The phrase “you can never have too much pitching” is working overdrive across Major League Baseball this season. The Dodgers have already set a franchise record for pitchers used in a season, and are set to add to that total by adding veteran right-hander Shane Greene, per multiple reports.
You might remember Greene from being at lease loosely connected to the Dodgers at nearly every trade deadline of the last five or so years. His latest stop was Atlanta, who acquired him midseason in 2019 and re-signed Greene to a contract this May.
After a 3.25 ERA and 4.04 FIP from 2017-20, the 32-year-old Greene struggled in limited duty for the Braves this season, posting an 8.47 ERA and 6.77 FIP with five home runs allowed in 17 innings, with 17 strikeouts and nine walks.
Greene was released by Atlanta on Saturday.
Whether Greene can be effective for the Dodgers remains to be seen. But he provides a fresh arm, which seems mandatory for MLB teams every few days. With seven weeks remaining this season, the Dodgers have already shot past their franchise record for pitchers used, now at 34.
The Dodgers have used so many pitchers that Shane wouldn’t even be the first Greene on the team.
But that list doesn’t include Neftalí Féliz, who was called up on Monday, or Evan Phillips, who was just claimed off waivers. With a starting rotation that currently includes Mitch White and Andre Jackson, and very little starting help — outside of Julio Urías likely returning next week — until September, the Dodgers need to fill innings however they can.
Teams are churning through pitchers at a rapid pace this season, likely some combination of modern roster usage and a 162-game season following a 60-game truncated year and the various injuries that ensued. Even with a franchise-record total, the Dodgers’ 34 pitchers used is only tied for eighth in the majors this season. The Mets lead the way at 39 pitchers used in 2021.
The major league record is 42 pitchers used in a season, by the 2019 Mariners. Of the top 30 total pitchers used in a season by a major league team, 26 were in the last five years.
If you happen to go to a game this week, even if you buy a program it might be outdated by the time you get to your seat.