The early-season bullpen woes of the Los Angeles Dodgers continued Tuesday when three relievers allowed four runs in a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks, wasting six scoreless innings by starter Kenta Maeda.
The Dodgers’ bullpen ERA ballooned to 6.65, including a well-documented meltdown by Chris Hatcher on Friday in San Francisco that followed 7 1/3 scoreless innings by rookie Ross Stripling. Louis Coleman, who appeared to be in line for a more significant role, allowed a pair of insurance runs in Tuesday’s home opener.
The Dodgers have been unable to find a suitable setup man to get the ball to closer Kenley Jansen, and the only alternative is to stick with in-house solutions. “Manager Dave Roberts knows no team is going to deconstruct an entire bullpen and put it back together again eight days into a season, so he is leading the patience theme,” writes ESPN’s Doug Padilla.
Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times has a similar sentiment, noting the Dodgers can tread water for the time being. “In the eyes of rival evaluators, the Dodgers possess the talent to upgrade internally and the resources to pursue help as the trade deadline approaches,” McCullough notes.
The Dodgers have signed three relievers — Dale Thayer, Sam LeCure and Sean Burnett — to minor league contracts, and could move one of their starters to the bullpen once Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy return from injuries, hopefully by June or July.