1. What’s the Dodgers’ Bullpen Hierarchy?
Those nine straight scoreless outings from Craig Kimbrel were great, weren’t they? Then Wednesday happened. The right-hander surrendered a three-run walk-off homer against the Diamondbacks to bring out the critics in full force.
What also didn’t help was Roberts being non-committal (again) about Kimbrel’s role in the ninth with the playoffs approaching. About that …
What will the bullpen hierarchy be? Blake Treinen’s brief return has him back on the injured list. Brusdar Graterol still isn’t healthy. Tommy Kahnle has thrown six innings since the start of 2020. Victor González and Danny Duffy, both of whom could be slated for returns, haven’t pitched this year. Is it time to rule them out?
What’s the answer? Evan Phillips? He’s been great, but this is his first, full, productive MLB season. Alex Vesia? Could be! He’s been great the last two years. What will David Price’s role be upon his return? Does Yency Almonte fit into this picture?
As you can see, the Dodgers’ bullpen is decimated, and many of the key figures who would be able to handle save situations, outside of Kimbrel, are either wildly inexperienced or unhealthy at the moment. With the clock ticking, Roberts has a finite amount of time to establish an order of operations in the ‘pen that he feels most comfortable with ahead of the playoffs.
But right now, there are far more questions than answers. And though the Dodgers have remained afloat with a productive group of relievers, it may not fly in October.