most relied upon relievers from last season are pitching terribly to start the season. But Dave is going to keep running them out there until they figure it out.

One final note: Yency Almonte doesn’t have anymore minor league options but Alex Vesia does.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!

5 Comments

  1. DMac,
    Any thoughts on the Dodgers trading for Brent Rooker? A’s Left fielder, right handed bat. Absolutely crushing the ball this year. A’s might take Peralta off our hands if we pay his contract and send a couple of prospects. We could have them include Zach Jackson as well to bolster the pen.

    1. Not a bad idea, but unlikely to happen. Dodgers really need bullpen help and a Closer!. Plus a Real Manger!!

      1. agree bullpen a mess – but look at the lineup – how many sub .200 averages can you have, Thompson, Taylor and Barnes aren’t bringing anything to the game – Barnes has a low average for a pitcher and can’t throw anyone out. also agree with you about Roberts

  2. I concur. I think Almonte will figure it out soon. Vesia will soon be dropped or lowers on depth chart to mop up n back up ,extra innings etc. N we do have Treinan n Hudson n Reyes coming back late may early June. Fierheisen n Walker late August. So……. So not THAT bad ppl! We’re just ironing out our new look n chemistry is all. Gonna have to take sum losses in the interim is all.

    1. Sorry but you are dreaming. Treinen might not pitch at all this year, certainly not in “late may early June”. Hudson keeps getting pushed back and at best would be ready in June. Given the way it’s going, probably not even then. And it would be a big mistake for Beuhler to come back and pitch in the MLB barely a year from TJ surgery. Can’t see that happening.

      Who knows about Vesia and Almonte. Could it be they are simply returning to their pre-Dodgers form?

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