Dodgers: Three Forgotten Players that Could Make an Impact in 2018

DENVER, CO - APRIL 24: Relief pitcher Adam Liberatore
DENVER, CO - APRIL 24: Relief pitcher Adam Liberatore /
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GLENDALE, AZ – MARCH 07: Adam Liberatore /

Adam Liberatore does not get the credit he deserves. Just two seasons ago he was setting team records for consecutive scoreless appearances and was creeping up on Zach Britton’s MLB record holding scoreless appearance streak.

Liberatore was among the game’s elite during his dominant 2016 season but things started to spiral out of control as that season went on. Perhaps from over-usage, Liberatore went down with a serious shoulder injury, sidelining him for the remainder of the 2016 season. That offseason, he had surgery to clear up his medical woes from the season prior. The then 30-year-old lefty was expected to recover fully and for a while, it looked like he did.

Liberatore came to spring training last year hoping to impress but instead he got hurt again. He threw less than 15 innings in 2017 and lost his reputation for excellence. Liberatore had fallen into the shadows.

Now, in 2018, Adam has presented with an opportunity to re-insert himself into the elite Dodger bullpen. His ability to get outs, although a question mark at the moment, is there. Over the part of the past three seasons, Liberatore has had an ERA+ of 107 suggesting he is seven points better than the average pitcher.

With a big spring training and a clean medical bill, Adam Liberatore can easily slip back into the pen when camp breaks and can certainly make an impact in 2018. If Adam makes it into the bullpen to start the season, I would not be surprised.