The Los Angeles Dodgers have had bullpen troubles for the last couple of seasons, but the start of this season has fans irate that the problems have yet to be fixed. They believe the front office has cut corners in order to fix the problem, and the problem has only gotten worse. Right or wrong, the bullpen is underperforming early on. But is help on the way?

As it stands, the bullpen only has one lefty reliever because Los Angeles sent down Luis Avilan before the season in order to make way for right-hander Louis Coleman. With Coleman struggling, some have wondered if Avilan might be coming back up in order to take his place. However, it might be a different type of player altogether.

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From Doug Mittler of ESPN dot com:

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.

One thing is for certain, the team does have the “resources” that will allow them to deal for bullpen help if they feel it is a dire need when the trade deadline begins to draw nearer. Then again, the help might just be a phone call away in the minor leagues. That help? Left-hander Adam Liberatore.

Liberatore pitched nine innings in spring training with the team, and while he did give up three runs, two coming on solo home runs, you could see the potential as he fanned 11 batters without walking a single one. So far in Triple-A, the lefty has whiffed eight batters in four innings without giving up a single hit. He could be the call-up.

Lefties hit just .048 against Liberatore last season, and just .176 the season before. While lefties are only hitting .212 against the Dodgers bullpen this season, just having another weapon there could help. Liberatore might not fix all the problems, but he could fix some of them. It’s probably worth the look now.

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About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

8 Responses

  1. Darviathar

    It is the same old story, each and every season.  Their big solution will be to call up the guys that weren’t overly effective last season, after they sat on their hands all winter.

    Reply
  2. West Coast Ram

    I would be totally on board with Urias and Cotton working out of the bullpen early this year to help control IP.  Give some faith to the youth that is plentiful in this organization.

    Reply
  3. TruBlu10

    Maybe Cotton, Uriah is a front of the rotation starter for the Dodgers in the future and they shouldn’t and won’t risk him in the bullpen until late in the season. The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

    Reply
  4. TruBlu10

    Liberatore was very effective last season, he should be the first change to the underachieving bullpen! Go Dodgers!!

    Reply
  5. West Coast Ram

    It is easier to control his inning workload if he started the year in the pen and let him finish as a starter in aaa. The season is shorter and there won’t be the temptation to burn him up in a playoff drive.

    Reply
  6. TruBlu10

    I disagree, the Dodgers need to see if can pitch well as a starter in AAA so he can be in the ML rotation in 2017. He only had 2 starts last year in AAA, and he’s more valuable as a starter. I would assume his innings limit this year is 120-130, So let him pitch half the season in AAA as a starter (about 80 innings) and still has around 40 innings out of the ML pen in the second half. Even if the bullpen is faltering I don’t see Urias being brought up until July or August.

    Reply
  7. AMRGroup

    Liberatore would be an upgrade over Howell, I think power pitchers give up home runs but control guys give up more hits in total which is worse. One thing that really got to me last night was watching Tyler Clippard pitch for the DBags, he was one of the best relievers over the past several seasons and he was never even mentioned as a possibility for the Dodgers. Keeping Urias in a starter role is probably best, he’s right on the verge of making that transition to the majors seeing as he’s now dominating in AAA. Cotton I could see moving to a relief role or even De Leon temporarily.

    Reply

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