3 under-the-radar Dodgers players off to a good start in 2023
By Drew Koch
2. Dodgers RHP Phil Bickford has gotten off to a good start.
I'm not really sure what Dodgers fans thought they were going to get from Phil Bickford, but it probably wasn't 12 punchouts in six relief appearances. Bickford's ERA isn't necessarily pretty, but the right-hander has the ability to flat-out put opposing batters away.
Bickford owns a 4.26 ERA, but according to FanGraphs, his xFIP is 2.40. That suggests that Bickford has been a bit unlucky. He has a strikeout rate of 46.2 percent and a walk rate of just 3.8 percent.
The erratic right-hander's strikeout numbers were always better than average, but what we're seeing right now is insane. Bickford is sitting down nearly every other batter he faces. That's just unheard of.
Can he keep it up? The Dodgers fans certainly hope so. Shelby Miller has looked good at times, but five free passes in 5.2 innings pitches is not good. Andre Jackson has been solid, but just six punchouts in 6.1 innings can't compare to the numbers that Bickford is putting up at the moment.
Phil Bickford has put up some great numbers while flying under the radar. The Los Angeles Dodgers will need him to keep it up, with relievers like Alex Vesia, Brusard Graterol, and Yency Almonte struggling to begin the year.