In 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen became one of the scapegoats of the team’s early postseason exit.
In 2015, the bullpen has become a scapegoat for some of the team’s struggles and rightfully so, as they have rank 11th in the National League with a 3.63 ERA. The bullpen started the year strong despite not having closer Kenley Jansen, but has faltered since mid-May, racking up the third-most losses in the NL. While the Dodgers seem to have a more pressing need in the starting rotation in terms of healthy arms, the bullpen also needs addressing with the trade deadline coming up.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Dodgers are interested in a reliever from the Miami Marlins:
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) July 23, 2015
Cishek currently holds a 4.65 ERA in 31 appearances for the Marlins. He began the year as the team’s closer, but lost his job in May. The right-hander has improved as of late, posting a 0.77 ERA since June 14, including a string of six scoreless appearances. He would give Don Mattingly another arm in the later innings, possibly as a bridge to Jansen. If acquired, the Dodgers would have control of Cishek for through 2017.
The Dodgers haven’t been linked to many relievers thus far, but they have reportedly dropped interest in Jonathan Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies. A move for a starting pitcher could help the bullpen though, as Carlos Frias could move from the rotation to the later innings. Also, reliever Chris Hatcher is set to begin a rehab assignment soon and while he struggled earlier in the year, he has the potential to turn his season around.
The trade deadline is just over a week away and it’s almost a guarantee the Dodgers will make a move to improve the team.