When the Dodgers acquired Adam Kolarek from the Rays in 2019 for Niko Hulsizer, they were hoping he would be able to be all-around effective. Teams have known for quite some time that the three-batter minimum rule was inevitable and that the ‘LOOGY’ was going to be a thing of the past.
Dave Roberts talked about Kolarek and his chances for making the Dodgers Opening Day roster on Thursday afternoon. In his words, the southpaw likely has some things to work on before he would be considered for a bullpen spot.
With Adam, we know what he can do against a left-hander, we know he can go 1-plus, we know he’s a strike-thrower. There’s certainly a lot of value, we just want to see more the ability to get a right-hander out. Obviously he’s done it at times and I’m not saying he can’t do it. Just for him to continue to get that confidence is doing to be good for him and good for the Dodgers.
Kolarek was lights out against left-handed hitters last year, allowing a .199 batting average and striking out 20 percent of batters faced. His effectiveness against lefties was never really in question though. Unfortunately, he allowed right-handed hitters to slash .299/.368/.480 in his time split between the Rays and Dodgers.
With the three-batter rule instituted by MLB, many wondered if Kolarek would even stick with the Dodgers. Los Angeles has some pretty ridiculous depth, and taking a risk on him being effective against both sides of the plate would seem unnecessary. Nevertheless, Doc is hopeful that Kolarek can find a way to figure things out.
While he probably will not be on the Opening Day roster, the Dodgers will no doubt be in need of Kolarek’s services as some point in 2020.