Early on in the season the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation appeared to be broken. Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t start one game and was lost for the season, joining Brandon McCarthy, who made just four starts. Brett Anderson went from fifth starter to third starter and the Dodgers were forced to hold a tryout of sorts to fill out the rotation.
Then Mike Bolsinger came along. The 27-year-old had just one year of Major League experience in which he started nine games for the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 1-6 record and a 5.50 ERA. The Dodgers didn’t really know what to expect from him, but they didn’t have very many other viable options.
Bolsinger went on to have an impressive first half with the Dodgers. In 16 starts, the right-hander was 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA. He was having a fantastic season while holding together the back end of the rotation.
Then the front office acquired starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alex Wood just before the trade deadline. The deal bumped Bolsinger out of the rotation, sending him down to the minors. The young right-hander continued to pitch well in Oklahoma City and would eventually be brought back up after Latos struggled. However, Bolsinger was not the same pitcher he was during the first half of the year.
Wednesday night was Bolsinger’s last start of the season for the Dodgers. Once again, he struggled and pitched just 3.1 innings. In the month of September, Bolsinger has a 7.08 ERA.
After the game, the Dodgers pitcher talked about his regression towards the end of the year via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Ending the season like this is disappointing,” Bolsinger said. “But cut off this month and it was a really good year, a lot better than last year. I really felt like I belonged. It’s tough. I wish this had happened at a different time because I want to finish strong.”
While he finished the year poorly, Bolsinger is making the best of his situation, according to JP Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
As of right now, I don’t have any more starts for the regular season,” he said. “I can honestly sit here despite having a bad September and it was a good experience. This year was a lot better than last year. Hopefully next year is better.”
Whether Bolsinger returns to the Dodgers rotation next season will depend on the offseason. Anderson is a free agent and Zack Greinke could opt out of his contract, but the front office likely won’t stand pat.