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.
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.