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Dodgers stay competitive with the help of a franchise-record 37 pitchers

A breakdown of Dodgers pitchers, Kershaw eyes his return, and more.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts signals to his bullpen for a pitching change.
Manager Dave Roberts has called for plenty of pitching changes this season.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have used a staggering 37 pitchers total this season—and that’s not even the most of any team. L.A. is tied for fourth, according to Bill Plunkett at the OC Register, behind the Diamondbacks, Mets, and Rockies.

This parade of pitchers has bolstered a staff repeatedly plagued by injuries. Twenty-three Dodgers pitchers have spent time on the injured list this season, but the team has maintained a combined 3.03 ERA anyways.

Sixteen of L.A.’s pitchers hadn’t thrown a pitch in the majors before this season or have gone several years since their last major-league outing. But that’s not all:

  • 22 pitchers didn’t pitch for the Dodgers last season
  • 16 weren’t on the Dodgers 40-man roster when the season started
  • 13 weren’t even in the Dodgers organization prior to their outing

Conner Greene went from the Baltimore Orioles to the Dodgers and back again in the span of about a week, and Nate Jones—who was added to the roster on May 21 of this year and pitched a total of 8 23 innings before he was designated for assignment—retired from baseball entirely on August 19.

Links & Notes

  • Does the extra-innings automatic runner rule have a place in a season relatively unmarred by COVID-19 postponements? Dan Gartland at Sports Illustrated has some thoughts after the Dodgers and Padres went 16 rounds last night.
  • Clayton Kershaw is set to rejoin the team from the injured list in September. He threw 20 pitches off the mound on Tuesday, and Dave Roberts liked what he saw. Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider gives us more info on Kershaw’s progress.
  • Speaking of pitching, the independent Atlantic League moved the pitcher’s mound back by a foot. It’s one of the many experiments the league is running in partnership with Major League Baseball, and R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports explains why players aren’t all too happy about it.