When thinking of mid-season acquisitions the Dodgers have made, you immediately think of the Manny Machado trade. And rightfully so.
Over the last few seasons, Machado has been one of the better two-way players in all of baseball. Picking up a player of his caliber is rare, and it showed the Dodgers were really going for it.
Another name that comes to mind is Brian Dozier. This was a last-minute deal at the deadline, but another huge one for LA. Over the last few seasons, Dozier has been one of the better hitting second-basemen in the game, especially in the second half.
Those were two big acquisitions the Dodgers have made during the 2018 season, but they haven’t been the most important.
On July 4, while everyone was celebrating the holiday by grilling hot dogs and setting off fireworks, the Dodgers quietly made a trade that has impacted them not only up to this point, but looks as if it will impact them through the rest of the season and potentially through the postseason. That was of course, trading for Dylan Floro.
For Floro, this was his second round-a-bout in the Dodgers organization. In August of 2017 he was claimed off of waivers after being designated for assignment by the Cubs. He never saw time in a Dodgers uniform though, and elected free-agency at the end of the season.
In January of 2018, Floro signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 25 games, going 3-2 and posting a very respectable 2.72 ERA. In 36 1⁄3 innings he had 27 strikeouts and 12 walks.
In desperate need of bullpen help, the Dodgers traded for the right-hander, along with RHP Zach Neal.
Since Floro’s July 8 debut in Anaheim, he’s been amongst one of the best relievers in all of baseball. In his 13 appearances with LA, he has posted a 1.93 ERA. More impressively, hitters are hitting a remarkable .089 against him, which is the best in all of baseball. When balls are put in play, the average barely climbs up to .107, which is the third best in the league. His WHIP of 0.43 is also the best in the MLB during this stretch.
Of the 48 batters Floro has faced, 16 have struck out. At 33.3 percent, only six pitchers have a higher strikeout percentage. With a strikeout-to-walk percentage of 29.2 percent, Floro is amongst the highest in baseball as well, with only five pitchers posting a better percentage.
As superb as Floro’s numbers have been, what truly stands out is his ability to pitch in high leverage situations. Having faced 13 batters in those situations, the 27-year-old has allowed zero runs, and only one base hit, which is good for a .083 average.
With runners in scoring position, opposing hitters are 0-for-5 against Floro.
On July 25, the Dodgers optioned Floro to AAA. His time there was short-lived, as he was called back up on July 30. Since his call-up, he has been even more impressive.
In seven appearances, he has eight strikeout and yet to allow a base-hit. He has faced 21 batters, and only one has managed to reach base, at the result of a hit-by-pitch.
With Floro proving to be one of the better relievers in baseball, he may soon find himself in the closing role. After the news of Kenley Jansen missing potentially a month with an irregular heartbeat, the Dodgers are needing a reliable reliever they can give the ball to in the ninth.
Dave Roberts has discussed the potential options, but it seems nobody is more deserving, and more trustworthy than Floro. Yes, Scott Alexander will be given save opportunities as well, but Floro has been great.
It’s become a theme that every season the front office makes a quiet move that turns out to be more impactful than they could have imagined. This year, it looks as if that quiet move landed them one of the better relievers in baseball.