Dave Roberts Credits Dodgers Coaches For Bullpen Success

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had something of an unexpected start to their season when it comes to their bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts and the Dodgers pitching staff have had to dig deep into their organizational depth and seek out fringe options elsewhere to field an MLB bullpen amid injuries to several key players.

The Dodgers are 50 games in to their 162-game season and have already used 19 relievers at least one time. Last season, in its entirety, they used 27. Players like Anthony Banda, Elieser Hernandez, Nick Ramirez, Nabil Crismatt and more have been called upon several times despite being nowhere near the team’s offseason plans.

And yet, the Dodgers have the third best bullpen ERA in the Majors this season. Their 3.04 unit ERA sits only behind the Cleveland Guardians and the New York Yankees, giving them statistically the best bullpen in the National League, despite having very few consistent contributors thus far.

Roberts spoke about who he believes should get the credit for this success and what it means for the organization moving forward.

“Well, I think it’s plug and play because it’s working,” Roberts said. “It takes a lot of work as far as the front office detecting certain guys on the outside. Also player development having guys internally that we’ve used, and plugged in guys that have been optioned, guys that unfortunately we’ve had to DFA.

“And for me, it’s the pitching guys, the run prevention guys. They’ve allowed for an environment for these guys to thrive. And so from Mark (Prior), to Danny (Lehman), to Bardo (Josh Bard), to Connor (McGuinness), all those guys are hugely impactful for every single one of these guys. And then you look at the players themselves, it’s their job to go out there and do their job, and they’ve done a fantastic job of that.”

The Dodgers pitching machine has been well documented over the years, but it has become even more apparent in 2024 when injuries have tested the depth and the coaching within the organization. Regardless of who has taken the mound, they have answered the call.

And with the infrastructure in place, that should continue long into the dog days of the MLB season.

Dodgers injury update on Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly has been out since May 6 with right shoulder problems and there haven’t any new developments on that front since. That changed on Monday with news that Kelly had begun his first day of throwing since he has been on the injured list.

“Joe is actually playing catch today,” Roberts said before the game. “So he should be out there as we speak, throwing a baseball,” Roberts said.

The next steps for Kelly are still to be determined, but beginning to throw is a notable development after being shut down.

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