Dodgers Bullpen Games Planned To Give Starting Pitchers Extra Rest

The Los Angeles Dodgers spent much of the offseason and Spring Training downplaying the likelihood of utilizing a six-man starting rotation with any sort of frequency this year, but that certainly appears to be part of their plans.

When the Dodgers signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto, he was one of multiple pitchers added to the roster in an attempt to address their starting pitching depth. Tyler Glasnow was acquired via trade and James Paxton was another addition.

While that amounted to a rebuilt Dodgers rotation, questions have surrounded the group; namely health and the potential for extra days of rest being necessary.

Now heading into their first full month of the regular season, the Dodgers are going to incorporate a bullpen game, beginning Tuesday.

“I think that’s fair for now. [Tuesday] we’re going to do a bullpen game, and the impetus is because we want to make sure Tyler, Bobby (Miller), all these guys are getting an extra day (of rest),” manager Dave Roberts explained.

“Obviously tomorrow, (Ryan) Yarbrough is going to be in play. In what role, I don’t know yet. You have to get some length from your starters but having guys on your roster that can go multiples is certainly help. What Yarbs did for us the other night, what we expect him to do on Tuesday, certainly allows us a lot of flexibility.”

Ryan Yarbrough’s presence on the roster is what allows the Dodgers to take a versatile approach at least for the time being. Yarbrough demonstrated his ability to be a long relief option out of the bullpen with his three-inning save for the Dodgers in which he only allowed a single baserunner.

But in order for the strategy to be feasible through multiple turns in the rotation, it is imperative the Dodgers receive good length from their starters when they do pitch. That is exactly what has transpired since playing their Dodger Stadium opener last week.

Dodgers starters pitched a combined 22 innings while only allowing four runs during their four-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals. James Paxton followed that with five scoreless innings in his Dodgers debut Monday night.

Walker Buehler progressing toward return to Dodgers rotation

Walker Buehler has had a very eventful rehab process that dates back to the end of the 2023 season, and there was uncertainty at times about how long it would take him to return to the Major League club.

However, there has been a decent amount of positive news on that front as of late. Buehler began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday and threw 54 pitches in 3.1 innings while averaging 94.2 mph on his fastball. His rehab assignment is expected to last for around four starts.

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