As Major League Baseball teams expand from an active 25-man roster to a 40-man roster, the Dodgers hurdle into September aiming to clinch to the National League West Division with 29 games remaining. The ball club set a record by putting 27 players on the Disabled List, including 3-time Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw. Yet, the Dodgers have rallied with 23 wins since the All-Star break and gained a one and a half game lead over the Giants.
With September call-ups being announced, there’s probably no one more enthusiastic than the club manager, Dave Roberts. The former UCLA Bruin has made a case for National League Manager of the Year by not only managing the line up to produce offensively, but also managing a pitching lineup and bullpen that no one expected prior to the season.
In an ESPN article written by Doug Padilla a few weeks before the All Star break, Dave Roberts spoke about his approach:
“I put a hand on every single guy; literally, I do,” Roberts said. “I am not a big meeting guy. I think that people appreciate conversations and I think that this game is a team, but I think it is still individualized in the sense that everyone has their certain roles or expectations I have, or the organization has for each player. And I think that the individual conversations have more impact than the team meeting for me.”
Snapshot: Dodgers Pitching Through August 31, 2016
Dave Roberts’ particular managerial approach has manifested itself in a reliant pitching staff. The Dodgers pitching staff is ranked sixth, posting a team 3.83 ERA through 133 games played. The Dodgers are ranked first in shutouts, posting 13 followed by the Chicago Cubs who have 12. Further, the Dodgers have produced 1,225 strikeouts, leaping over the second best, Washington Nationals. Additionally, the Dodger’s bullpen looks to remain one of the top relieving staffs in the league. The relieving staff has produced second-league best Opponent On-Base Percentage, fifth-ranked Opponent Slugging Percentage, and a league leading On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage. Despite the absences of key starters and a slumping Earned Run Average in August, look to the September call-ups to provide a bit of relief to the “penciled” pitching staff.
With September 1st marking the first day to expand the roster to a possible 40 man roster, the Dodgers look to add some players in their hunt for a Division title. Adding players is critical to the success for the remainder of the season, particularly on the pitching staff. Pitchers are generally given more rest before the start of the postseason. The ailing Dodgers roster, however, is looking to recover fast.
With the addition of pitchers Casey Fien, Louis Coleman and Luis Avilan, we take a quick look at what the Dodgers can expect from the following pitchers.
The right handed reliever was activated from the 15-day Disable List on Monday, resuming his participation with the active roster. Casey Fien most recently participated in one of the double-headers one Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. Fien did see the most action back in June before the all-star break posting an Earned Run Average, 2.35 for the month, playing in 12 games.
Louis Coleman was part of the first group of call-ups for the ball club. Coleman came in as a reliever for most of the season, except in August when he was on the 15-day Disabled List for a right shoulder fatigue. Coleman’s best production came during the month of May posting a 2.38 Earned Run Average, allowing just four hits, 3 earned runs and no home runs while pitching a total of 11.1 innings.
The left hander reliever from Venezuela has been recalled to the active roster a few times this season. Avilan provides reinforcement to the relief pitching staff by not allowing a HR in the majors this season. Avilan was recently activated as the 26th member on the Dodgers roster for the second game of a double-header against the Rockies on Wednesday.
The Dodgers are expected to make more September call-up announcements very soon. The Dodgers return home for Divisional match-ups against the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks including a possible matchup against former Dodgers pitcher, Zack Greinke. Competing to increase the Division lead, the team looks to keep this man “pumped.”
Look at how pumped Dave Roberts was!! pic.twitter.com/0mSMCWgThe
— Keenny (@KeennyPineda) September 1, 2016