Right-hander Mike Bolsinger became sort of a savior to the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation earlier in the season, coming in and providing stability when the team lost Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu for the year.
Bolsinger was 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 16 starts to start the year, but then was sent down to Triple-A after the Dodgers acquired Mat Latos and Alex Wood in a deal at the trade deadline. Latos struggled enough to be moved out of the rotation and Bolsinger returned to the big leagues.
However, since returning, he has allowed 14 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in 13 innings in three starts. That includes his start on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he allowed five hits and four runs (three earned) in just 4.1 innings.
After the game, Bolsinger talked about his struggles and went beyond just the one start. “I don’t feel like the same person I was before I got called down,” the 27-year-old said. “I feel like a completely different pitcher. My off-speed is inconsistent right now and usually that’s my bread and butter. The only thing I do got going for me is my fastball, location-wise.”
The right-hander can’t pin exactly why he’s struggled. “I don’t know,” Bolsinger said. “When I was down there, everything was working. I don’t think it’s mechanics. It’s just my timing and feel for the off-speed pitches. I just don’t feel it.”
With a fastball in the low-90s, Bolsinger used his curve ball as his main pitch throughout the season, but he’s had issues finding that since returning.”Before it was always consistent and a lot sharper,” he remarked. “Now it’s just more loopy and I’m leaving it up in the strike zone.”
With the playoffs approaching, Bolsinger was asked if he he felt like he feels any pressure about making the playoff roster. “I’m just trying to pitch like I did before I went down,” he said.
“That’s really my main goal right now. I always said if you put yourself in a good position, good things will come. I’m not putting myself in a good position to even make the playoff roster.”
It might have been tough for Bolsinger to make the postseason roster even if he did pitch like before, but with the struggles, it’s even less of a possibility. The Dodgers just need the pitcher they got for the first half of the year in order to close out the season and take home their third NL West title.