The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a five-game losing streak and an eight-game road losing streak. Through all of the adversity, the team still finds themselves with a 1.5 game lead in the NL West over the San Francisco Giants.
After losing starts by Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, the team has hit rock bottom in the midst of a pennant race heading into September. The main problem that has been plaguing the team all season has been the atrocious bullpen. With the September 40-man roster expansion getting closer, the front office is definitely considering calling up some rookies to see if they can make an immediate impact.
An interesting name that has appeared to be a possible promotion is Jharel Cotton. The right-handed pitcher was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday and has excelled this season in the Double-A. After appearing in 11 games for Double-A Tulsa, the pitcher went 5-2, with a 2.30 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. The 23-year-old will be tested in Triple-A, with a specific role in mind from the front office.
When asked about his promotion, Cotton remained excited for the possibilities ahead of him, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
He told me I’m going to Triple-A to relieve out of the pen, and hopefully the Dodgers like what they see,” Cotton said. “It’s great to know that.”
The Virgin Islands native also had a stint in Double-A in 2013, but was less mechanically sound than he is now. His arsenal of pitches involves a low-90s fastball, a changeup that is his second best pitch, and a cutter and slider that he typically uses against right-handed hitters.
When asked about how he has grown as a pitcher compared to 2013, Cotton wasn’t shy in stating that he is ready for this opportunity:
Coaches were saying I would be better out of the pen. I don’t think I was ready at that point. I was still tipping my pitches, I wasn’t the pitcher that I am right now,” Cotton said. “But now I’m different, and ready to go out there and pitch my butt off.”
The pitcher did break his wrist earlier in the season, which may prove to be beneficial for the Dodgers. With the injury, the pitcher had to sit out three months, limiting his innings pitched this season to just over 88 innings so far.
Cotton also wasn’t shy in stating that he is ready for whatever the front office has planned for him. He understands that the Major League relievers have had their woes and that he wants to contribute in any way possible:
I’m pretty confident,” he said. “But whatever the Dodgers have planned for me is what I’ll do. I’ll just go out there and do my best.”
If there is one thing to watch out about Cotton, it is his control issues at times. The pitcher allowed three walks per game in Double-A this season and had a game in which he walked seven batters. That game was also described as a highlight for Cotton, because he did not allow any runs and escaped two bases-loaded jams.