Dodgers News: Mike Bolsinger Focused On Anchoring Back Of Rotation
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

With Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu already on the mend, the Los Angeles Dodgers were forced to assembling a starting rotation with secondary options. Brett Anderson‘s back surgery placed the club’s depth under further strain.

Alex Wood slotted in as the Dodgers’ fourth starter, which left a final spot to fill and a Spring Training competition to determine who it would be. Mike Bolsinger outperformed the likes of Brandon Beachy and Zach Lee, among others, to round out the Dodgers’ rotation.

However, Bolsinger suffered an oblique strain on the day he was effectively anointed the fifth starter. After beginning a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he was pressed into spot duty on May 18.

Bolsinger was optioned back to the Minors the following day, but returned May 23 with the Dodgers again in need of a starter. He replaced Ross Stripling and took the mound on Tuesday for his third outing of the season.

The 28-year-old Bolsinger only managed to pitch five innings, but he held a potent Chicago Cubs offense to just three hits. The issue with that being one of the hits was a Kris Bryant two-run home run in the third inning that proved to be the difference in the Cubs’ 2-1 victory.

Given the current state of the Dodgers’ pitching staff; Wood expected to miss a minimum of four weeks, Ryu looking to overcome a setback, McCarthy still yet to start a rehab assignment, and Anderson only just beginning a throwing program, Bolsinger figures to remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future.

With that, he’s putting the responsibility on himself to prove a serviceable fifth starter, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla:

“I know we’re all not [Clayton] Kershaw, but if we can definitely pick up the slack at the end of the rotation, especially me, I really feel like being that fifth guy if you can keep the team in the ballgame,” Bolsinger said. “The offense is going to take care of itself.”

Bolsinger went 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA, 3.91 FIP and 1.36 WHIP in 21 starts with the Dodgers last season. He had a successful month of May, going 3-1 with a 1.05 ERA in four starts (25.2 innings pitched).

However, Bolsinger then slowed a bit in June and July, but still provided needed depth (4.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in June, and 3.00 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in July). A three-team trade that netted the Dodgers Mat Latos and Wood then bumped Bolsinger back to Oklahoma City until active rosters expanded in September.