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Revolving Bullpen Chairs

There seems to be some gnashing of teeth about the relief pitchers changes.  The Dodgers do not have a lot of relievers who have options, so if one is needed there needs to be a 40 man change if pitchers like Nabil Crismatt and Dinelson Lamet are to be added. Both have had their contracts purchased and then DFA’d: Crismatt after one game and Lamet after three.  They have both been outrighted to OKC and are back on the OKC roster, so they have both accepted the outright assignment.  BTW, both pitched well in their appearances.

Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen, J. P. Feyereisen, Emmet Sheehan/Gavin Stone. These were supposed to be LAD relievers.  Graterol, Treinen, Sheehan are all injured as are Nick Frasso and River Ryan.  So plans that seemed to be in place at ST are no longer options.

Right now those that are eligible to be brought up from the 40 man:

  • P. Feyereisen
  • Kyle Hurt
  • Landon Knack
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Ricky Vanasco
  • Gus Varland

Like it or not, Hurt and Knack are at OKC to start, so I do not expect either of them to get recalled unless to act as an opener.

But there is another side of the 40 man dilemma.  Which pitchers on the 26 man have options remaining.

  • Michael Grove
  • Alex Vesia

None of the other 6 relievers have options.  I am not a fan of Alex Vesia, but the only other single inning LHRP is Nick Ramirez.  Ramirez did not fare well his first time out with OKC.  Is he truly better than Vesia?

I know many of us (including me) would prefer Kyle Hurt to Michael Grove, but the Dodgers seem to think the long term play is for Hurt to continue to start.  Which of us is more qualified to make those decisions than are AF/BG?

I know the skeptics out there are scratching their heads at the acquisition of Connor Brogdon.  I am fairly certain that those skeptics were also skeptics for Evan Phillips and Ryan Brasier.  Will Brogdon become another in the line of Phillips and Brasier?  Or will he be a bust?  I think I am going to wait and let this one play out.  He is not someone who will replace Phillips, Hudson, Brasier in high leverage situations.  He is not a multi inning option over Ryan Yarbrough.  And he is not a LHRP who could replace Alex Vesia.  So he is going to join Grove and Kelly in the middle reliever role.

The bullpen will become better once Treinen and Graterol come off the IL.  Treinen is eligible at any time, but Graterol is not eligible to return until May 18.

The bullpen has not been a significant positive this year, but most of the relievers have been good, including Crismatt and Lamet.  The Dodgers have used 12 relievers.  6 relievers have ERA’s south of 2.00.  One is at 2.08 (Lamet).  Ryan Yarbrough is at 3.29, relatively acceptable for his role.

Joe Kelly has appeared in 5 games.  Three games were outstanding, one was okay, and one was dismal.  His last two appearances against SF and Cubs were outstanding.  That is probably the best you are going to get from Kelly.  Good to very good most of the time, but an occasional stinker.  2024 ERA – 9.64.  The ERA will continue to drop.

Michael Grove has not had a clean outing this year, and has been horrid for 3 of his 4 appearances.  His YTD ERA – 11.74.

Both Gus Varland and J.P. Feyereisen were beat up in their single appearance.   Varland ERA – 13.50 (0.2 IP); Feyereisen ERA – 27.00 (1.0 IP).

I fully expect the current bullpen to change dramatically by August.  There will be multiple hits and misses along the way.  But come playoffs, it will be a solid bullpen.   More importantly, the Dodgers need their starters to go 6.0+ innings in their respective starts, as James Paxton did on Monday.  Starts like Miller and Stone had against Chicago do not help the bullpen.

Let’s all remember what the bullpen was like up to mid-June in 2023.  Things got ironed out and the bullpen was the best in MLB after mid-June.  Maybe it will not be Connor Brogdon.  Maybe it will be someone at OKC.  Maybe it will be someone in another organization.  But they will find a quality eight.




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Yeah, it would be great if the starters could go 6+ but I don’t see it. Not yet anyway. Maybe as the season warms up we will see it out of a couple of them. I would look for some relievers who can go 2 innings. Hurt and Knack come to mind.

Betts hitting .217 in the last 6. Ohtani has picked it up. He must have been given some good news from his lawyers. It would be helpful if the bottom of the order would contribute.


The home plate umpire yesterday, John Tumpane, must have had it in for Mookie Betts. He called three pitches strikes that were so far out of the zone, that Mookie had to swing at a pitch four inches outside because that was where Tumpane’s Strike zone was. Mookie finally managed to get a hit on another outside pitch. Umpiring this season so fat has been atrocious. Angel Hernandez caused more controversy yesterday with some very questionable calls. He is by far the worst ump in the major leagues and he should be fired.


Talk about mean spirited. His reaction towards Mookie should be disciplined and also his style of calling balls and strikes. Overly emotive.

Phil Jones


I’ll wait for the usual cast of characters to respond with their usual “NO”. I guess they enjoy this kind of inept HPU performance. I wonder if the nay sayers feel the same way about other accepted technology and reviews to correct mistakes and blown calls? Or is it just balls and strikes. Use the technology.


Hmmm. Interesting.

So, I don’t favor robo umps, but rather another, I think, more sensible means to improve balls and strikes umpiring, and that means, according to you, that I “enjoy this kind of inept HPU performance.”

That’s quite the impeccable piece of logical reasoning there, Phil.

LOL. I thought that kid’s smirk at the end was pretty hysterical, actually.

Phil Jones

So Patch you are definitely one of the “usual cast of characters” who are opposed to ABS, that I was referring to. By the way it is The Automatic Balls and Strike System. It’s NOT a Robo umpire. No robotics about it. He simply responds to the information he receives in his ear piece. Everything else is the same.
I’m all ears to hear about a “more sensible means to improve balls and strikes umpiring”.  
What do you suggest? So far, performance analysts hasn’t worked. Improved training isn’t required and if it was they can go to the Wendelstaedt School and be coached up by one of the worst umpires. The Umpire’s Union makes it practically impossible to force improved performance or weed out the worst performers. The fans seem tired of it, So what exactly do you purpose?
I’m not sure where “impeccable logic” comes into play? To me it’s logical to use the technology that is available to fix the problem. Try wiping that smirk off my face by offering reasons why you are so opposed to an ABS System and offer suggestions to fix what I think is broken. Or perhaps you don’t think it’s broken?


Totally agree.


I wasn’t impugning your logic for wanting ABS (I realize it’s not an actual robot). Your reasons for wanting it are perfectly valid.

I was making fun of your dishonest logic in the accusation that I “enjoy” seeing those calls against Mookie because I dare disagree with you. It’s explained in that video. I encourage you to watch it because this is not the first time you’ve strawmaned a position I’ve taken.

I would prefer that the umpires get fixed first, before you make them superfluous. And yes, that means holding the union accountable. Let them be in charge of their own destiny. Give them an ultimatum. Either they figure out a way to improve the umpiring on their end of the league will introduce ABS.

Would the union oppose standards. Yes. Would they probably oppose being completely replaced with ABS. Yes.

Establish standards and thresholds based on performance. The data is there, as even we can see it, so it’s easy enough to negotiate an agreed upon lower threshold for errors. Promote only the best umpires. Demote the bad performers. Perhaps abandon the rotating umpire system where, one day, an ump is behind the plate, another day he’s at first. If you have a really good home plate ump, keep him there (fatigue might be an issue. They probably rotate them to keep them fresh at each position).

In baseball, as in life, there is accountability. Survival of the fittest. Checks and balances. The best make it the majors, the ones who can’t cut it don’t, and even when you’re a successful major leaguer, there’ll come a time when you’re not and you’re out.

The umpire system is nearly immune to this. You can’t even criticize them. It creates distortions and a lack of that accountability that inevitably lowers performance and invites malfeasance.

It’s extremely unlikely that Emmel had some sort of personal vendetta against Mookie or was corrupt in his calling, but if he was it would look exactly like what he did. A lack of accountability invites this. Umpires are human and corrupt like humans are.

Start with the accountability. If that doesn’t work, go with ABS.

Home plate umpires and their unique styles are inextricably linked to baseball’s history.

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerpatch

ABS cannot come fast enough. I can understand troubles with the low pitches, but high, inside and outside pitches there shouldn’t be an issue for these umps. Some of these outside pitches aren’t even close. Maybe, the HPU should watch video replay between innings to see how he is doing and make any corrections to his calls that he may be missing.

But, something has to be done! Manfred will probably undertake a multi year study. Along with pitchers undergoing TJ surgery at an alarming rate. Or a multi year investigation of the Ohtani gambling situation. I do have to give him credit for his rapid decision to reduce the pitch clock from 20 to 18 seconds for no apparent reason after only one year of use. And, then defend the decision when media tries to tie the time reduction to arm injuries.

Several of the umps should be fired, but for some reason they can’t be (union?). I’d throw Manfred into that pool of incompetent umps. I can appreciate the work of unions, but one thing I really object to is that it makes it virtually impossible to fired awful at their job employees.

Phil Jones

Absolutely Ted. It’s obvious that any post game reviews and analysis of the previous day’s performance is a waste of time. The shitty veterans pay no attention and face zero consequences for their ineptitude. But they’ve been quick to grieve when they don’t get post season assignments.
Check CD Bucknors spray chart on Umpirescorecard. he called 13 strike on balls out of the strike zone in every direction. 79% accuracy. Wanna bet he’s behind the dish again in 4 days?

Last edited 1 month ago by Phil Jones
Phil Jones

But the “winner” is Scott Barry from Sunday. Scott missed 20 pitches. He missed 13% of the pitches he called on the day.


I didn’t realize that being an umpire was a tenured position. Something needs to be done. It has become ridiculous. They have the technology. Use it.


He was definitely obnoxious, as well as overly truculent with any hint of criticism from Roberts in the dugout. I think Roberts should have made a show of getting thrown out of the game by getting in his face about those calls. To touch a little on the post down below about aggressively arguing possibly having an effect on future calls, I think there’s something to that – and it was an interesting insight.

That said, I don’t really have an issue with an emotive or distinctive calling style. I still remember Dutch Rennert.

Duke Not Snider

Can’t wait for the Connor Brogdon Era to begin!
But seriously, it does seem that the Dodgers breathe new life into some pitcher’s career every season. Sometimes two. Brogdon has had a solid career, not unlike Brasier. So maybe it’ll be Brogdon this time.
Lamet pitched 3 times, not twice, with a .92 WHIP in 4.1 innings, and a 2.08 ERA. Small sample, of course. But given Lamet’s previous success, I think the Dodgers might give him extra attention.
The Dodgers have so much pitching depth, and the bullpen ain’t perfect.
How about Miguel Vargas + Grove for Tanner Scott + ???
Something like that, anyway.


How about Miguel Vargas for Chris Taylor? For maybe a month a season where he is incredible offensively, Dodgers fans have to watch Taylor strikeout at bat after at bat. It gets to the point where he can’t even make contact. Chris, watch Barnes’s at bats! LOL.



Didn’t he change his swing over the winter to get back to a more level swing? Has he thrown that approach away and is back to elevating?

Singing the Blue

I think the eclipse has effected the path of his swing. Something to do with the tides, etc.

And no, you can’t ask why his swing has been lousy all year.

Actually maybe the eclipse will fix it. Stay tuned.


I’m willing to give him 4 minutes


Great post!


There’s a great post on X by Chad Moriyama showing all the horrible strike calls on Mookie. It’s not just one umpire; it’s several; and most of the calls aren’t even close to strikes. Whether it will do any good or not AF needs to lodge a formal complaint and include this video, because something is going on.

Singing the Blue

I’ve always wondered if Mookie’s non-confrontational personality plays into the seemingly overabundance of bad calls he gets.

Admittedly I haven’t checked, but I bet guys like Bryce Harper who exhibit a more animated reaction to stuff like this get more benefit of the doubt when it comes to balls and strikes.


What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?


Try not to sing out of key.


throw tomatoes?


Hey, lm trying to pick on STB.

Singing the Blue

Now why would you want to do that when it’s already my wife’s full time job?


She and I share a hobby.

Maybe Betts gets more pitches out of the strike zone due to his hot start and therefore umps have more chances of getting it wrong.

Duke Not Snider

Pitching Ninja also zeroed in on the bad calls against Mookie….
Aren’t the stars supposed to get the calls?

Ron Fairly fan

I have seen Lux make good plays and think he is a good second baseman. He will start hitting. So will Bichette who is also off to a slow start. Gunnar Henderson is also off to a slow start.

Betts and Lux will be fine through July and if defense is still a problem then maybe it’s Muncy that is the one that gets traded.


Would be great to unload Taylor.


Pages needs to play everyday if he comes up.



Singing the Blue

Jeff, you mention above that you think the long term plan for Hurt is to use him as a starter. I’d really much rather they groom him to be a closer and I think his stuff lends itself more to that outcome.

Future (2025 and beyond) starters for us include: Glasnow, YY, Shohei, Miller, Stone
Add the following possibilities: Sasaki, Buehler, Kershaw, Ryan, Frasso, Knack, Sheehan, Gonsolin, May

On the other hand, the following bullpen guys will probably be gone by next year or shortly thereafter: Treinen, Kelly, Grove, Brogdon and possibly Brasier and Hudson.

Seems to me that our future needs are much greater in the bullpen than for starters.


“I’d really much rather they groom him to be a closer and I think his stuff lends itself more to that outcome.”

Just another reason why I want to see him (and maybe Knack) pitching innings now, as in a couple of innings between 5-8 every few days. If his stuff plays now, use him now. He can be “stretched out” next Spring.


Trade values


Buxton definitely makes that play.

But, if you need a positive spin, Buxton went 1,2 in his draft. Outman went in the 7th round.

Buxton’s definitely a better fielder than James, but the latter is no slouch.
Outman is a career OPS+ of 112, and relatively healthy.
Buxton is a career 106 OPS+ and always injured.


Good call.


KKKT3. Taylor is a mess.

Last edited 1 month ago by OhioDodger

I’m guessing this Brogdan guy won’t be on the team tomorrow




This team strikes out too much. 14 SO in 35 AB. 40%. What has this game come to?


Nice win, Glasnow was nails. Outman looks like he is finding his stroke. Oppo homer from Smith, all around good game. Brogdon got over his deer in the headlights look pretty quickly.

Duke Not Snider

14 Ks, zero walks. Only 88 pitches.
Not sure if it’s true, but somebody reported that nobody had reached 14 Ks in only 88 pitches…
But yeah, the Dodgers are also striking out a lot. We expect it from Taylor and a few others, but in this game Freddie also struck out 3 times.
I’ve been a non-fan of Taylor for some time now. He’s had his moments, but I wouldn’t be too upset if he pulls a hamstring.

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