Marlins @ Dodgers May 16, 2021: Nelson and Co. for the sweep

The Dodgers (22-17) have now won two series in a row, after taking the second of three games last night against the Miami Marlins (17-22), but at what cost? Corey Seager was hit by a pitch in the hand, resulting in a fracture that’ll take over a month to heal, best case scenario. Eventually players will stop getting hurt … right? Jimmy Nelson will be the Dodgers’ opener in a scheduled bullpen game, while Pablo Lopez gets the start for Miami.

Image
1:10 PM Los Angeles
SS Chisholm Jr. (L) CF Betts
1B Cooper 1B Muncy (L)
LF Dickerson (L) 3B Turner
RF Duvall LF Beaty (L)
2B Díaz (L) 2B Taylor
3B Anderson SS Lux (L)
CF Sierra (L) RF Raley (L)
C Wallach C Barnes
P López (L) P Nelson (R)

With Seager going to miss extended time, naturally there will be a few moves. Max Muncy and his .447 on-base percentage will bat second, as Matt Beaty will be the cleanup hitter as everyone expected going into the season. Luke Raley will start in right field with Beaty in left, while Chris Taylor starts at second base and Gavin Lux at short stop.

For the Marlins, Jazz Chisholm returns to their lineup today, activated off the Injured List after a missing over a week with a hamstring issue. The 23 year-old rookie was off to a an impressive start, with a .926 OPS and 154 wRC+ to start the year. This didn’t develop out of nowhere, as he’s a top five prospect in the Marlins’ system. Outside of that, the Marlins will run out a relatively similar lineup, looking to improve upon their performance yesterday, where they reached just three times, on two hits and one walk.

——

Here’s how the Dodgers’ Bullpen and López matchup:

The 25 year-old López has had a great start to his season with what would be career low ERA. The right-hander is coming off the best year of his career so far with a 3.61 ERA and 3.09 FIP in eleven starts last season. He sits in the mid 90’s with his fastball that he throws 44.4% of the time, also heavily going to his changeup which he throws 38.0% of the time and sits in the high 80’s. He’s coming off his worst start of the season last week against Arizona, going 4.1 innings allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three. He’s looking to prove that was just a blip, as he had allowed just one run in his previous four starts, featuring a 0.38 ERA and 2.25 FIP over 24.0 innings.

For the Dodgers, Nelson has figured it out as of late, with his season ERA down to 3.00 and FIP at 2.19. He’s thrown 15 innings thus far, and outside of his first two innings of the season at Coors Field, he’s looked great, with just a 1.38 ERA, 1.74 FIP and 0.92 WHIP with a 36.0% strikeout rate. His stuff is so good, all he needs to do is get near the strike zone. The only thing that’s hurt him is his control, with nine walks issued and four wild pitches. After Nelson, the options aren’t super exciting. The most reliable relievers have been Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen without much consistency from anywhere outside of those three.

Overall, the bullpen hasn’t been great, and there’s no getting around that. Losing Corey Knebel for significant time damages the high leverage depth. Additionally, the team hasn’t had Brusdar Graterol for pretty much the entire season thus far, and just got Joe Kelly back. Scott Alexander was looking great and then he went on the IL. David Price looked like he was figuring out his routine as a reliever and then he went down. Hasn’t been great everyone. Overall this has put the Dodgers’ bullpen ERA at 3.88 and FIP at 4.06, both 16th in baseball. A significant issue there is simply walks, as the 12.5% walk rate is 28th in the game, ahead of only the Reds and Cardinals. Not Great!

——

This is also known as the lower part of your pinky below the knuckle.

Also, this is pretty much as expected.

This is great news, the return of Tony Gonsolin would help out covering the fifth spot in the rotation, or providing length out of the bullpen like Nelson and possibly Price.

——

Keibert Ruiz back.

——

First pitch is at 1:10 PM PST on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!