Dodgers: Mitch White no longer deserves roster spot
By Jerry Trotta
What should’ve been a cruise-control victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night against the crosstown rival Angels quickly morphed into a nail-biter.
After looking lifeless through the first few innings, the Dodgers erupted to score a combined 13 runs in the fourth and fifth frames.
With starter Clayton Kershaw mowing down hitters at will, this had all the makings of a potential all-time lopsided victory in the clubs’ storied rivalry.
After Kershaw was taken out following five shutout innings, however, the Dodgers’ atrocity of a bullpen stepped in and did everything in their power to blow the lead.
While the Dodgers ended up escaping with a 14-11 victory, this game never should’ve been as close as it was. In other words, Dave Roberts needs to send a message to the rest of the team that mediocrity (or flat-out incompetence) won’t be tolerated.
For that reason, reliever Mitch White should no longer keep his roster spot.
Dodgers reliever Mitch White no longer deserves his roster spot after his meltdown against the Angels.
It’s duly noted that White inherited the mess Dennis Santana created, but the fact that he was unable to stop the bleeding proves someone else should take his roster spot. In 1.1 innings of work, White surrendered five hits and six runs, zero of which were earned.
When the 26-year-old entered the game, the Dodgers had a nine-run cushion. By the time he departed, their lead shrunk to just four runs. That’s inexcusable. Again, his ERA technically didn’t balloon because his number was called with ducks already on the pond, but this is the type of performance that can’t go without being punished.
We hate to single White out, who had actually been one of the few bright spots in the Dodgers’ bottom-barrel bullpen before Saturday night’s capitulation, but giving up five hits and six runs (earned or not) is simply indefensible for a team that was desperate for a win.
One poor showing obviously wouldn’t be enough to justify White losing his roster spot, but last night marked the second consecutive outing that he was ineffective. Earlier in the week against the Cubs, the former second-round pick gave up a two-run homer in his only inning of work in what ultimately proved to be a 4-3 loss.
The entire Dodgers bullpen has been a disaster through the early stages of 2021, and we would normally refrain from overreacting following a win, but something has to change after the club (despite the W) reached a new level of embarrassment on Saturday night.
Since White played a prominent role in the near-meltdown AND blew a lead that led to a loss earlier in the week, he should be the one who bites the bullet.