Dodgers reliever Justin Bruihl has really been jerked around by the team this season. The left-hander has been exceptional in 9 games this season, allowing just 3 earned runs over 10.2 innings pitched. Despite that, he’s been taken off the big league roster and sent to the minor leagues twice and is leaving Dave Roberts feeling a certain way.
The Dodger manager talked to reporters about Bruihl being a victim of a roster crunch thanks to an overworked bullpen.
“It’s tough. In one sense it’s understandable with the players that have options because that’s part of their value, the organization’s value to be able to use guys in that way. In Bruihl’s particular case, he was pitching really well. To have a conversation, knowing that you’re a major-league pitcher and to tell a professional ballplayer, ‘You did everything we asked and performed’ – and I’m all about meritocracy but not to be able to follow through with that, it sucks. It’s a tough conversation.”
Doc didn’t necessarily open up this way about guys like Mitch White or, let’s say, a Garrett Cleavinger type in the past. But a key takeaway from the manager is the doing everything they asked part. Bruihl has pitched like he belongs this season. He’s striking guys out at a career-high clip (28.6%) and has walked just one batter of the 42 he’s faced.
Thanks to the new roster manipulation rules or option limit rules — or the “Mitch White rule,” Bruihl can only be opened three more times before the Dodgers would be forced to keep him on the roster or risk losing him to another team on waivers. The pitcher is back with the club for now after a quick one day bullpen reset necessitated by a recent run of bad starts out of the rotation. If he keeps on performing, it feels like this time his roster spot might be safe for a good while.
The Dodgers will be on another national broadcast on Saturday with the LA/St. Louis match up being broadcast on FOX. Noah Syndergaard (1-3, 5.94 ERA) will look to do his part in keeping Justin Bruihl on the roster by pitching deeper into a game than he has in nearly three weeks. The Cardinals counter with right-hander Miles Mikolas (2-1, 4.91 ERA)