Dodgers: Do the Boys in Blue Have Any Weakness?
The one glaringly obvious weakness the Dodgers had last year was, of course, their relief. More specifically, I’m referring to the complete and utter lack of any semblance of a setup man. Joe Kelly addresses that need, in spades.
Once a hole, like the gap in the setup spot, has been filled, the rest of the smaller gaps fill-in as well.
What Dodger pitcher wasn’t overworked last season? Bring in Joe Kelly and that additional weight carried last season by, for example, Scott Alexander, is immediately lifted.
Alexander can go back to the basics, without having to deal with the added stress of pretending to be a pitcher that he’s not. The same goes for pitchers like Pedro Baez, Kenta Maeda, and so on.
And, the starting pitchers don’t feel like they have to go longer in games. This was hard on both the young and the “old” last season.
Older pitchers felt fatigued by season’s end and the younger starters, like Walker Buehler, felt added pressure to go further in games.
The biggest problem about that was Buehler is a strikeout pitcher by nature. Strikeout pitchers usually don’t go as long (innings-wise) in today’s game.
Thus, toward the end of the season, one of the best young strikeout pitchers in baseball was relegated to trying to get ground ball outs in lieu of Ks.
This type of awkward adjustment is what hurts teams, pitchers, arms, and in summation, everyone.