After making one spot start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 23 and being optioned back to Triple-A, Mike Bolsinger returned for another start May 12 and has held onto a spot in the rotation since.
Bolsinger faced his former team for the first time since being traded last November and turned in another strong performance. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called it par for course, however the right-hander was more reflective on how far he’s come since being a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff.
While Bolsinger pitched well, he maintained there wasn’t extra motivation in facing the team who wrote him off months earlier. “The way I think about it is, it was probably like $5 or 6 million, right?” Bolsinger joked to reporters after striking out eight over seven innings.
Getting traded to the Dodgers helped him grow as a pitcher with the pitching staff dedicated on smoothing out some of his rough edges. Bolsinger said he improved on his outing in Colorado by working with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
Although the Dodgers have aided Bolsinger in his growth, he also believes a change in mindset has been key. “It was more to do with me,” he said when asked about his troubles in Arizona. “I went out there with a bad mentality. Going out there and having a bad start, just thinking to yourself, `If I pitch bad, I’m going to get sent down.’ You can’t go on thinking like that.”
During his time with the Diamondbacks, Bolsinger only went 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA before being sent down to the Minors to finish the year. The eight strikeouts he had Monday night tied a career high and he moved to 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.
Bolsinger’s 3.10 FIP suggests there will be regression at some point, though he believes there’s room for continued improvement. “Honestly, I think there’s another level in there,” Bolsinger said. “I just got to keep working hard.”