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2022 Dodgers in review: Alex Vesia

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The sheer intensity of Alex Vesia is unmatched in this Dodgers roster, and probably the scariest this side of Max Scherzer in all of baseball. This left-handed reliever native of San Diego County looks like a man on a mission on the mound. Even after a shaky start to 2022, he managed to get better as the season progressed, ultimately settling himself as one of the top arms in the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Vesia saw his first significant action in the big leagues in 2021, and impressed over 40 frames, allowing only 10 earned runs, and striking out 54 hitters. This level of performance, plus the departure of Kenley Jansen and basically a season lost to injury for Blake Treinen, meant that Dave Roberts would have to rely even more on one of his breakout arms.

The 6’1 southpaw, got off to a strong start, allowing no runs in his first ten appearances, striking out 11 while only walking one. But after hitting the ground running, the season went a bit off the rails for Vesia in May and June.

Vesia particularly struggled with his control, walking nine hitters with a 2.063 WHIP in June, but even through that tough stretch, he managed to keep his run prevention at a swallowable level, if nothing else. Vesia’s highest ERA in a single month this season was 4.15 and 4.22 in May and June respectively, which is not ideal, but manageable for your worst stretch of the year.

For all of his ups and downs in the first half, Vesia headed into the All-Star break with a solid 3.14 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 28⅔ innings, even if it came with 15 walks and a 1.465 WHIP.

The reason why a pitcher manages to get good results even with this many base runners isn’t overly complicated. Vesia was allergic to the long ball this season and only allowed a single home run in the first half, when Pirates second baseman Rodolfo Castro took him deep on June 1 at Dodger Stadium.

After the All-Star break, Vesia was great. If not for Evan Phillips having one of the most dominant seasons in the National League, the highlight of the Dodgers bullpen would have been Vesia.

The left-hander only allowed three runs in 25⅔ innings over, and struck out a whopping 42 hitters, walking only nine.

Alex Vesia’s 2022 season

Splits G IP BB rate K rate ERA WHIP
Splits G IP BB rate K rate ERA WHIP
Before All-Star break 35 28⅔ 11.5% 28.5% 3.14 1.465
After All-Star break 28 25⅔ 6.9% 32.3% 1.05 0.740

Although it’s going to be hard to forget that seventh inning against the Padres in Game 4, Vesia has proved since the beginning of 2021 his worth and will enter next year as one of the primary options out of this bullpen.

2022 particulars

Age: 26

Stats: 2.51 ERA, 2.12 FIP, 2.79 xERA, 1.123 WHIP, 79 K, 54⅓ IP, 1.5 bWAR, 1.5 fWAR

Salary: $720,000

Game of the year

On September 22 in a 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at home, Vesia sniffed an immaculate inning, striking out all three hitters he faced, all swinging, on 11 pitches.

Roster status

Vesia has two years, 103 days of service time, and has two option years remaining.