Dodgers: Three Underrated Players Returning From Injuries in 2018

SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 5: Andrew Toles
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 5: Andrew Toles /
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GLENDALE, AZ – MARCH 07: Adam Liberatore /

Adam Liberatore

Entering the 2017 season, the Dodgers thought they had a deadly assortment of left-handed specialists in Adam Liberatore, Grant Dayton, and Luis Avilan.  Then all three were injured this past season with Liberatore and Dayton missing most of the regular season and post-season.  That led to the Dodgers acquiring Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani.  While Cingrani is still under team control, Watson is a free agent and could be let go if the Dodgers feel that Liberatore will be ready to roll for the 2018 season.

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In 2016, Adam Liberatore was an elite reliever for the Dodgers before he ran into some more injury issues.  Left-handed hitters only hit 171 off of Liberatore in 2016, and he made a serious run at making the all-star team as a left-handed specialist.  His injuries in the latter half of 2016 ruined his stats, but before the all-star break when he was healthy he had a 0.61 ERA and batters were only hitting 153 against him.

If Liberatore is fully healthy for next season, then the Dodger bullpen will be even better than they were this season in which they were a top three bullpen in the majors.  Grant Dayton will miss most of the 2018 season so the Dodgers will have Avilan, Cingrani, and Liberatore as their southpaw relievers.  There is no doubt that Liberatore would be the best of the bunch if he could shrug off his injury woes.  This makes him a very underrated buy key player to watch as the spring rolls around.