[Editor’s note: This story has been updated]
Although the Dodgers’ offense has been on a tear all season, the bullpen has fallen victim to the injured list a little too many times now.
One by one relievers such as Victor Gonzalez, Tommy Kahnle, Brusador Graterol, and Yency Almonte have all taken residence on the IL forcing a surprising hero to rise up in their place.
On Friday night, Hanser Alberto, who had started the game at shortstop, took the mound for his seventh time this season. Now normally when the fan favorite is called out to the field, it’s at second base but every now and then, especially lately, Roberts has snuck him in to throw an inning.
A little more context: Players, such as Shohei Ohtani and Brooks Kieschnick appeared in more games on the mound, but their teams used them as two-way players.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 3, 2022
That night LA fell to the Padres making it their third loss in a row, but Hanser set an MLB record by making his seventh relief appearance of the season. He tossed a scoreless inning on Friday and extended his MLB record to eight games with another scoreless outing in Saturday night’s win over San Diego.
He also picked up his first career strikeout, much to the delight of his teammates.
Hanser Alberto: 3.38 ERA in 8 games for the Dodgers
Josh Hader: 19.06 ERA in 8 games for the Padres
— Doug McKain (@DMAC_LA) September 4, 2022
The loveable utility man also connected on a triple in last night’s game, so he really did it all for LA.
He’s posted a 3.86 ERA, allowing 3 walks, 3 errors, 8 hits and a 1.57 WHIP. For being a relief pitcher on the side as he primarily plays infield, those aren’t bad stats. But the fact that the Dodgers have used him this many times and it’s just the beginning of September is a little concerning.
Aside from turning to Alberto every once in a while, the Dodgers were happy to bolster the bullpen for the stretch run by getting right-hander Blake Treinen back this weekend. He’ll reassume his role as a setup man for still-the-closer Craig Kimbrel (who has been showing some hopeful signs of improvement).
The rest of the bullpen includes southpaws Alex Vesia, Caleb Ferguson, and David Price, as well as right handers Evan Phillips, Chris Martin, and Phil Bickford.
Despite hitting a little rough patch to start the month out, the Dodgers have put the rest of the league behind them with a 17 game advantage over the Padres. But will the arms that the Dodgers have left make it through the rest of the fall until the postseason? I guess we’ll find out.
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