Robbie Erlin was one of 31 different pitchers used by the Dodgers in 2022, tied for the second-most in franchise history. All of those roster-churning years have come in the last decade, with the teams in 2015, 2016, and 2018 also using 31 pitchers. In 2021, LA shattered its team record by using 39 different arms.
Erlin was a longtime Padres pitcher who pitched for the Pirates and Braves during 2020 before pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan in 2021. Back stateside, the left-hander signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on February 14.
Limits on options prevented the slew of transactions we saw with the Dodgers in 2021, but the closest time the Dodgers came to a scramble of sorts for innings in 2022 was the period from May 7 to June 5, when they had 31 games in 30 days, thanks to a pair of doubleheaders. Los Angeles used 24 different pitchers in those 31 games, including eight different starters.
The first of those doubleheaders came a day after a May 6 rainout at Wrigley Field. Erlin got the call as the 27th player for the twinbill, providing a fresh arm with both Mitch White and David Price on the COVID-related injured list.
Erlin, wearing number 60, pitched in the series finale in Chicago, then again the next night in Pittsburgh. He finished both games, the first a Dodgers win and the second a loss.
The Dodgers designated Erlin for assignment on May 11 to make roster room for Ryan Pepiot’s major league debut. Two days later, after clearing waivers, Erlin was sent outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Erlin was active with the Dodgers for five games.
The left-hander was used mostly as a starter for Oklahoma City, with some bulk relief outings mixed in. In total, Erlin had a 7.01 ERA and 5.91 FIP in 77 Triple-A innings, with 69 strikeouts (a 19.1-percent K rate) and 35 walks (9.7 percent walk rate).
Stats: 2 games, 2 IP, 2 runs, 1 BB, 1 K, 9.00 ERA, 6.75 FIP
Game of the year
In his first of two games with the Dodgers, on May 8 against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, Erlin pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out a 7-1 win and a weekend series sweep in Chicago.
As someone with more than three years of service time who was sent outright to the minors earlier in the season, Erlin opted for free agency after the end of the season, in October.