Dodgers: Dave Roberts Needs to be Armed With Better Relievers
Much has been made about the moves Dave Roberts made for the Dodgers in the World Series. It would be fair to critique Roberts if he had better weapons in the bullpen.
The Dodgers failed in another World Series and of course the easiest route that fans have taken is to blame Dave Roberts. Whether it is putting Alex Wood in, or making Kenley Jansen throw two innings for a save. The theme is common, and the fix is simple, Dave Roberts needs to be armed with better weapons out of the bullpen.
Ironically, both the Red Sox and Dodger bullpen finished the regular season with 3.72 ERA’s. In the postseason however, the Boston bullpen beat out the Dodgers by a smudge with a 2.71 ERA. While the Dodgers only finished slightly lower with a 2.78 bullpen ERA, remember the competition the Red Sox faced was much more fierce. They had to dispatch two 100 win teams.
The Dodgers beat a Braves team that made the playoffs too soon, and a Brewers team that got hot at the right time but ultimately their odd bullpen usage cost them in the end. Alex Cora looked like the better manager in the World Series as he should have. Cora was able to throw Joe Kelly and Nathan Eovaldi at the Dodgers, just as an appetizer to Craig Kimbrel. Kelly and Eovaldi both were throwing 100+ miles per hour and everyone knows how devastating Kimbrel can be.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
- Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft
On the opposite end, Dave Roberts was armed with a closer who literally had a broken heart, and a bunch of middle tier starters in the bullpen. Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood are starting pitchers who were unable to crack the Dodger playoff rotation. The Dodgers apparently thought they would be able to turn into shutdown relievers when the stakes were the highest. Sure Maeda had a good playoff run a year ago out of the bullpen, this time around he was ineffective allowing a .310 batting average against.
It was almost funny that the reliever that Dodger fans used to hate most, Pedro Baez, became one of the Dodgers’ best relievers in October and down the stretch. If it wasn’t for Baez, the Dodger bullpen would have looked even worse. Luckily the gamble to throw Julio Urias into the bullpen mix panned out or the Dodgers may not have even made it through the NLCS. It’s clear that Dave Roberts lacked weapons out of his bullpen.
This season the Dodgers had two under the radar guys whom they traded for in Dylan Floro and Scott Alexander. Both are solid relievers for the middle innings of games and maybe for the back end of regular season games. In October against bigger competition, that is not going to get the job done. The Dodgers will probably not dip into free agency for relief help, but they need to trade for top-tier relievers.
Kenley Jansen has had to pitch multiple innings in the last two World Series and it almost never pans out. Last year it was a blown game two, and he faltered in multiple games. Adding better bullpen arms would allow Jansen to only have to work one inning, which is when he’s at his best. Better bullpen arms would also lead to less doubting of the moves Dave Roberts makes.