It Is Now and Always The Bullpen, and Schebler Called Up

The Dodgers’ bullpen continues to disintegrate. The internet geniuses who saw the early season success provided by a groups of untalented pretenders pitching way over their collective heads and who raved about this supposed new strength of the team may or may not now be coming back to reality, but the facts are clear once again: The team has no

effective set-up guys and with Kenley Jansen among the missing, the bullpen is just plain awful.

Jansen made a sensational return to action once he recovered from his off-season foot surgery, but this week's possible recurrence of his heart problems, thought to be fully behind him after 2012 surgery, is not now just troubling for the team but scary for his well being. No one really knows if it was a minor incident, likely
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precipitated by the altitude of Denver, or if it will be again an ongoing situation.

Bottom line for the Dodgers, though, is that Yimi Garcia continues to struggle mightily, newcomer Ian Thomas pitched like I thought he would, very poorly, and the latest return of Daniel Coulombe has been another disaster. The one bright spot of the past few days has been minor league veteran Josh Ravin, who has been masterful in two appearances, hitting as high as 100 MPH on the speed gun. But, at 27, has he suddenly found the magic, or will he be another guy who provides only a short-lived flash of brilliance? Look at Adam Liberatore – unscored upon over his first nine appearances, he’s now allowed ten hits, four walks and five earned runs over his last eight games and six-and two-thirds innings pitched.

And then there is Chris Hatcher, another darling of the internet gurus, including those who say how great he is and how all his failings are due to bad luck because batters hit his pitches back at only some super-low MPH range. Well, what I see is an ERA soaring towards seven runs per nine, a WHIP at 1.65, and inherited runners as a general rule scoring, and I ponder as to how he could possibly still be on a major league roster.

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The Dodgers top remaining outfield prospect, Scott Schebler, hit 27 home runs and batted .296 in 2013, and followed that with 28 homers and a .280 average last season. This year he got his first shot in Triple-A and in 49 games has hit only six home runs, driven in a miserly 15 runs, and has hit a disappointing .216. Yet, the team has seen fit to bring him up to the big club, and he is in tonight's lineup against the Cardinals, bating seventh and playing left
field. The good news is they sent Coulombe down to make room.

With Howie Kendrick likely out for the entire St.Louis series with a sore knee, the team wanted an additional bat available, but starting the struggling Schebler against perhaps baseball’s hottest starter, Carlos Martinez, is yet another very questionable move by the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly. With Yasiel Puig about ready to return, likely by early next week, Schebler’s stint in the bigs figures to be very short.

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