It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Dodgers this season and it’s been especially rewarding to watch the entire bullpen come together.
During the Dodgers 30-42 beginning, the bullpen regularly blew games. From Brandon League to Ronald Belisario, things were trending in the wrong direction as a whole. However, in late June, the Dodgers designated Matt Guerrier for assignment and brought up rookie reliever Chris Withrow for good.
Withrow has gained the trust of the coaching staff and is relishing his role according to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com:
I definitely agree with that. As a starter, I was up and down. But as a reliever, I got with Chuck [Crim, current bullpen coach] and learned a new mentality of going in and attacking.
In 22 innings with the Dodgers,Withrow has a 2.25 ERA and has struck out 27 in 22 innings. What’s most impressive about him has been his ability to pitch out of jams.
In 16 outings, Withrow has inherited nine runners and has pitched efficiently enough where none of those runners have come around to score. It’s even more remarkable as Withrow came through the Dodgers system as a starter and has quickly turned into a solid reliever.
Since the activation of Brian Wilson, the Dodgers are going with a 13-man pitching staff after many believed that Withrow would be the odd-man out. However, Scott Van Slyke was sent down, almost assuring that Withrow should be in the bullpen for the duration of the season.
While Withrow is just one reliever, the Dodgers pitching staff as a whole lead baseball with a 2.18 ERA since the All-Star break and the bullpen ranks 11th with a 3.37 on the season.
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