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Dodgers NLCS roster includes 13 pitchers

Justin Bruihl, Evan Phillips added; David Price, Billy McKinney removed from roster

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As the Dodgers progress further into the postseason, they continue to add more pitchers in each successive round. That includes carrying 13 pitchers on the roster for the National League Championship Series, with left-hander Justin Bruihl and right-hander Evan Phillips joining the active squad for the best-of-seven series against the Braves.

Twelve pitchers were on the roster for the NLDS against the Giants, and even though the series went the full five games, the Dodgers only used 10 pitchers in the series. Tony Gonsolin and David Price were not used in the series, with LA consolidating the pitching into Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, Julio Urías, Kenley Jansen, and Blake Treinen throwing 33 of the 44 innings in the NLDS.

Price was left off the NLCS roster.

With the NLCS schedule using the same number of off days in a nine-day stretch instead of seven, the potential need for bullpen coverage and fresh arms is more prevalent in the longer series, especially perhaps in the middle three games of the series in Los Angeles over a three-day stretch.

Manager Dave Roberts on Friday mentioned 13 pitchers and 13 position players as “a viable possibility” for the NLCS roster.

The Dodgers carried 10 pitchers in the wild card game.

Bruihl added and Price removed gives the Dodgers two left-handed relievers, along with Alex Vesia. Braves regulars include left-handed batters Freddie Freeman, Eddie Rosario, and old friend Joc Pederson. Switch-hitting second baseman Ozzie Albies is a switch-hitter who kills southpaws, as the Dodgers are well aware after he was 5-for-9 with two home runs and a double against left-handers in the 2020 NLCS.

Infielder Ehire Adrianza is also a switch-hitter with no discernible career splits, but he also rarely plays. He was used twice as a pinch-hitter during the Braves’ NLDS, once against a right-hander and once against a lefty.

Bruihl, an undrafted free agent signed out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2017, made his major league debut on August 8 and pitched in 21 of the 52 games for which he was active, tied for fourth-most appearance on the staff during that span. Bruihl had a 2.89 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 11 strikeouts and five unintentional walks in 18⅔ innings, with left-handers 6-for-40 (.150/.209/.150) against him.

Phillips was claimed off waivers from the Rays on August 16, and had a 3.48 ERA and 3.17 FIP in seven games, with nine strikeouts and four unintentional walks in 10⅓ innings.

“As far as Bruihl, he has pitches with certain left-handers with a spin that goes away, and a sinker that just matches up better with some guys potentially he might face,” Roberts said. “With Phillips, I think his pitch mix with this particular lineup matches up better. With David, and his experience, it was a very difficult call for us.”

Billy McKinney was removed after being active for both the NL wild card game and NLDS. McKinney played in four of the Dodgers six playoff games, but only batted once, striking out in Game 4 of the NLDS.

Max Muncy remains inactive for the Dodgers while recovering from a dislocated elbow, though he has increased baseball activities in recent days.

“It’s going to be our last-minute bullet,” Roberts said of Muncy on Friday. “If he feels that he can do something at any point in the series, then it’s certainly something we need to consider. Still unlikely, but we’re holding out hope as much as we can.”

Dodgers NLCS roster

RH pitchers (10) LH pitchers (3) Catchers (2) Infielders (4) Outfielders (3) IF/OF (4)
RH pitchers (10) LH pitchers (3) Catchers (2) Infielders (4) Outfielders (3) IF/OF (4)
Max Scherzer Julio Urías Will Smith Trea Turner AJ Pollock Cody Bellinger (L)
Walker Buehler Alex Vesia Austin Barnes Corey Seager (L) Mookie Betts Chris Taylor
Tony Gonsolin Justin Bruihl Justin Turner Steven Souza Jr. Gavin Lux (L)
Kenley Jansen Albert Pujols Matt Beaty (L)
Blake Treinen
Corey Knebel
Joe Kelly
Phil Bickford
Brusdar Graterol
Evan Phillips