The Dodgers are in scramble mode in the final week before the All-Star break, shuffling in fresh arms left and right for a bullpen that has been heavily taxed of late. After two bullpen games on the road trip and another one planned Friday at home, the Dodgers added another pitcher before Wednesday morning’s series finale in Miami.
Darien Nuñez is the newest name, a 28-year-old left-hander signed by the Dodgers out of Cuba in 2018. He started 2021 with Double-A Tulsa, but pitched just one game for the Drillers before getting promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 16 games this season, Nuñez has a 2.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 15 walks in 30 innings.
Nuñez led OKC in strikeout rate (34.2 percent) among all pitchers with at least 10 innings. Eight of his 15 appearances in Triple-A were at least two innings. He last pitched on June 29.
The Dodgers bullpen has thrown 35 innings in 34 appearances by 14 different relievers on the first seven games of the road trip which ends Thursday morning.
Nuñez if and when he appears in a game would make his major league debut. He’d be the 26th pitcher used by the Dodgers in 2021, one more than their 2019 full-season total and matching 2017. The franchise record for pitchers used in a season is 31 pitchers, done three times (2015, 2016, 2018).
Nuñez will wear number 62 with the Dodgers.
Mitch White, who pitched four innings on Wednesday night, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.