Dodgers: Scott Alexander’s shutdown has LA short on southpaws
Saturday the Dodgers announced that Scott Alexander was shut down due to nerve damage in his left thumb. He could miss the rest of the season.
The Dodgers are looking for at least one reliever in advance of the July 31st trade deadline and that was before Saturday’s news that Scott Alexander is dealing with nerve damage in his left thumb. Scott was having an interesting season as lefties have hit .364 against him while right-handed batters have hit just .143.
Last season, Alexander was one of the key left-handed specialists in the Dodger bullpen and was much better against left-handed hitters than he has been this season. Scott was expected to be a mainstay in the bullpen this season but injuries have derailed his season. Tony Cingrani was also expected to be a key lefty in the bullpen but he is also out for the season due to injury.
Then there is Caleb Ferguson who really broke out as a shutdown reliever after shifting to the bullpen last season. This season has been a different story as Ferguson entered Saturday’s game with an ERA over 6. He had held left-handed hitters to a .190 average but gave up a hit to Curtis Granderson and was removed with the bases loaded and did not record a single out.
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There is not much left-handed depth left for the Dodgers’ bullpen as Zac Rosscup was designated for assignment in recent days after he was ineffective. That leaves Julio Urias as the one dependable southpaw in LA’s bullpen and it’s still unclear if he will stick in the bullpen for the remainder of the season. The Dodgers may not have a choice but to keep Julio in the bullpen now.
Unless Dave Roberts plans to be unconventional and use a right-handed reliever like Pedro Baez against lefties, Andrew Friedman is going to need to go out and add another left-handed reliever. The good news for the Dodgers is that there are quite a few left-handed relievers on the trade block, with Jake Diekman being one reliever the Dodgers have scouted recently.
Will Smith and Felipe Vazquez are two of the best left-handed relievers that could be traded but neither are locks to be dealt. The Giants recent surge has them in a holding pattern while the Pirates could sell but they don’t necessarily need to trade Vazquez now as he is under team control through 2023.
Whichever reliever(s) the Dodgers decided to trade for, it would surprising if it is not a lefty given what has transpired recently. The bullpen needs help and it needs a southpaw to help balance out the bullpen. The deadline is now just ten days away and the need for bullpen help becomes more evident by the game.