Dodgers News: Ryan Yarbrough Having ‘Uncharacteristic’ Season

Ryan Yarbrough has filled a need on the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff since joining the team at the midway point of the 2023 season. The left-hander has his own way of contributing, using an unconventional arm slot to find success, and proving capable of starting or pitching out of the bullpen.

The 32-year-old has been deployed in a number of ways, mainly as a bulk innings arm. Without big time stuff from the left side, Yarbrough’s focus is on command and missing the big part of the bat.

After Landon Knack turned in five scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, Yarbrough was called upon in his usual role. He struggled mightily, allowing two runs while hitting three batters in an unusual appearance for a command-heavy pitcher.

“Yeah, I think that’s a simple way to look at it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Yarbrough’s issues on Friday. “He’s a guy that typically we count on for command and putting the ball in play, length, and right there in that sixth inning, hitting three batters, and just didn’t have command.

“He really didn’t. So pitch count got up, obviously, in the first inning that he threw, the second inning got through it. But he just wasn’t sharp tonight.”

Yarbrough’s two earned runs could have been avoided if not for his uncharacteristic outing, something Roberts noted. The lefty’s issues have been more about limiting the free passes and maintaining his feel around the strike zone.

“It is really random,” Roberts said. “I think this year, in particular, the surface is good as far as earned run average, but the walks are certainly up there, the hit batsmen way up there. And I don’t know if it’s a mechanical thing, but it’s certainly not characteristic of Ryan.”

Yarbrough owns a 3.28 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and .199 batting average allowed this season. He falls in the 92nd percentile in hard hit rate, and has the makings of being a solid contributor.

Cutting out the walks and hit batsmen could eliminate much of what Yarbrough is working around and improve on his overall production.

Will Dodgers keep Ryan Yarbrough?

Yarbrough has and will be a quality piece for the Dodgers bullpen as they continue their push to keep arms healthy. Already dealing with a handful of impactful injuries to their pitching staff, he’s a bridge for multi-inning work.

Unless the team decides his volatility with free passes and soft-tossing stuff isn’t necessary, Yarbrough should be leaned on to be that bulk arm.

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