The Los Angeles Dodgers will likely address their bullpen in an impactful way at the upcoming trade deadline, parting with genuine assets to shore up the back end after Daniel Hudson’s season-ending injury and Brusdar Graterol’s recent trip to the Injured List.
For now, though, they also clearly plan to continue throwing out options in an attempt to see what sticks. Last season alone, the Dodgers rehabbed Phil Bickford from a flamed-out prospect to a back-end option (at least, temporarily), and turned Evan Phillips from a waiver claim into a trusted pillar of the ‘pen.
This year’s first dart tossed at the board during the midsummer break came on Friday afternoon, as the Dodgers took a minor-league shot at Hansel Robles, recently of the Boston Red Sox and effective as recently as 2021, when he established himself as a key back-end arm during Boston’s stretch-run push.
2022 has been a completely different story, however, and the Dodgers will be getting a reliever who routinely torches the radar gun, but more often than not has spent his spring pointing to the sky at uncatchable balls.
Dodgers sign Hansel Robles of Red Sox to minor-league deal
Robles struck out 33 men in 25 innings with the Sox last fall, posting a 3.60 ERA entering the postseason. In 2022, though, he managed to subtract 0.8 WAR from the BoSox in just 24.2 innings. With their overload of pitching injuries, it’s no wonder the veteran received the axe when he did, given the amount of roster shuffling necessary for Boston to stay afloat.
The Dodgers aren’t tossing Robles back into the fire right away, though, and will instead stash him in Oklahoma City as he attempts to harness his heat and improve upon his 5.84 ERA and requisite 5.74 FIP.
In the meantime, Graterol’s immediate replacement will be right-hander Reyes Moronta. Once again, Graterol’s “effortless” 102 MPH cheddar appears to have taken more effort to produce than many presumed.
The oft-injured right-hander reported additional pressure in his throwing shoulder ahead of Wednesday’s showdown with the St. Louis Cardinals, and swiftly found himself in the MRI tube.
If the time comes to replace him during a postseason run and fortify things, the Dodgers will likely rely upon a combination of deadline acquisitions and converted starters who are no longer necessary in a postseason rotation (Tyler Anderson/Dustin May, perhaps).
For now, though, LA will also keep taking shots on vets like Robles, old friend Pedro Baez and Dellin Betances, hoping that even one hits.