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Dodgers add Alex Vesia to taxed bullpen, option Matt Beaty

LA carrying 14 pitchers

2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Photo Day Photo by Jennifer Stewart/MLB Photos via Getty Images

After the longest game of the year, and after having their two busiest bullpen days of the season over the previous three days, the Dodgers have brought bullpen reinforcements to San Diego, recalling Alex Vesia before Saturday’s game against the Padres.

Five Dodgers pitchers combined for six innings of relief in Friday’s thrilling masterpiece, including Dennis Santana and David Price each pitching for a second straight game.

The quartet of Kenley Jansen, Corey Knebel, Blake Treinen, and Victor Gonzalez all pitched Friday and has pitched twice in the previous three days. No Dodgers reliever has yet to pitch three times in a four-day stretch this season, the byproduct of a rotation averaging 6.12 innings per start, the only team in baseball getting six innings per game from their starting pitchers. Walker Buehler’s start Friday was the 11th time in 14 games the Dodgers starter has pitched at least six innings this season.

Dodgers-Padres lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos Padres
Pos Dodgers Pos Padres
CF Betts CF Grisham (L)
SS Seager (L) SS Tatis Jr.
3B Turner 3B Machado
1B Muncy (L) RF Myers
2B Taylor 1B Profar (S)
RF McKinstry (L) 2B Cronenworth (L)
LF Raley (L) LF Pham
C Barnes C Caratini (S)
P Kershaw (L) P Darvish

Dave Roberts said Jansen would be unavailable on Saturday after recording four outs on Friday.

Matt Beaty was optioned, giving the Dodgers 14 pitchers on their 26-man active roster. Beaty was 1-for-11 with two walks and six strikeouts in limited duty, starting once in the team’s 14 games.

Brusdar Graterol is also in San Diego, but wasn’t yet activated, though he could be activated as early as Sunday. Graterol started the season on the injured list, though with no malady disclosed. The right-hander came into camp not having thrown beforehand, and spent the bulk of spring training behind, and building up.

“There’s a lot of things that took place this winter for Brusdar that didn’t allow for him to prepare like he normally would have, as far as throwing bullpens to prepare for spring training,” Roberts said during spring training. “The last thing we want to do is speed him up when he’s not ready.”

Graterol pitched a simulated inning last Saturday at Dodger Stadium, then pitched a pair of times at the alternate training site at Camelback Ranch in Arizona before joining the Dodgers on the taxi squad to start the road trip.

The Dodgers acquired Vesia from the Marlins in February in the Dylan Floro trade. The left-hander struck out 10 of his 25 batters faced (40 percent) during spring training, allowing three runs in 5⅔ innings in his seven Cactus League appearances. Vesia was optioned to the minors on March 15.

AJ Pollock (groin tightness) and Gavin Lux (right wrist soreness) both remain out of the starting lineup.

“They are both getting better each day. AJ has progressed, and I can use him in any situation today. He’ll be available, and I expect him to start tomorrow,” Roberts said. “Gavin, swinging the bat I’d say he’s 70 percent, so that’s improvement, and we’ll just kind of see where he’s at tomorrow.”