After rejecting Major League Baseball’s proposal to delay the start of Spring Training and regular season by one month, the Players Association set the wheels in motion for a full 162-game schedule to be played this year.
One of the biggest questions now on the minds of managers and coaches is how pitchers will respond to the increased workloads. Going from last year’s 60-game schedule to a normal slate is unprecedented and figures to cause some bumps along the way.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained that he is more so worried about his relievers and how they will respond to the increased workload than the group of starters.
“Certainly you can kind of debate both, but I would say just off the top of my head I would be more concerned about the relievers’ usage being ramped up versus starters,” Roberts said.
Most Dodgers relief pitchers logged anywhere from 10 to 25 innings last season. With a 162-game schedule returning, they could easily be asked to pitch three times as much this year.
“I think the thing for all of us is to get back into the swing of things, limit injury and slowly kind of get our feet under us,” Roberts said during the early stages of camp.
“I think nowadays, guys are more prepared in Spring Training, but I still think that understanding we have six weeks to go, so we’ll slow play guys and make sure guys don’t push too hard too fast.”
Roberts: Dodgers’ starting pitching depth ‘very good thing’
Though Roberts is mostly concerned about his relievers’ usage, he also will be mindful of his starters and how often they throw. Following the addition of Trevor Bauer, the club has seven bonafide starters that can contribute this season.
Roberts believes the Dodgers’ starting depth will be important in navigating what is expected to be a challenging 2021 season as players adjust back to a normal schedule.
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