One of the delightful surprises out of the bullpen so far this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been left-handed Adam Liberatore.
Acquired in the trade that also brought Joel Peralta to the Dodgers, it’s been Liberatore who has made the most impact from that deal as Peralta is on the disabled list. Or is it the other way around?
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, the left-hander thanks the veteran right-hander for his success this season:
I went right to him, told him I was working on it, and … just had a lot of conversations between spring training and now. (Peralta) was working with me on it (Monday) in BP in the outfield. I put a lot of effort into it. He’s given me a lot of help.”
What the “it” is referring to is a split-fingered fastball that Liberatore has been using in key spots this season. The 28-year-old made his MLB debut this season with the Dodgers and currently holds a 1.86 ERA in 10 appearance. His two earned runs were charged to him on Wednesday evening, although he did not give up the hits that scored the runs.
Peralta praised the pitch before praising the pitcher, Liberatore:
When you command the split, when you have the split, it’s one of the best pitches in the game — at least that’s what I think,” Peralta said. “When (pitchers) get confidence in the pitch and they see it’s working, they throw it more than any other pitch. But the way he’s pitching right now, he doesn’t need to go to the split a lot.”
What may become ironic in the near future is that when Peralta is activated from the DL, the very pitcher he could replace is the one that he helped have success.
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