Dodgers Reliever Yency Almonte Talks Bullpen Role and Expectations
The Dodgers bullpen is relying on a lot of guys to put together repeats of their success from 2022. Among those guys is right-hander Yency Almonte. When healthy, Almonte had an electric season a year ago. He posted a 1.02 ERA over 33 games after being called up from Triple-A but missed nearly two months of the season with an elbow issue.
Heading into the new season, Yency’s importance is magnified — especially while several Dodger pitchers are sidelined and on the injured list to open the campaign. He spoke about his role and expectations with Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA before Monday night’s game in Anaheim. The 28-year-old is keeping it simple and staying ready for any situation.
“I look forward to being out there whenever my name gets called, whether it’s early in the game, late in the game, just going out there and knowing that I can go get three outs or any outs I got to go get and just being that guy to out of the bullpen the offense could depend on to go and get clutch outs or even shut down some bleeding and just being that person for the team. That’s what I want to look forward to.”
That’s what he did a lot of in 2022, get outs wherever Dave Roberts needed them. This year, the needs will probably find him in more higher leverage situations than last. Yency along with bullpen-mates Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol are the primary right-handers returning in 2023. They combined with the rest of the staff to be the top bullpen unit in the National League and second overall, just chasing the Houston Astros by a tenth of a run. Almonte also touched on the feeling of the bullpen heading into the new season.
“I mean, from the bullpen standpoint I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re all excited to just go out there and prove that we’re of one of the best, if not the best bullpen in baseball. We take pride in going out there and getting outs and just doing our jobs.”
If this core can stay healthy, it certainly can compete to be one of the best again in 2023.