Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Mark Prior Talks Positives of Bullpen Games, Mixing Pitchers

The MLB postseason is finally here! The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS starting on Saturday, with the winner facing the winner of the Braves vs. Phillies matchup in the NLCS.

On paper, the Dodgers’ weakness is their starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw is the only Dodger starter to have survived the season from Opening Day to the end of the season. However, he’s dealing with decreased velocity. Lance Lynn has allowed more than 40 home runs this year, and after those two, it’s a bunch of rookies.

Besides Kershaw and Bobby Millerthe team’s Game 2 starter — the Dodgers may use openers and bulk guys. Dodger pitching coach Mark Prior explained the advantage of using different looks in the postseason.

“I think it’s important,” Prior said. “The last few years we’ve had a lot of sinker-slider guys. Whether it’s a different pitcher or not, it’s kind of the same look. So from a hitter’s perspective, they can more be ‘Look for this.’ You see it a lot when you do see bullpen games. That’s why you see teams struggle. Obviously, it’s unsustainable – bullpen games – over the course of a regular season. But in a short spurt, it’s tough for offenses to gameplan. You get one at-bat versus (each pitcher). Having one at-bat against a Brasier or a Phillips or a Vesia or a Graterol – those are all different looks.”

Via Orange County Register

The Dodgers have brilliant rookies in Ryan Pepiot and Emmet Sheehan who can either start or relieve. Sheehan with his explosive fastball would be a great option to relieve Kershaw.

As for openers, the team has tons of options including Brusdar Graterol or Shelby Miller.

With the days off in between Games 1, 2 and 3, the Dodgers can be very creative in how they utilize their pitchers. Expect a very interesting NLDS for the Dodgers.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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