Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Believes LA Pitching Trending Positively Despite Many Setbacks

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.

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. Trade deadline, free agency? Well, the starters now are Kershaw, Urias, Gonsolin, Bobby Miller, Sheehan, Grove, Syndergaard, maybe but not likely Buehler in October. They could use someone to start in the playoffs this year. Would that be worth giving up some Tulsa pitching? Maybe. Reluctantly. But it is probably necessary to advance in the playoffs.
    Next year, the starters probably do not include Urias, certainly not Syndergaard, hopefully do include Kershaw, Gonsolin, maybe one or more of the three rookies, maybe one of several guys now in Tulsa but those guys should develop in OKC first, as should Bobby Miller, Sheehan and Grove at this time, but they are needed in LA now. So another starter is needed.

    Ohtani on August 1 or as a free agent? That would help the pitching and help the offense, but only so much, as JD Martinez is a 100 RBI player at DH. Ohtani rather than JD Martinez at DH is maybe an extra 20-40 runs scored per year, in the next couple of years. Wish JD could play in the outfield sometime. How bad is he?

    Bullpen. One or two really good relief pitchers would be good, but, again, in exchange for someone who might be a really good starter one day? Is it worth giving up any of the starters at Tulsa, any of whom might turn out to be a #3 or better starter in a few years? Thye all look like they each have a chance to be really good in a few years.
    Next year the additional talent without extra cost in players-in-trade or money will be Buehler, Gavin Lux, maybe Dustin May in the bullpen in the second half.

  2. THE VECCHIO FACTOR SAYS…27 year old LANE THOMAS, of the Washington Nationals, is the answer to Dave Roberts need for a right-handed bat! Thomas has 5 tools: 1. fast runner-2. hits for average-3. 25-30 HR power-4. excellent outfielder-5. strong arm. Through Sunday July 9th, he’s hitting .302 (11th in the NL) with 14 HR’s and 49 RBI’s. He’s the ANSWER to Centerfield, and will be a solid fixture there for the next 5-7 years! Andrew Friedman needs to trade some of his over-rated rookie “prospects” (DeLuca Outman Vargas Hernandez Grove), and trade for Thomas, an established young player who’s already had 4-5 years of MLB experience, and is just now ‘arriving’ as a solid, elite level, Big League player!
    Stan Kasten, and Friedman, blew it by not matching, and beating Texas’ $300 mil offer, and re-signing SS Corey Seager, who’s hitting .353 this year. That mistake has cost the Dodgers, and definitely weakened them up the middle. Trading for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer were basically rentals, and its time to get players who will be in LA for multiple years. Thomas will help rectify the Seager blunder, and solidify LA for the future!

  3. THE VECCHIO FACTOR SAYS…As a former professional baseball player, who understands the mechanics of hitting, it’s very obvious that Miguel Vargas has a “lazy swing.” He does not attack the baseball for a number of reasons, mostly in his head. Anticipating, guessing, taking a defensive hitting approach, to cautious, not wanting to make a mistake, lack of confidence at the plate, etc., are all factors that contribute to “lazy swing” syndrome. Based on what we’ve seen, these issues are causing him to wave at pitches, rather than aggressively swinging at them. Simplifying his approach would be to instill in him the “see the ball, employ your physical tools to aggressively swing at, and hit the ball” factor, and not worry whether you swing and miss, as long as you’re aggressively attacking the pitch/ball!
    A trip to AAA would be good for Vargas, who has the physical tools to hit. We believe he needs to get his mind right. It’s the mind games he’s playing with himself that are in the way of reaching his potential as a hitter.
    With others like Outman, DeLuca, and Hernandez, they’re NOT ready for Big League action. Excepting Vargas, they’re 2-3 years away from being solid major league hitters and players. Outman has no sense of the strike zone, guesses and pre-determines swinging at pitches, as well as taking his head and eye off the ball. His swing pattern is great for below the waist pitches, which he has golfed for home runs, but more and more the scouting reports will say do not give him those pitches to hit. He’s doing his best to learn on the fly from the many Dodger veterans, but definitely needs another year of minor league baseball to learn how to hit.

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