Dodgers claim former division-rival prospect off waivers to help pitching staff

Thomas Carannante
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 01: Phil Bickford #32 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Miller Park on September 01, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 01: Phil Bickford #32 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Miller Park on September 01, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Dodgers are hurting badly at the moment.

Despite Sunday’s win, they’re still in the midst of a terrible run, losing 10 of their last 14.

On top of that, Dustin May, who left Saturday’s game with a scary-looking arm injury, just joined seven of his other teammates on the injured list in what could be a huge blow to the pitching staff.

Add his absence to that of Tony Gonsolin and David Price, and the bullpen might have to soak up a lot more innings soon.

The losses of Price, Corey Knebel and Brusdar Graterol couldn’t have come at a worse time, too, so that’s why the Dodgers made a roster move on Monday.

Right-hander Phil Bickford was claimed off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers have signed former top prospect Phil Bickford.

Bickford is just 25 and has appeared in two career MLB games, both with the Brewers in 2020 and 2021. Before that, though, he was a top prospect in the San Francisco Giants’ organization.

Back in August of 2016, the Giants traded Bickford (and Andrew Susac) to the Brewers in exchange for reliever Will Smith as they attempted to harness that even-year magic in what was their last playoff-bound campaign. At the time, Bickford was actually performing well in A and High-A ball. At the end of that season, though, he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse.

Then the Brew Crew began to transition him into a relief role, which didn’t entirely go well. Though he began to find his footing in 2019, he was robbed of a 2020 season due to the pandemic.

How can he help the Dodgers? By merely existing. The pitching staff needs all the help it can get in the form of innings-eaters. Look what happened on Saturday after May went down. Manager Dave Roberts used NINE other pitchers in one-inning duty. He quite literally used the last available pitcher in Mitch White when the 11th inning rolled around.

Don’t count on Bickford assuming any sort of contributing role other than the fact you might see him over the next couple of weeks given the injuries to the aforementioned players. The Dodgers simply need guys to take the mound for the sole purpose of fielding a team.

Who knows, maybe the former first-round pick messes around and makes the Giants pay at some point. That’d be fun.

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