— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2018
At the time of the acquisition, the Dodgers’ bullpen was shaky and Madson was brought in to hopefully help stabilize it. He was on the Dodgers’ World Series roster and he was unlucky for the club in the month of September.
In 8 1/3 regular season innings for the Dodgers, Madson posted a 6.48 ERA, but had a 1.96 FIP and 2.18 xFIP. Moreover, he struck out 13 batters in 9 games.
This was not nearly a move of the magnitude that was necessary to shore up the bullpen heading into the playoffs, but Andrew Friedman and co deemed him worthy of that playoff roster spot.
Madson appeared in 7 games and allowed 1 earned run in 6 1/3 innings between the NLDS against Atlanta, and the NLCS against Milwaukee. However in the World Series, he was heavily relied upon in key situations and unfortunately was unable to get the job done. While he allowed only 1 earned run across 4 games and 2 1/3 innings, he also allowed 7 of 7 inherited runners to score as the Dodgers eventually fell 4 games to 1 to the Boston Red Sox.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) October 28, 2018
Madson has yet to throw a pitch in 2019 for any club. At age 38, it appears that his career is most likely over.
The Moving Parts
Istler, 26, was the Dodgers’ 23rd-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft and flashed decent potential as a future middle relief type.
Across all levels of the minors, Istler has a 3.45 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 211 1/3 innings. In 2019, Istler is at High-A Potomac and has allowed one run in 14 2/3 innings, racking up 23 strikeouts.
This was such a low-risk move for the Dodgers and did not demonstrate a true signature Friedman dumpster dive. Istler is a bit older at 26 years of age, but still has some decent potential to ride.