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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Talks Postseason Bullpen Plan

Friedman has a plan and it appears to be a good one.



The 2019 trade deadline came and went for the Dodgers without a major acquisition. After acquiring the best player on the market at the last two deadlines, the Dodgers basically stood pat, acquiring left-hander Adam Kolarek and infielder Jedd Gyorko.

Most fans wanted a major bullpen acquisition of the Felipe Vazquez, Will Smith, or Brad Hand ilk. Even Shane Greene would have been intriguing to some. However, they stood pat —- for a reason.

In a recent column by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Friedman provided some insight regarding the organization’s plans for the bullpen down the stretch and into October.

To start, he discussed the narrative of the Dodgers’ bullpen being too weak as currently constructed and its comparison to the past two World Series champions:

“I think narratives are always an interesting thing, and the narrative going into the 2017 playoffs was that the Astros didn’t have a bullpen strong enough to win the World Series. Going into the 2018 playoffs, the narrative was the Red Sox didn’t have a bullpen strong enough to win a World Series.”

He is correct. The narrative existed for both of those clubs and they emerged victorious regardless of their bullpen flaws. The Dodgers’ current bullpen is better than those two bullpens. The Dodgers have not seen their championship hopes fade due to a relatively inactive trade deadline this season.

The club, simply put, has a lot of options to fill their 12-man pitching staff come October. We could see rookies Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin find their way on the roster. We could see Rich Hill emerge as an invaluable bullpen asset. The options are endless due to the versatility of the Dodgers’ pitching staff.

Friedman alluded to the fact that the club is in the early stages of pinpointing who will be on the October postseason roster:

“The other guys that we are looking at as strong contenders into October I think are in a good place right now. But that’s something that we have two months to continue to evaluate.”

The organization has nothing but time and as I mentioned, no shortage of options. The bullpen picture is not as bleak as you may think it is and the Dodgers could have even more help on the way with left-handers Chris Nunn and Victor Gonzalez showing out at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Friedman directly mentioned Gonzalez as an in-house bullpen option down the stretch. The 23-year-old southpaw from Mexico has allowed just one earned run over 15 2/3 innings since moving to the bullpen full-time.

Friedman also exudes confidence in his club and stated so:

“We’ll try to put guys in the best position to succeed and then wake up before the playoffs, if we’re fortunate enough to qualify, and put together the best, most dynamic staff we can.”

Final Thoughts

The Dodgers have Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Julio Urías, and Pedro Baez as virtual locks. Only one of Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Rich Hill will claim the final rotation spot as their own, with the remaining pitchers vying for spots in the bullpen with Adam Kolarek most likely clogging a spot as well. Options galore.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. What about Caleb Ferguson? I’ve got a hunch he’d come through in the clutch this postseason. Any thoughts?

  2. If you lose 3 in a row you’re done in this town. You’ll never recover. You’ll officially be cursed

  3. Before the Dodgers even consider any bullpen help, the first thing they need to do is DFA Kenta Maeda. He has proven he’s no longer capable of pitching against major league hitters. Get rid of him now before he accrues further damage. Enough is enough. Give that open roster spot to one of the young pitchers in AAA, it doesn’t matter who as long as that pitcher can get the job done consistently. This Kenta Maeda is Todd Worrell all over again.

  4. that spot best used to evaluate options for a playoff run but we all love Kenta Maeda – maybe a 60 day shift to rehab. Kenta is good just worn maybe and rest for Ryu, Kershaw,, Stripling and Hill… not extended time but time to allow muscle to heal is needed for top performance from each – luxury with this big lead in the standings… Maeda can come back for spot relief duty in the playoffs… maybe his old self will re appear… talk to rest to make this decision

  5. I don’t bye it. You can’t putt that kind of pressure on two rookies. A deal should have been made. The problem is Friedman and Kasten just don’t need to do nothing while the turnstiles continue to flourish with fans. Even if they blow it again this year. Remember folks regular season and the playoffs are too different animals. So will see what happens. Personally I’m not optimistic and but I Guess 1988 says anything can happen.

  6. Daniel………the sentence in this article……..”The Dodgers have not seen their championship hopes fade due to a relatively inactive trade deadline this season”…………..I am not so sure that statement is true………we will just have to wait and see. Do the Dodgers have bullpen options? Yea of course they do………BUT……..options galore does not cover up the major glaring weakness, you know, that 800 lb. elephant in the room………you completely ignored this stark fact…….we no longer have an elite closer to finish games.

    • and not only that, but if Yimi Garcia has anything to do with it, we won’t worry about going deep in October. Yesterday the Dodgers had caught up to padres tying the score at 6, then went ahead with a 7th run on Pollock’s HR. If we had any type of middle relief at all, the Dodgers wouldn’t have had to bat in the 9th inning.

  7. As much as I wanted a deal, a deal wan’t made so why beat that dead horse? They should move Maeda to the pen right now to get him used to the idea. If he can’t do it or doesn’t want to do it then deal with it now. They need to figure out what Urias is going to do and leave him there. And if they are planning on using any rookies out of the BP they should begin getting them in high-leverage situations now to see how they react. It sounds like they have the arms but they are all untested. With a 17 game lead nows the time to let the kids prove themselves.

  8. I agree. The Dodgers did not address “the elephant in the room.” As a result, we must now deal with the consequence(s) of inaction. Its unclear to me, and probably the organization, just how we plan to maneuver successfully through the post season. But I like the idea of placing Rookie pitchers in high leverage situations now- since we have a 17 game lead- to assess how they may fare. At this point, I have made the decision to believe that the Dodgers are going to be able to pull this off…..somehow…..probably against an enhanced Astros team….sigh.

  9. Can anyone who is here answer this question…how many more times must we endure Yimi Garcia coming in no matter what inning it is and no matter the score, give up another HR? it’s getting ridiculous because it appears that EVERY time he gets into a game he serves one up

    • Hey Paul……….Yimi Garcia is here to stay……….opponents batting average against Yimi……..177……….yes .177………along with a very low .88 WHIP………and as long as that stat holds Dave will keep trotting him out there. Only Pedro Baez has a lower number than that on the Dodgers staff. I’m not a big Yimi fan one way or the other, but I saw that stat just the other day and I was like……really? That’s impressive……….

  10. Paul
    It may be true that Houston and Boston’s bullpens were off some, but ours cost us the series against Houston. Doesn’t make any difference if there bullpen is down if ours is worse. Same could be said against Boston. If you think that these guys will get better before the season’s end, you can’t improve what isn’t there to begin with. Garcia is a lock to give up the long ball every time he comes in. We won yesterday because of the bats and a few errors on San Diego’s part, but our pitching gave up 10 runs. Anyone who thinks this bullpen can beat whoever they play in the W.S. needs help.

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