2023 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Adam Kolarek

The Los Angeles Dodgers called on a number of arms to get overcome various injuries their pitching staff endured during the 2023 season and utilized multiple bullpen games. Adam Kolarek was a piece to that equation in June against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Kolarek was given a shot with the Dodgers in their series finale against the Phillies on June 11, when Andre Jackson was optioned to make room for the left-hander. In 21 relief appearances in Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to his call-up, Kolarek carried a 2.18 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.

Because of a change of plans following an injury setback to Julio Urías, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted for a bullpen game. Kolarek was given his first opportunity of the season, but surrendered a two-out, two-run single when Bryson Stott blooped a base hit to left field.

The Dodgers would go on to lose, 7-3, and Kolarek was designated for assignment three days later. He would stay with OKC until the trade deadline, when he and Phil Bickford were sent to the New York Mets for cash considerations.

Kolarek made four appearances for the Mets, tossing a combined 4.2 scoreless innings, strikeout out five batters.

On August 27 he was again designated for assignment and elected free agency two days later. Kolarek then signed on with the Atlanta Braves, spending the rest of the season with the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers.

Adam Kolarek 2023 highlight

Kolarek had a limited sample at the MLB level, but his best run of success came with Oklahoma City. From April 1 to June 30, the lefty posted a 2.40 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 4.22 FIP across 30 innings pitched for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Kolarek tallied 26 strikeouts to 17 walks during that stretch, highlighting his continued struggles to limit the free pass. However, Kolarek didn’t allow any earned runs and also went without allowing a homer over the 33-game stretch.

2024 outlook

Kolarek signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Los Angeles Angels. He has only 33.2 innings at the Major League level since the start of the 2021 season, but could be a viable option for a bullpen in need of a lefty.

He’ll join an Angels bullpen with the expectation to be a left-handed specialist, but remains an incredibly volatile option against opposite handed hitters.

Kolarek will be 35 years old when the 2024 season gets underway, and will have a low-risk opportunity to find a role on a youthful Angels roster.

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