3 pitchers that can instantly fix the Dodgers' Alex Vesia problem
By Jason Reed
2. Adam Kolarek
The Dodgers traded for Adam Kolarek during the 2019 season to be a southpaw specialist out of the bullpen. Kolarek was elite against left-handed hitters and posted one of the best groundball rates in the entire sport.
Then the three-batter minimum came into effect for the 2020 season and Kolarek's value went down. No longer could the Dodgers bring him in to face one or two left-handed hitters in the order. That did not seem to impact the left-handed specialist much, though.
Kolarek's funky delivery played very well for the Dodgers across his season and a half (one of which being a 60-game campaign). In 30.2 innings for the Dodgers, Kolarek sported a 0.88 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. He did not strike out a lot of batters, but he did not allow runs.
All that being said, Kolarek struggled immensely in the 2020 playoffs, allowing five runs in 2.2 innings of work in the NLDS and NLCS. He had just one appearance in the 2020 World Series, throwing 0.2 scoreless innings.
The Dodgers then traded Kolarek to the Oakland Athletics before the 2021 season and he struggled. He posted an 8.00 ERA in nine innings in 2021 and a 4.58 ERA in 17.2 innings in 2022. He has not pitched in the majors since May of last year.
However, Kolarek is enjoying a solid start to the 2023 season for the OKC Dodgers. It.s the best he has pitched at any level since leaving the Dodgers as he is sporting a 1.35 ERA in 6.2 innings of work this season.
Los Angeles re-signed Kolarek for a reason as the team obviously still saw something in him. Perhaps it's time to test that theory at the big-league level.