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2023 Dodgers in review: Ryan Brasier

Brasier was one of baseball’s best relievers in the second half of 2023.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Ryan Brasier began the 2023 season with the Boston Red Sox before signing with the Dodgers and becoming one of the most dominant relievers in the second half of the season.

Brasier had been one of the more reliable relievers within Boston’s bullpen from 2018-2021, posting a 3.49 ERA and a 136 ERA+ in 126⅓ innings throughout that span. After a down 2022 season where he posted a 5.78 ERA, things weren’t looking any better for Brasier at the start of the 2023 season.

In 21 innings with Boston, Brasier slumped to a horrid 7.29 ERA, walking half as many batters than strikeouts, and posted an ERA+ of just 63. The Red Sox designated Brasier for assignment on May 15 and released him six days later.

After waiting to see if any team would reach out to him, the Dodgers signed Brasier to a minor league deal on June 4 and assigned him to the Arizona Complex League the following day.

Brasier was reassigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on June 13 and made two appearances. In three shutout innings, Brasier was lights out, striking out five and walking nobody. A week after being assigned to Triple-A, Brasier was called up by the Dodgers to make his first ever appearance playing for a National League team.

Brasier was off to a nice start, pitching to a 2.08 ERA in his first four games as a Dodger. Unbeknownst to Brasier and the Dodgers alike, the Dodgers’ newest reliever would be one of the best in the game for the rest of the season.

From July 1 until the end of the regular season, Brasier ranked as arguably the most dominant reliever in all of baseball. Brasier allowed just two earned runs in 34⅓ innings in that stretch, posting a ridiculous 0.52 ERA in that span. Brasier finished his season in remarkable fashion, pitching 10⅓ innings, allowing only two unearned runs while striking out 11 and walking just three hitters.

Brasier and Brusdar Graterol were two reasons for why the Dodgers’ bullpen completely turned around after a poor first half. Out of all relievers who pitched at least 30 innings from July 1 until the end of the regular season, Brasier ranked second in ERA behind Graterol (0.52). Brasier ranked ninth among all relievers regardless of innings pitched in fWAR within that span as well. After posting a 63 ERA+ with Boston before being designated for assignment, Brasier had a mind boggling 627 ERA+ in 38⅔ innings with the Dodgers.

2023 particulars

Age: 35

Stats: 2-0, 1 save, 0.70 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 39 G, 38⅔ IP, 38 K, 10 BB with Dodgers

Salary: $2 million; Dodgers paid a pro-rated share of the minimum salary, roughly $402,581

Game of the year

Although the Dodgers would lose to the Kansas City Royals on July 1, Brasier had his best game with Los Angeles. Brasier pitched two innings, matching his longest appearance in the regular season with the Dodgers. He struck out three hitters while walking nobody and not allowing a hit, but did allow an unearned run. This was the turning point to where Brasier would become one of baseball’s best relievers for the rest of the season.

Roster status

Brasier is a free agent.