With the Los Angeles Dodgers needing to find a fifth starter to replace Brett Anderson after the southpaw underwent surgery for a bulging disk in his back, it was Mike Bolsinger who won the Spring Training competition.
However, on the day Bolsinger was essentially handed the job, he suffered an oblique strain while warming up for a Cactus League start. Although the right-hander believed he’d return in time for the 2016 season, Bolsinger was one of 10 Dodgers who began the year on the disabled list.
While in the midst of completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bolsinger was activated from the DL and used as a sixth starter. He was optioned to OKC after his outing, but recalled less than week one later with the Dodgers in need of a starter after using Ross Stripling as a reliever.
Bolsinger has since remained in the rotation and struggled through his last two starts. After throwing just 4.2 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 28 year old expressed frustration and disappointment with himself, via Andy McCullough of the LA Times:
“I’m tired of letting the team down,” Bolsinger said. “I feel like that’s what’s happened the last couple starts.”
Bolsinger allowed three runs on five hits, including a pair of solo home runs. While the damage allowed wasn’t particularly overwhelming, multiple fly balls were caught on the warning track and the Diamondbacks regularly made solid contact.
Against the Colorado Rockies on June 6, Bolsinger allowed six runs on seven hits (two home runs) in 5.1 innings. He’s yet to complete six innings this season, which was an issue that plagued him 2015.
Although Bolsinger has been labeled as a pitcher who struggles with or simply can’t face a lineup a third time through, he argued against that perception after facing the Rockies.
With the Dodgers cautiously managing Ross Stripling’s workload, and Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the beginning stages of their respective rehab assignment, Bolsinger for now appears firmly entrenched in the rotation despite his ongoing struggles.