The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has been an issue in the second half of the season and it seems that nobody can provide consistent outings.
Right-hander Juan Nicasio was one of the few that was able to provide relief help, but he went down on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain. When he went down, the Dodgers reinstated Chris Hatcher from the 60-day DL and up until Sunday, he was a perfect 10-for-10 in batters faced. He allowed a walk-off home run to Jason Castro in the 10th inning of Sunday’s game against the Houston Astros that completed a three-game sweep.
The Dodgers announced on Monday that Nicasio is expected to return from the DL on Tuesday and in order to clear a roster spot, they optioned Yimi Garcia to Triple-A.
Since being recalled when Joel Peralta went on the DL, the right-hander threw 7.1 innings and allowed just one run with four strikeouts. That one run was crucial as it came on a walk-off RBI single against the Oakland Athletics. Garcia will likely be down in the minors until September 1, when the rosters expand and allow teams to use their entire 40-man roster. On the year, Garcia has a 3.55 ERA in 46 appearances (45.2 innings).
As for Nicasio, he has thrown in 38 games (47 innings) with a 3.06 ERA and 52 strikeouts. The right-hander had yet to allow a run in four August appearances and just two run in his last 10 appearances. He had begun to become more trusted in the bullpen and was getting more late inning chances for the Dodgers. Nicasio should return to that role once he’s settled in.