Slow day here at Dodgers Digest. While I think Mike (or one of us) will make a postseason roster prediction, I’m going to throw you a couple names that should be included in the roster.
Paco Rodriguez and Carlos Frias. Rodriguez has proven his worth, despite a late-season collapse in 2013. He hasn’t pitched much in the majors this season due to injury and general dumbness, but he’s been effective with the Dodgers this season. He has a “meh” 4.22 ERA, but his 1.90 FIP and 2.49 xFIP tell the real story (he also has a good K/9 and BB/9). He has only logged 10 2/3 innings in 14 games after he had 28 2/3 innings in 32 games at Triple-A Albuquerque. Because of that, he could be the freshest arm in the Dodger bullpen — provided he’s 100 percent healthy (and he appears to be).
I wrote a bit about Frias last week, who is starting in place of Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednesday in Colorado. He has the ability to throw multiple innings or coming in to get one out, and he has good off-speed pitches. But the main reason I want him is his velocity. In 25 innings, he’s averaging 94.6 MPH on his fastball. The Dodgers weren’t afraid to add Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez to a bullpen that needed a jolt last season (Withrow pitched in the postseason, too), and Don Mattingly seems to like Frias and what he has to offer.
Adding these two would require two pitchers being left off. I’d say — with relative ease — that Roberto Hernandez would be left off. He doesn’t offer anything positive. Kevin Correia could also be on the chopping block. But adding the two youngsters would keep Chris Perez far away from the postseason roster. Unfortunately, Brandon League and his shiny 2.81 ERA would make the cut.
Young arms capable of missing bats with quality off-speed pitches and velocity could be the key to the Dodgers’ bullpen rejuvenation, as Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell can’t do it all themselves. Rodriguez would have a chance to pitch in high-leverage situations, while Frias probably wouldn’t. But if a starter falters, Frias could step in for a few innings. Either way, the Dodgers appear to have some decent options heading into October. Let’s just hope Mattingly manages it correctly.