Dodgers bullpen is entering perilous territory thanks to starting rotation shortcomings

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

On Sunday night, Tyler Glasnow put on yet another show for fans as the Dodgers attempted to prevent a sweep at home by the Mets. No matter the outcome, it was still their third straight series loss during a nine-game homestand, but the Dodgers desperately needed a win and, aside from a rough outing on April 15, putting Glasnow on the bump has seemed to be the most surefire way of making that happen.

He pitched eight innings, gave up seven hits but no runs, and walked zero batters while striking out 10. This came only two weeks after a seven-inning effort during which time he also went scoreless and struck out 14.

Glasnow is pulling his weight big time for the Dodgers, but the rest of the rotation is a different story. With Bobby Miller out, LA has had to turn to bullpen games more often they were ever supposed to. Not only that, but Yoshinobu Yamamoto is still easing into the rhythm of a five-man rotation after pitching every seven days in NPB, and James Paxton's starts are being spaced out more because of injury concerns.

Accordingly, the Dodgers bullpen has pitched 102 1/3 innings so far this season, the most in baseball by a mile. Ryan Yarbrough has registered the third most innings for the Dodgers behind Glasnow and Yamamoto, and this is while poor performance from the bullpen has been one of the team's major weaknesses.

Dodgers bullpen has been working overtime as rotation struggles to pull its weight

Paxton's innings have been limited when he has pitched; he's sitting on two five-inning starts and one six-inning outing. Gavin Stone has also seen his starts cut short, but more due to poor performance than bodily concerns. Two of his outings have been cut after about three innings, with the most recent on Saturday ending after he gave up four hits, five walks, and two earned runs in a game the Dodgers eventually lost 6-4.

While treating Yamamoto and Paxton with kid gloves makes sense to a certain extent, the Dodgers bullpen is still 20th in MLB in ERA, and Walker Buehler still won't do too much to alleviate their workload when he finally returns from his rehab assignment, as his pitch count is bound to have strict limits.

Something's gotta give, and with the rate at which the Dodgers have been burning through relievers who haven't been able to perform, Yamamoto and Paxton will probably need to move first.