The biggest issue for the Dodgers this season has been on full display and that is the struggle of the pitching staff. LA has seen almost every single pitcher deal with some sort of injury and the team has dealt with some uncharacteristic inconsistencies this season. Last year, the Dodgers held one of the best staffs in baseball, with their bullpen thriving and helping them win a ton of games. But this season, they’ve had to win in spite of their relief arms for the most part.
Mixing injuries and regression is a recipe for disaster but the Dodgers find themselves sitting just 0.5 games back of first place within the NL West division. This speaks volumes to the roster they have put in place and the coaching staff for keeping everyone going. And despite all the issues that LA has seen this season, manager Dave Roberts believes that the pitching staff is trending in the right direction.
“On the mound it’s been certainly sort of piecing things together. It’s been fun. Exciting to see some young players have opportunities, getting some experience. I think that looking out I feel really confident in the sense that Emmet (Sheehan), Bobby (Miller), Michael (Grove), some other guys get some more experience.Via SNLA Pre-Game Media Scrum
LA has been forced to move around pitchers like chess moves, constantly looking for some way to gain an advantage. They’ve called up multiple players from the minor leagues to make their MLB debuts and some have even shown promise.
The Dodgers entered this season looking at it as a “step-back” year and a year for a youth movement. But even they likely didn’t envision bringing some of the rookies up. And yet, both Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan have shown some nice skillsets on the mound and at least LA has gotten a chance to see what they can do.
Through eight games played, Miller holds an ERA of 4.50 with 42 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched. He has regressed slightly since his first few games of dominance but still has shown that he can be a major league starter. As for Sheehan, he holds an ERA of 4.35 through four games played. Both players look like pieces to the teams rotation for the future and possibly this season depending how the injury situation looks.
But the team is hopeful that the brunt of injuries is behind them and that the guys they have on the roster will be able to help them as the season goes on. Roberts spoke about how far the team has come.
Getting Julio (Urias) back. Expecting Clayton (Kershaw) at some point get played back at some point. The bullpen, I think we’ve come to a good spot in a sense of settling in and rolls and pitching performance. Obviously, losing Huddy (Daniel Hudson) just recently put somewhat of a damper on some things but I think overall excited to get to the break, but I think we’re trending in the right way.”
As the trade deadline approaches, LA will need to decide what to do. They do need some help and would benefit from getting some new options onto the pitching staff. The team knows that just because they have played a little better of late doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels. It’s go time and they should look to put themselves in the best possible situation.
“It’s not what we envisioned — we didn’t envision a lot of things that have happened. But, how we’re playing, I appreciate that. We have a lot of baseball left, so I think we just want to finish well, reset, and come out the gates really fast in the second half.”
LA has one more game before the All-Star break and then they’ll get some time off to rest up for the stretch run. The games will continue next Friday as the team gets set to head to New York for a three-game series with the Mets.