It’s no secret the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff was dismantled by injuries that began to surface in Spring Training and continued through the first three months of the season.
One of the aforementioned pitchers who spent time on the shelf, Mike Bolsinger, was named the team’s fifth starter in the spring before going suffering an oblique strain on the same day it became apparent he’d won the competition.
When Bolsinger returned to the Dodgers’ rotation in mid-May, he struggled to find some of the early success he had last season when. In six starts this season, Bolsinger went 1-4 with a 6.83 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in just 27.2 innings pitched.
After his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers in which he allowed five runs in 2.2 innings, Bolsinger was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he’s been used as a reliever.
Since the demotion, Bolsinger has thrived in his new role as he’s allowed three runs in six appearances thus far. With his recent success for Oklahoma City, Bolsinger believes he can work his way back to the Dodgers out of the bullpen, per Jacob Unruh of the Oklahoman:
“I know there’s a lot of young talent here and they’ve got all their guys coming back,” Bolsinger said. “I still feel like I’m a big league pitcher and I can pitch up there in the big leagues.
My thought was if you ever need help in the bullpen why not come down here. Hopefully, I can put together some good innings and get back up there.”
Bolsinger attributed his success in the bullpen to not being forced to go through a routine, which he has never been fond of:
“I’m so terrible with routine,” he said. “I was always told to get on a routine, but when you’re a reliever you don’t really have a routine because you really don’t know when you’re pitching. Not really knowing kind of goes with my mentality a lot, actually. I love it.”
Bolsinger’s Achilles’ heel in the Majors this season has been his inability to limit the damage the third time through an opposing lineup. In each of his outings this season, Bolsinger never completed six frames, with his season high being 5.2 innings.
For his career, Bolsinger has allowed opponents to hit .336/.416/.600 when facing them a third time through. This season, they hit .444/.615/.778 in the same instances.