The bullpen for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been better than expected so far this season, a surprise considering what many perceived of it coming into the season.
However, not all Dodgers relievers have jumped out to a dominant start, as a few relievers have started the year on a bad note.
Chris Hatcher, who was acquired in the offseason from the Miami Marlins in the trade that sent second baseman Dee Gordon to Miami, has been one of those whose season began disappointingly.
The 30-year-old right-hander talked about the reasons behind his early struggles and how he plans to fix them via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
You saw it in Arizona, I couldn’t do anything but throw fastball low and away,” Hatcher said. “It doesn’t matter how hard you throw. You can put it on the black low and away – they’re still going to hit it if they know it’s coming. It’s moving the ball around, changing speeds – pitching as opposed to just going out there and getting your brains beat in by only going to that one pitch you know you can throw where you want to.”
In the game Hatcher referred to against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he came in to pitch the ninth inning with the Dodgers leading 7-0 and allowed three runs, three hits and issued a walk, while only recording one out before being pulled from the game.
Hatcher, whose 10.13 ERA is worst among Dodgers relievers, said there is a simple key to turning his season around:
It’s just pitching smart instead of throwing. … I know what to do. I just got away from it and it didn’t work. Hopefully I’ve got it turned around.”
Since that game in Arizona, Hatcher has pitched four innings, allowing one run and striking out six.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Justin Turner