After an effort to trade for Aroldis Chapman came undone during the Winter Meetings, the Los Angeles Dodgers essentially returned the same bullpen from 2015. The exceptions were minor additions Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman.
It appeared the bullpen woes that haunted Los Angeles for much of last year carried over into this season as the relief corps struggled with holding leads and minimizing damage late in games.
However, the bullpen eventually turned the corner and has become one of the more efficient groups in baseball. Their 3.08 ERA trails only the Washington Nationals for best in baseball.
That’s particularly impressive when taking into account a rotation diminished by injuries has led to the Dodgers’ bullpen ranking near the top in usage with 379.1 innings pitched.
One member who’s been absent is Yimi Garcia, and he’s likely to miss the remainder of the year, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Dodgers aren't expecting Yimi Garcia to pitch again this year.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) August 7, 2016
Garcia injured his biceps on April 22, was placed on the 15-day DL the following day, and moved to the 60-day DL in May. In nine games this season, he owns 3.24 ERA, 2.89 FIP and 1.20 WHIP in 8.1 innings.
The right-hander was in the process of completing a rehab assignment when he suffered a setback. Before hitting his recent snag in his recovery, the 25-year-old made five appearances; two with the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and three with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers.
Garcia appeared in 59 games last season and compiled a 3-5 record with a 3.34 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. Along with Garcia, Chris Hatcher is also not expected to return this season. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 20, and transferred to the 60-day DL the next day, with a significant oblique strain.
The Dodgers acquired right-handed relievers Jesse Chavez and Josh Fields in separate trades prior to the non-waiver deadline.