The first half of the season has been a difficult one for the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen as the pitching staff has dealt with a number of injuries.
With starters like Dustin May and now Trevor Bauer missing time, the Dodgers have had a number of bullpen games, which puts extra stress on the bullpen to cover even more innings.
While they have performed admirably to this point, they certainly can use some reinforcements in the second half whether that be by minor signings or trade deadline acquisitions.
It appears that Andrew Friedman has already begun to take that into account as Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that L.A. has signed veteran reliever Neftali Feliz to a Minor League contract:
The #Dodgers are signing veteran reliever Neftali Feliz, 33, to a minor-league contract. The former 2010 AL Rookie of the Year and All-Star pitched two games for the #Phillies this year before being released.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 6, 2021
Feliz had some solid seasons at the beginning of his career with the Texas Rangers, most notably in 2010 when he was an All-Star and named American League Rookie of the Year after saving 40 games and posting a 2.73 ERA.
He has appeared in two games with the Philadelphia Phillies this year, allowing four hits and four earned runs in just one inning of work. Before this season, he last pitched in the big leagues in 2017, so his once very live arm seems to be declining at age 33.
Feliz has been solid at the minor league level this year though as in 15 appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the righty has posted a 1.26 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with 23 strikeouts and six walks in 14.1 innings. He was designated for assignment at the beginning of July and elected for free agency instead of going back to Triple-A, and now lands with the Dodgers.
While Feliz may get an opportunity at the big league level at some point, he will likely head to Triple-A Oklahoma City to try to impress the Dodgers brass.
Dodgers going with bullpen game against Marlins on Wednesday
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently announced the plan is to have another bullpen game against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, which pushes back Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw to give them an extra day of rest.
With the All-Star break just around the corner, it could not come at a better time for a Dodgers pitching staff that has been in flux all year. The hope is that the Feliz signing will pan out and he will be able to help that group at some point in the second half.
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