The Los Angeles Dodgers have come out of the All-Star break with a multiple glaring issues on their hands. After losing four of their six games, questions regarding pitching — both starting and relief — are resurfacing.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Dodgers are focused on finding a late-game reliever:
Dodgers trade focus on finding one more reliever who can pitch 7th or 8th inning #Dodgers
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 25, 2014
With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching quickly, the Dodgers have been mentioned in plenty of trade rumors. Dodgers’ general manager Ned Colletti made it known in June he wished to solidify the bullpen.
Rumors surfaced the Dodgers would pursue Jonathan Papelbon, but the interest was later refuted.
In the recent three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Dodgers allowed a total of 20 runs. The starters allowed 11 runs and the bullpen was forced into extended innings.
With 9.1 innings pitched during the series, the bullpen arms ended up surrendering 12 hits, nine runs and six walks. By averaging approximately a run per inning, Mattingly has had to make some hasty decisions and play the bullpen through some tough scenarios.
In one of the games, manager Don Mattingly was unable to use his usual seventh and eighth pitchers, and said the team can’t always rely on J.P. Howell or Brian Wilson.
For a team with postseason and World Series aspirations, the Dodgers cannot afford to keep working the bullpen arms into the ground, which some believe took place last season.
The Dodgers begin a crucial three-game series against the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants starting on Friday. If the starters are unable to pitch deep into the games, it may further exacerbate the bullpen situation.
Dodgers May Get Bullpen Help From Boston Red Sox