Dodgers bullpen struggling
Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: June 28, 2010 12:35 pm
The Dodgers will win or lose the National League West on the strength of its bullpen, the Los Angeles Times ' Bill Shaikin writes .
During the Dodgers' series with the Yankees, manager Joe Torre seemed only to trust closer Jonathan Broxton out of the bullpen. It led to victory on Saturday, but defeat and the loss of a four-run lead on Sunday.
Writes Shaikin, the Dodgers have two reliable starters and three reliable relievers: Broxton, Ronald Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo.
Broxton leads the Dodgers' bullpen in innings, one of just three closers in the big leagues to do so. Broxton has allowed seven earned runs in 33 2/3 innings -- four of those on Sunday -- and has 16 saves, as well as a 7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Shaikin says it's uncertain whether the uncertain Dodgers ownership will open its pocketbooks (or prospect cache) for middle relief help. The problem is middle relief is one of the toughest commodities to evaluate and acquire. Add to the inherent difficulties with a weak available class makes it a tough fix, even for a team with deep pockets and prospect coffers.
"Pitching is the only way we're going to do something special," Torre told the Times . However, the Dodgers hardly have a special staff and odds are against them striking gold in the trade market.
UPDATE: Recently designated Pirates left-hander Jack Taschner has been signed by the team to a minor-league contract.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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