Dodgers Team News

How The Dodgers Could Best Utilize Deadline Day Addition Ryan Yarbrough

The Dodgers did not make a lot of big moves at this year’s trade deadline. However, that doesn’t mean they lacked positive moves to help the team compete for a World Series title this season.

Right before the trade deadline closed out, the team acquired Kansas City Royals pitcher Ryan Yarbrough in exchange for two minor league prospects.

The 31-year-old pitcher has experience as a starter, opener, and some middle relief pitching, so he can truly do it all.

How Might the Dodgers Utilize Yarbrough?

This move seems very reminiscent of a similar pitcher Dodger fans saw pitching for them not too long ago in Tyler Anderson. The pitch-to-contact approach from both Anderson and Yarbrough mixed with the funky arm angles and unique deliveries, these pitchers are almost mirror images of each other.

Tyler Anderson joined the Dodgers on a one-year deal in 2022 looking to revitalize his career after finally being healthy and ready to contribute any way he can for his new ball club. This led to the use of piggybacking his first two Dodgers appearances with Tony Gonsolin.

Gonsolin made his first two starts of 2022 against the Rockies and Reds, going three and four innings into each game, respectively. Tyler Anderson then followed him up by coming out of the pen and throwing four innings in each game.

This one-two combo netted 15 innings pitched in two games and only surrendered 3 earned runs as a result. Tyler Anderson entered into the starting rotation after that due to Andrew Heaney going down with an arm injury, but this piggyback strategy looked to be electric.

Ryan Yarbrough has plenty of experience piggybacking with the constant use of an opener from his time with the Tampa Bay Rays. Pitching in 141 separate games in his career, he has only officially started 66 of them. Most times the Rays’ opener goes a little over one inning pitched and then the lanky lefty comes out of the bullpen and tosses four-to-seven innings of soft-contact baseball.

Who Can Yarbrough Most Help Out?

This answer is simple: Tony Gonsolin.

The 2022 All-Star is having his worst year as a starter to date. Over the last two months, the Cat Man has been pitching at a 6.10 ERA clip and his lack of control has plagued him by the long ball. He struggles going past five innings on most days and has only pitched more than six innings once this year.

Ryan Yarbrough can become Gonsolin’s piggyback mate and together, they can frustrate batters. Two starting caliber pitchers for one game eating up seven-to-eight innings is just what the Dodgers need.

Yarbrough can be put in for long relief and allow the other bullpen arms to rest without needing to worry about pitch count since the veteran has been averaging around 84 pitches in his last four starts.

With moves to acquire Lance Lynn from the White Sox, the Dodgers rotation will be around eight potential rotations guys come October (barring any injuries).

Projected Starting Pitching for the Dodgers in October

With a healthy lineup of mostly established veteran pitchers, the Dodgers can set their sights on a World Series. Ryan Yarbrough might just be the team’s secret weapon.

Oh, and if this move works out well for the ball club, Yarbrough still has a year of arbitration before being able to hit free agency.

Photo Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

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Jacob Zinder

Jacob Zinder is a digital sports journalist that recently graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Growing up in California, Jacob has been a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire life.

One Comment

  1. Great article. Good insights. I simply had thought similarly. Dodgers are looking at reinforcements coming back. A team only needs three quality starters to win it throughout the playoffs. Eat up some inning for the next month and a half, trim off the dead pitching weight. Show those ya want the support they need. Add a bit of infield depth.

    I believe this team can win it just like the 88 Dodgers did. This team has the fun, fight and hunger. Our 100+ win teams lacked the hunger.

    Go Blue!!!

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