The Dodgers have a tendency to add guys in their bullpen that far exceed expectations. That has been the case with a number of guys out there over the last decade. But if Andrew Friedman has proven anything, it’s that he can build an entire relief team from a bunch of broken parts.
When the Dodgers signed Yency Almonte in March as a minor league free agent, very few were impressed with his numbers. He put up a combined 5.30 ERA and walked 4 batters per 9 innings with the Rockies. But one thing we know about this team is that they can help guys to reach their potential.
And the Dodgers might have done that with Almonte. They look to have lowered his fastball usage and instead have him throwing his slider more often. And based on how this at-bat against former All-Star Odubel Herrera went, it’s working.
Yency Almonte got Odúbel Herrera to swing at a slider between his legs. pic.twitter.com/7VUmB8JyQr
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 15, 2022
Almonte had Herrera all sorts of tied up on this back-foot slider, which ended up going between his legs. And he may not be the All-Star that he used to be, but Herrera is off to a very good start to the 2022 season. The Dodgers have used Almonte twice so far since being added to the roster, and he has yet to be charged with a run in 3 innings.
The problem is that Almonte is still walking guys, tallying 3 free passes in those 3 innings of work. But he was solid at Triple-A and allowed just 1 walk in his 11 appearances. If they can unlock anything special in him, the Dodgers will have a really good arm to support the guys in the pen.
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