Heath Hembree and Jake Reed were added to the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen on Tuesday, and both wound up playing a pivotal role in the team’s comeback win against the New York Mets in the series opener at Chase Field.
After Andrew Heaney completed five innings, Hembree was the first relief pitcher to enter. The right-hander was signed to a Minor League contract at the end of June, and the appearance represented his Dodgers debut. Hembree allowed two singles but worked a scoreless sixth inning to keep the game tied.
Then came Alex Vesia, who stranded a two-out walk in the seventh to protect a lead. He was followed by Evan Phillips in what was another clean inning. Then came Reed for his first career save.
Following the Dodgers’ 4-3 win, manager Dave Roberts revealed Hembree, Vesia, Phillips and Reed were the only relief pitchers available, via SportsNet LA:
“We had four arms that we were going to use, so it was more of just kind of piecing the puzzle together. Andrew, I felt, was done after five. That was all he needed to give us. Then we just kind of had to piece it together. … Just based on usage and if you’re looking at Jake at the backend, he has the most coverage for us to go back out there.”
Had Reed been needed to pitch multiple innings and if the Dodgers still faced a need for another pitcher, Hanser Alberto was in line to make his seventh appearance of the season.
Craig Kimbrel was a clear candidate to be unavailable after throwing 32 pitches over 1.1 innings on Monday. Caleb Ferguson has yet to pitch on back-to-back days since returning from Tommy John surgery, Brusdar Graterol was being provided with consecutive days of rest for the first time since coming off the 15-day injured list.
Chris Martin has dealt with recent right elbow trouble and regardless, would be an unlikely to pitch for a third straight day. David Price entering would have been a third appearance in the past five days.
Dodgers bullpen soon adding Blake Treinen
There figures to be more roster movement by the end of the week, as the Dodgers anticipate activating Blake Treinen from the 60-day IL on Friday.
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