3 Dodgers who don’t deserve to start in the playoffs

Jason Reed
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 18: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to a strike out during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on August 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 18: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to a strike out during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on August 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

1. Andrew Heaney

Andrew Heaney is finally putting together a consistent stretch of being healthy for the Dodgers, but at the same time, he is starting to come back down to earth. Heaney has allowed 18 runs (15 earned) in his last five starts, giving him a 5.63 ERA in that time frame.

Home runs have been the culprit for the southpaw. In those five starts, Heaney has allowed 10 home runs in total. When he is not allowing someone to leave the yard, he is actually pitching quite well, but he is allowing too many home runs to start a pivotal postseason game.

That being said, there is still an opportunity for Heaney to make a difference. Him not starting for the Dodgers opens the door for him to take on the 2020 Julio Urías role out of the bullpen. He can become a high-leverage left-handed pitcher that Dave Roberts utilizes to throw two or three innings in key spots if needed.

It all depends on the matchup, but there is reason to believe that Heaney can thrive in this role. First of all, he is still striking out batters at a really nice clip. In those same five starts, Heaney has 41 punchouts in 24 innings pitched. His 13.5 K/9 is fifth in the league among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched this season.

Left-handed batters don’t see the ball as well against Heaney, either. While they have a higher average than their right-handed counterparts, they still have an OPS below .700 against Heaney and have not hit a single home run against him in 55 plate appearances.

The opportunity is there for Heaney to be an effective member of the Dodgers’ pitching staff, it just should not come as part of the starting rotation.

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