Dodgers: 3 role changes we’d already make after four games

Jason Reed
Apr 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) slides safely in to second on a double in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) slides safely in to second on a double in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson /

2. Keep Jimmy Nelson on mop-up duty

Jimmy Nelson leads all Dodgers pitchers in games pitched as he appeared in two for the Boys in Blue. Now, to be fair, this was done more in necessity as Tony Gonsolin was dealing with shoulder inflammation that landed him on the 10-day IL.

Gonsolin likely would have pitched in one of the two outings. Regardless, while Nelson is a great story, he should probably be reserved for mop-up duty for the time being.

Nelson has not pitched consistently since 2017 and signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2020 season while he was hurt. The Dodgers re-signed him to be part of the bullpen in 2021 because they seemingly still believe he can regain his nasty form.

The Dodgers are the best team in the league at finding projects and turning them into legitimate relievers. Nelson was expected to continue that trend.

But after a promising spring training, he was not great in his two outings. On Opening Day, he allowed a walk and a double to go along with two wild pitches that resulted in two runs scored. On Sunday, he was responsible for the only inning in which the Rockies scored.

Julio Urias, fresh off of seven scoreless innings, allowed an infield single to Ryan McMahon to start the seventh. Nelson was put into the game and it looked as if he was going to get the clean hold. He struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Chris Owings and allowing a double to Garrett Hampson.

Two runs scored. One charged to Urias, one to Nelson. He was then able to strike out Trevor Story, but that was one good Trevor Story swing away from being a tie game.

It’s a long season and he will find his stuff. He’s not all the way there yet, so for now, he should be reserved for mop-up duty whenever possible.

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