Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Envisions Ryan Yarbrough In Swingman Role

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation is largely set, but the final spot is still undecided with multiple candidates in the mix, including Michael Grove, Gavin Stone, Ryan Yarbrough and Emmet Sheehan, although he has yet to pitch in a game due to body soreness.

Yarbrough is entering his first full season with the Dodgers after being acquired from the Kansas City Royals at the 2023 trade deadline. He went 4-2 with a 4.89 ERA, 4.52 FIP and 1.27 WHIP in 11 games (two starts) for L.A, with all but one of the relief appearances being at least three innings.

Yarbrough has been off to a good start this spring, allowing just one run on two hits and collecting six strikeouts over four innings of work entering play Tuesday (two games).

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been impressed with the 32-year-old and praised him for the versatility he offers, via SportsNet LA:

“I think that Ryan is sort of who he is. He’s a guy that’s tough on lefties, manages right-handed hitters well, you can use him multiple innings, he’s a strike thrower, he can change speeds and he’s a really good Major League pitcher.”

Roberts believes Yarbrough best fits the Dodgers roster as a swingman who can make occasional starts and log multiple innings out of the bullpen:

“I think the best fit for him for this roster is a swing guy. He can spot start, he can come out of the ‘pen and take down a few innings if need be, and he can get a lefty out or a lefty run if we need that. We’re very right-handed heavy with our starting rotation, so to have a lefty that can take down innings or get a run of lefties out is huge.”

Yarbrough has been primarily utilized in a hybrid role since making his MLB debut with the Tampa Bay Rays six years ago, making 84 of his 152 career appearances as a relief pitcher.

Along with being able to handle different roles and situations, Yarbrough has been particularly tough on left-handed hitters in his career, holding them to a .227/.295/.369 batting line.

With the Dodgers’ projected rotation being right-handed heavy, Yarbrough should have an important role on the roster and figures to receive plenty of opportunities throughout the season.

Dodgers avoided arbitration with Ryan Yarbrough

Although he was considered a potential non-tender candidate during the offseason, the Dodgers extended Yarbrough a contract to remain under team control. The sides then avoided arbitration by reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $3.9 million contract for the 2024 season.

Yarbrough is due to become a free agent after the 2024 season.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!