The Dodgers have churned through relievers for the last two months, and added a pair of fresh arms to the pile on Tuesday. Los Angeles claimed right-handed pitchers Ryan Meisinger and Jake Jewell off waivers from the Cubs.
Both have pitched parts of three seasons in the majors, beginning in 2018, and both have career ERAs that start with a seven. This year, Meisinger had a 12.27 ERA and 7.12 FIP in all of seven games with the Cubs, while Jewell had a 9.90 ERA and 9.16 FIP in his 10 games with Chicago. The Cubs designated both pitchers for assignment on Saturday.
Meisinger is 27 years old, and was an 11th-round draft pick of the Orioles in 2015, and appeared in the majors with the Orioles, Cardinals, and Cubs.
Jewell is 28, and was picked in the fifth round in 2014 by the Angels. He’s pitched in the majors for the Angels and Cubs.
Tuesday is the deadline to add players for the postseason. Anyone in the organization by August 31 is eligible to play during the postseason. Meisinger and Jewell might not fit that bill, but the Dodgers have more immediate needs.
With a roster of three starting pitchers — Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, and Julio Urías — plus David Price, who is averaging 4.3 innings per start since joining the rotation, completing five innings just twice in nine starts, the Dodgers have called on the bullpen quite often.
Since the beginning of July, Dodgers relievers have pitched 44.7 percent of the team’s innings, with the bullpen averaging 3.95 innings and 3.88 relief appearances per game. The Dodgers used 25 different pitchers during the month of August, and on the season the club’s 38 pitchers used is a franchise record.
In each of the last four days, the Dodgers optioned a pitcher they called up the day before. Because players have to be on optional assignment for 10 days before getting recalled, unless replacing an injured player, the Dodgers didn’t have a healthy pitcher they could have called up once active roster limits expand from 26 to 28 on Tuesday.
Here’s the list of pitchers on the 40-man roster not on the active roster or injured list:
- Victor González: optioned August 25, can’t be recalled until Saturday
- Darien Núñez: optioned August 27, can’t be recalled until Monday
- Andre Jackson: optioned August 28, can’t be recalled until September 7
- Edwin Uceta: optioned August 29, can’t be recalled until September 8
- Mitch White: optioned August 30, can’t be recalled until September 9
On the position player side, neither Matt Beaty or Gavin Lux can be recalled until Sunday. Should the Dodgers want to add a position player before then, the available options on the 40-man roster are Zach McKinstry, Sheldon Neuse, Luke Raley, and Zach Reks.
But in terms of extra pitchers for Wednesday or Friday, the cupboard was bare, at least until claiming Meisinger and Jewell.
Meisinger last pitched on Friday for Chicago. Jewell’s last game was last Wednesday.
The Dodgers haven’t announced the corresponding moves to add the two former Cubs pitchers, but given that just last week left-handers Scott Alexander and Garrett Cleavinger were both described as being “a ways away” from returning by manager Dave Roberts, perhaps one or both could be transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Meisinger has two option years left, having used one in 2018. Jewell has one option year remaining after using them in 2018 and 2019. Should the Dodgers decide to use one or both pitchers in the majors, both have the flexibility to be shuttled back and forth to the minors, which has seemed almost mandatory for several Dodgers pitchers this season.