Dodgers Bullpen Struggles: ‘These Are Our Guys’

The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has been an unexpected weakness this season due to a combination of injuries and inconsistencies. Ryan Brasier and Joe Kelly are among the pitchers who have underperformed after being key contributors for the team last year.

Both pitchers struggled in the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday as Brasier gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Starling Marte and Joe Kelly allowed two of the three batters he faced to reach base.

“These are our guys. Relief pitching is tough because it’s one of those things when you pitch well, they’re not talking about you,” manager Dave Roberts said.

“Brasier, I think it’s execution. The slider is not getting to the right side of the plate and when it’s not, it’s being hit hard. And then the (Pete) Alonso at-bat, he made some good pitches and got a popup.

“These are our guys. I know they prepare and you’ve got to keep running them out there in their lanes and expect them to perform.”

After a resurgent second half with the Dodgers last year, Brasier returned to the team on a two-year contract during the offseason. Through 10 appearances (one start), he owns a 5.59 ERA, 6.33 FIP and 1.35 WHIP in 9.2 innings pitched.

Kelly also found success after rejoining the Dodgers at the 2023 trade deadline and re-signed with the team on a one-year contract for 2024. He has posted a 7.00 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 1.78 WHIP and 10 strikeouts per nine in 10 games thus far.

Dave Roberts confident in Dodgers bullpen

Despite their early struggles, Roberts remains confident that the Dodgers bullpen will turn things around. In addition to some positive regression that can be expected, the team should eventually get back Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen, who are currently sidelined with respective shoulder and lung/rib injuries.

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