One of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top priorities this offseason is bolstering the bullpen, and the club recently addressed the unit by acquiring Corey Knebel in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The right-hander has been limited by injuries the past two seasons, but showed glimpses of his former All-Star self this year, allowing just two runs while holding opponents to a .167/.286/.250 batting line in his final six appearances.
Knebel’s fastball noticeably had more life on it, which resulted in an uptick in strikeouts and swings-and-misses. Teams took notice of this and reportedly would have jumped at the opportunity to sign Knebel in free agency had he not been traded to the Dodgers.
Given that he will be another year removed from Tommy John surgery, a few members of the Brewers expect Knebel to enjoy a bounce-back season with L.A., via Robert Murray of FanSided:
“He has a chance to be really productive again,” one Brewers executive said. “Once he gets far enough removed from surgery, watch out. His stuff was there in flashes.”
Said one teammate of Knebel’s in Milwaukee: “He’s not done by any stretch.”
While the Brewers decided against retaining Knebel for the 2021 season, it is clear he still has many supporters in the organization. The 29-year-old enjoyed a successful run with the club and was at his best in 2017, when he pitched to a 1.78 ERA in 76 games.
Knebel will now look to get back on track with the Dodgers, who have a knack for helping pitchers return to their previous form. In recent years, the club found success with similar reclamation projects such as Joe Blanton, Blake Treinen and Brandon Morrow.
Morrow is now back with the Dodgers on a Minor League contract, and so too are Brock Stewart and Jimmy Nelson.
Knebel ‘excited’ to not pitch against Dodgers lineup
One of the many perks of joining the Dodgers is no longer having to face their lineup. Knebel recently discussed this, explaining how difficult it was to face them over the years.
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