The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has been a source of worry for fans this season, but it became even more highly scrutinized over the past week and the team’s current four-game losing streak.
While the Dodger starters have each struggled this past turn of the rotation, it has been the bullpen that became the scapegoat, capped off by Jim Johnson’s implosion in the seventh inning of Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh that led to a sweep. One of the relievers that has struggled the most this season is Joel Peralta, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason.
Peralta has an ERA of 5.40 and allowed a grand slam in the first game of the series with the Philadelphia Philles and a three-run home run on the first pitch he threw following Johnson on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers placed Peralta on the 15-day disabled list with a right neck sprain and recalled Yimi Garcia.
Peralta missed time earlier in the year with a neck issue and while he admitted it’s not as serious as the previous time, he did mention that it was bothering his command. He said he expects to be back when he is eligible, but with his age and now history of injury, he could be out longer.
As for Garcia, this will be his third stint with the Dodgers this season after he started the year as a lights-out reliever. In 41 games, he has a 3.99 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. He will join a taxed bullpen that has seen plenty of work over the last few days and will likely be one of the first arms manager Don Mattingly uses.