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Dodgers News: Mark Prior Thinks LA Bullpen is Constantly ‘Undervalued’



The Dodgers season hasn’t quite gone according to plan as of late. Ace Walker Buehler was placed on the 60-day injured list this week. Superstar outfielder Mookie Betts was placed on the IL over the weekend.  The offense has been inconsistent. More importantly, the Dodgers had a 8-9 record for the month before first pitch on Wednesday.

Despite a trying month for the Dodgers, pitching coach Mark Prior was complimentary of the pitching staff in a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. Prior talked about Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson stepping up as starters and also explained why he thinks the Dodgers bullpen gets shortchanged year after year.

 “I think our bullpen is always undervalued at times in the four years that I’ve been here. They come together as a group and really buy into pitching as a group and pitching as one as their own kind of entity instead of individuals. It’s fun to watch those guys. They step into any role, any situation.”

Now isn’t the best time to trumpet the skills of closer Craig Kimbrel, but entering play on Wednesday the Dodgers ‘pen ranked eighth in ERA (3.35) and third in FIP (3.24). Not too shabby for a group that has been missing their best reliever in Blake Treinen since the middle of April.

To Prior’s point, the Dodgers bullpen was always been in the top ten since he first arrived in LA in the winter of 2018. 

Dodgers Bullpen ERA Ranks

  • 2022: 8th (thru Tuesday)
  • 2021: 2nd
  • 2020: 2nd
  • 2019: 5th
  • 2018: 8th

The bullpen hasn’t been perfect this year, but has managed to keep it’s head above water even with Kimbrel struggling and Treinen sidelined. 

Being a baseball reliever is a lot like being a NFL cornerback. Few fans notice when you’re quietly doing your job, but everyone and anyone notices when you blow it.

That certainly isn’t lost on Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior.

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