The Dodgers are using a bullpen game in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies, and will have nine available relievers at their disposal. Left-hander Adam Kolarek was selected to the roster from Triple-A Oklahoma City, while Andre Jackson was optioned after achieving baseball nirvana on Saturday with a three-inning save.
Kolarek has been successful in the offense-friendly PCL, putting up a 2.18 ERA in 21 games, though he has almost as many unintentional walks (10) as strikeouts (12). Getting groundballs is his game, and this year has induced grounders 64.3 percent of the time, right in line with his career rate.
The three-batter minimum was designed to punish pitchers like Kolarek, who has held left-handers to just .190/.243/.260 in his career, compared to .311/.383/.490 by right-handed batters against him. This season in Triple-A, righties are just 9-for-40 (.225) against Kolarek, who hasn’t allowed an extra-base hit to any batter so far this season.
Kolarek signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers in December, and he was a non-roster invitee in spring training. During his first stint with the team in 2019-20, Kolarek had a 0.88 ERA in 46 games, with 22 strikeouts and six walks in 30⅔ innings.
He last pitched on Thursday.
Jackson was recalled on Saturday, with the idea he’d pitch in one of the two games this weekend. The opportunity presented itself immediately, with a 9-0 lead after six innings, and Jackson pitched three scoreless innings to earn his second three-inning save of the season.
The roster move sets the Dodgers up about as well as possible for a bullpen game Sunday. Of the nine active relievers, none pitched on Saturday, and only five — Kolarek, Tayler Scott, Alex Vesia, Caleb Ferguson, Victor González — pitched in the last three days, none more than once.
To make room for Kolarek on the 40-man roster, outfielder Trayce Thompson was transferred to the 60-day injured list with his strained left oblique. Thompson is expected to miss significant time, with this move making it official that his earliest possible return date could be August 3.